Climate Week 4-10 March 2013
Hello bulb buddies!
Next week is National Climate Week – a good time to think about climate change, how it affects us and how we can help to take care of the planet.
For the last 150 years scientists in many parts of the world have been measuring temperature and rainfall, just like you are now in your Spring Bulbs investigations! The scientists have seen that temperatures are rising all over the world and that rainfall patterns are changing too.
Warmer weather and more rain might help your crocuses and daffodils to grow… but global warming also means more extreme weather events, such as heavy snow, storms, flooding and droughts!
There have been lots of floods and more snow in the UK in recent years. Last year the Met Office announced that 2012 was the second wettest year on record in the UK and the wettest ever in England.
Many top scientists agree that pollution levels are contributing to global warming, so what can we do to help?
Be energy – efficient! If we use less energy we create less pollution. How? Simple things we do every day can save lots of energy at home or at school. For example: Turning off the TV or computer when you are not using it saves lots of electricity!
Can you think of some other things that you could do to save energy? Maybe you could talk about this in class? You could also have a look at this Global Warming presentation – it has some other ideas for saving energy.
If you are interested in other things you can do for Climate Week then you can have a look the Climate Week website.
Your questions, my answers:
Thorneyholme RC Primary School PP, We were off on Wednesday afternoon, and our mystery blubs are growing. Prof P: Can you guess what they are yet Thorneyholme or are they still a mystery?
Lakeside Primary Sorry about all the non recorded dates. Prof P: That’s okay! Sometimes I have to miss a day recording too. Keep up the good work.
Ysgol Capelulo We have not got any flowers yet :( Prof P: Don’t be sad Ysgol Capelulo, my plants haven’t got flowers yet either… I am sure they will come soon.
RAF Benson Primary School Some our daffodils and crocuses have started growing. Prof P: That’s great news!
Newport Primary School It has been quite good weather here this week with no rain and some sunshine but the last couple of days have been really cold and quite dull. On Sunday 17th we had an almost spring day and we were all able to get out and have a good time as it was really sunny and felt quite warm. Prof P: Excellent weather reporting NewportPrimary School! Really detailed, thank you! It has been very cold here in Cardiff too.
Balcurvie Primary School Our big rainfall on Monday was after the half term holiday when it snowed heavily! Great fun for us but not for our poor wee bulbs! Prof P: Sounds like you have been having some extreme weather in Scotland! I am glad you have been enjoying it Balcurvie.
Happy Half Term
I hope you had a nice half term break!
I wonder if you had fun outside during half term? When I am out and about in Cardiff I always look to see if there are any flowers growing like mine… have you noticed any growing near you? If you are playing in your garden, going to the park or walking to school you can still be a Super Scientist – here are some questions to help you. Happy investigating!
Can you see any other flowers growing? Can you spot any daffodils or crocuses? Are they bigger or smaller than your plants? Have they started flowering yet?
Kilmaron Special School have sent me a message to say they have noticed something interesting in their school playground…
Kilmaron Special School All our daffodils in pots are now sprouting and for the first time the children are seeing a couple of daffodils in the ground poking through. There’s still no sign of our crocus bulbs. We have daffodils planted up the side of our drive and in our sensory playground and they are taller than our Edina Trust sprouts. We were wondering if it’s because they’re a different type but won’t know until they flower.
Great investigating Kilmaron Special School! Often daffodils in the ground come up quicker than ones in pots; I have wondered why this is too! You are quite right; some varieties of daffodil do grow faster. Another reason could be that plants in the ground are better protected from cold weather than ones in pots. If our bulbs got colder they may grow a little slower! One other possibility is that the daffodils in you playground may have been planted a few years ago. Baby bulbs like ours grow more slowly in their first year, but they will flower again every spring and you may find they grow quicker next year.
Your questions, my answers:
Coppull Parish Primary School I'm worried that we've done something wrong with our bulbs. You see crocuses and daffodils are sending up shoots in our neighbourhood; but none of ours are peeping through at all. Prof P: Don't worry Coppull Parish School! As I've explained above bulbs in pots often grow slower. I hope you will have some growth very soon, keep sending me updates and let me know how your bulbs get on.
St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth) We are very excited because we have started to notice that some of our bulbs have started to sprout - we can't wait for them to flower. It is half term for us next week so we will be interested to see how our bulbs have grown when we return to school on 18th February! Prof P: I hope you all had a nice break, your bulbs might have grown a lot when you get back!
