Early last year, a little-regarded atmospheric phenomenon gained the attention of researchers when citizen scientists drew attention to it on social media: Giving it the highly-scientific name of "Steve", this luminous purple ribbon that occasionally streaks across the sky is a fast-moving stream of hot gases that occurs high in the atmosphere. Initially assumed to be part of the aurora borealis, a recent study of the phenomenon has found that it has nothing to do with the display of charged particles that light up the polar atmosphere — so, just what is Steve?
There have been few controversies in recent memory as intense as that surrounding the Nazca mummies. It has been claimed that they are just old bones of animals, that they are Russian propaganda designed to confuse the west, that they are human remains that have been desecrated and many other claims.
Lost in all of this is the testimony of the archaeologist who has been studying them from the beginning, Thierry Jamin, president of the Inkari-Cusco Institute. Because he speaks little English, he has remained almost unheard in the Anglo-Saxon world.
One of the ways that scientists propose that we tackle the problem of global warming is to actively remove greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, from the atmosphere. To be an effective compliment to reducing our CO2 output from transport and industry, carbon sequestration will have to be done on a massive scale, meaning that the materials used in the process will need to be plentiful. One of those materials, magnesite, readily absorbs CO2, but there are both practical and economic limits keeping industry from mining the mineral in quantities large enough to be effective. However, researchers in Canada have discovered a way to quickly produce the mineral artificially.