Environment Forum

New monkey puzzles scientists: why does it sneeze in the rain?

October 27, 2010

A monkeynew species of monkey has been found in northern Myanmar, puzzling scientists because of a snub nose that means they are often heard “sneezing in the rain”.

‘Green Games’ look more like ‘Grey Games’ so far

August 7, 2008

Tourists walk along the Great Wall on a hazy day in Juyongguan, as the opening day of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games approaches, August 4, 2008. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini (CHINA)It was a bright sunny morning with hardly a cloud in the sky as our plane from Europe sped across Northwest China.  The skies were blue and the  visibility so great from 10,000 metres up that you could spot houses, huts, trails and even fences on the desert ground below.
 
But about 30 minutes before landing in Beijing, the earth gradually disappeared beneath a thickening blanket of greenish-yellowish-brownish haze. Clouds? Smog? Who can say for sure?
 
It reminded me of the unnatural colours of the smog that used to plague Los Angeles decades ago before catalytic converters became mandatory equipment on cars and California authorities took other tough steps to tackle the air pollution problem.

Olympic Bird’s Nest soup

May 30, 2008

The Olympics Bird’s Nest National Stadium disappeared into the pollution that enveloped Beijing earlier this week, before emerging as the air cleared on Friday. Each day’s photo was taken from my balcony at 8 a.m.