Darran Park Primary We have growth in all of our pots. Some pots contain more than 1 shoot. They seem to be growing quickly now. The mystery pot is showing lots of growth. We are on half term next week so won't be able to send in any records. Prof P: The mystery bulbs are very exciting aren’t they?
Henllys CIW Primary Some crocus shoots are coming up. Prof P: Thanks for your report Henllys CIW Primary, it won’t be too long now until they flower.
Ysgol Porth Y Felin To pp the plants are again all ok they’ve grown a lot since last Friday you can see the temperature has been quite high and there hasn’t been much water. From Ysgol Porth Y Felin. Prof P: I’m glad your plants are okay, excellent weather reporting too.
Milford Haven Junior School They started to sprout and it’s getting warmer. Prof P: Great news Milford Haven! My bulbs are sprouting too, I can see their leaves but I can’t see any flowers yet.
Rogiet Primary School Dear Professor Plant and Baby Bulb, Some of our bulbs have started to appear we hope to see some more after half term. We are looking forward to finding out what our mystery bulb might be. From Year 4. Prof P: HelloRogiet Primary School, I can’t wait to see what my mystery bulbs will look like too.
Ysgol Nant Y Coed The spring bulbs haven't flowered yet but they’re growing. The mystery bulbs are growing the highest. Prof P: I love a good mystery! Do you?
Ysgol Bodafon The weather is getting warmer. Prof P: You are quite right Ysgol Bodafon, hopefully this will help our plants to flower soon.
What a lot of weather!
What mixed weather reports you have sent me over the last few weeks! Some schools had lots of snow but others had none at all! Well done to all of you for sending in your weather station records despite the frosty weather.
Some snowy comments …
We had reports of snow from lots of schools…St. Mary's Catholic Primary School, Bwlchgwyn C P School, Glyncollen Primary School, Stanford in the Vale Primary School, Thorneyholme RC Primary School, Coppull Parish Primary School, Freuchie Primary School, Balcurvie Primary School, Gladestry C.I.W. School and RAF Benson Primary School all reported that they had snow.
Some schools, including Manor Primary School, St Joseph's Primary School, Henllys CIW Primary, Ysgol Nant Y Coed, Rhydypenau Primary School and Rogiet Primary School told me that their schools were closed due to snow!
However some schools had very little or no snow. Thanks Stepping Stones Short Stay School and Milford Haven Junior School for your reports.
Since the snow many schools have also reported high winds, storms and lots of rain, and as I look out of my window today the sun is shining – what varied weather over a few short weeks! The shoots on my tallest daffodil and crocus bulbs are now 7cm tall! How tall are your shoots?
Top Tip in frosty weather: If you have snow or ice in your rain gauge, bring it into the classroom to melt and then record it on your sheet. Don’t forget to tip the water away after it has melted and then put your rain gauge back outside!
Your questions, my answers:
St Joseph's Primary School (Penarth) Our school was closed last Friday because of snow so we couldn't get in to check on our freezing bulbs. We have noticed, however, that one of our bulbs has started growing whilst the others are snug underneath the compost in their pots. We tried to think about why this might have happened and wondered whether it is because that particular bulb was planted by you, Prof. Plant and maybe you have encouraged it to grow!? We are pleased to see that the weather has got a bit warmer and are hoping that this means that our bulbs will start to grow. We are very keen to see them flowering! Prof P: Thanks St Joseph’s! Well, I am very green fingered! It’s very exciting waiting for your flowers to arrive isn’t it?
Rogiet Primary School The bulb pots were full of snow this week, we were worried they would die but Mrs Carter said they would be all right! Prof P: Don’t worry, Mrs Carter is right, they are very hardy little plants so I’m sure they will be okay.
Ysgol Nant Y Coed We are sorry for sending the records late because school was closed because of the snow last Friday. Prof P: No problem! Thank you for sending them in when you could.
Stanford in the Vale Primary School Wow... what a bitter cold week, and all the snow we have had! All our bulbs are completely covered in snow... and more snow is expected tonight! Monday's snow/rainfall was frozen, so we brought the recordings inside and allowed to melt! (We hope this was the correct thing to do!) :-) Prof P: Well done Stanford in the Vale that was exactly the right thing to do!
Gladestry C.I.W. School We have started measuring the few bulbs that have come out. The daffodils and mystery bulbs have come out; we think the mystery bulbs are snowdrops, as they have grown very fast. Prof P: That’s a very good guess!Keep watching them and let me know if your guess is right.
Balcurvie Primary School One of the extra bulbs that we planted in a pot and left it in the classroom has began to sprout! We were all very excited. We have also had a very wet week! Prof P: That is exciting Balcurvie! I hope you enjoy watching it grow. I wonder when your outdoor bulbs will catch up?
SS Philip and James Primary School We thought it went well except we forgot to pour out the water once so we counted the amount of water added on the next day. We enjoy doing it, Phil and Jim Team. Prof P: That’s okay, thanks for letting me know and keep up the good work. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.
Ysgol Y Ffridd Dim Record Dydd Iau oherwydd ysgol wedi cau (Dim Dwr yn yr ysgol). Prof P: Athro’r Ardd: Diolch am y wybodaeth gan Ysgol Y Ffridd. Gobeithio bod y d?r wedi trwsio erbyn hyn.
Darran Park Primary 42 of the bulbs have sprouted. Prof P: Gosh that’s a lot! Well done Darran Park Primary.
Ysgol Porth Y Felin To pp, plants are all ok the temperature rised alot on Tuesday! there was a storm on Saturday night so there was loads of rain on Monday. Happy planting!!! Prof P: Great reporting Ysgol Porth Y Felin, hopefully all that rain will help your plants to grow.
Rhydypenau Primary School A very interesting week of weather! Prof P: I agree!
Falkland Islands 2013: February 4th update
I ended up sampling two different shores at Hill Cove, one below the main settlement and the other at the far east end of Byron Sound by the West Lagoons area (Photo 1). Each was slightly different although fairly low in diversity with clean fine sand. In between those I also went to Shallow Bay (Photo 2) which was further east and north and very rocky. Here I found some interesting worms that I don’t think I had seen elsewhere under the rocks and in crevices. As the tides have been getting later the morning tides have been gradually creeping towards more viable times themselves. The second shore in Hill Cove was actually visited very early in the morning although I must admit my dedication to getting up before breakfast nearly waned when I heard rain lashing against the window. Luckily that passed and I did make it out.
Saturday morning dawned bright and still and the tide was slightly more sociable at 9am and, being a 5 minute walk down the hill, did not require too early a start. This was Port Howard where we were due to get the ferry back to the east in the afternoon, so a last easy site was a good way to finish. By mid-morning the wind had picked up and by lunchtime I had a feeling the ferry ride might be a little ‘lumpy’ but so long as we got back across the sound I didn’t care. Commerson’s Dolphins saw us off, playing in the waves alongside the ferry, a nice farewell (Photo 3). The trip was indeed lumpy but less than 2 hours later we were back in New Haven and after another 2 hours were in a very wet and blowy Stanley. Photo 4 shows the locations of the sampling sites.
The tour around West Falkland has been very successful with a range of different sites visited from all a around the coastline and I have collected some very good samples. Highlights that stand out were the large lugworms at Port Stephens (Photo 5) and the densely packed onuphidae colonies that occur in patches on many of the sandy shores (Photo 6). I have also seen many animals that I am sure I did not collect on the previous trip so that bodes well for the final species list.
Back at the office I set to finishing packing the precious samples. I had been regularly keeping up with changing the fluids in the pots while I was travelling and even sealing them up and putting them into small bags ready so as to make the packing process quicker. In no time at all I had 6 boxes packed and taped up. This was more than I had been expecting to have considering I have already sent 3 boxes back and I didn’t think the lady in the post office would be very happy to see me! Certainly I don’t think I gave her a good start to a Monday morning.
With my flight early tomorrow morning I only have today left here to wrap everything up. I’ve visited 23 different sites around both East and West Falkland over the last four weeks and after this second trip my map of sites looks much more comprehensive with points all around the coastline. Hopefully the eventual species list, together with a voucher collection that will be returned to the islands, that will come out of the project will enable future researchers out here to make better and more accurate identifications of this important group.
I have a radio interview this afternoon with the local station to talk about the research I am doing so that will be a good opportunity to explain to more people the purpose behind the visit.
So it just remains for me thank all of the islanders out here for their help, support and cups of tea during the trip (particularly those that helped and supported my car and supplied brake fluid).
The project also could not have continued without the support and assistance of the Shackleton Scholarship Fund and the Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
Thank you all!
How more sales can mean less revenue
And they're here: for the first time, we have figures for a year of e-book sales, supplied directly by publishers. It's still far from the whole picture, as not all e-book figures are available. But we now have a much better idea of what the book-buying landscape looks like in the UK.
The figure that stands out is that e-book sales are now up to 13%-14% of all book sales. However, as their prices are cheaper, that's only 6%-7% of revenue. Print book sales are down again, by 3.4% on 2011, as are average prices.
The e-book market is still dominated by fiction, and those e-book figures track the print figures. That is, if a book sells well in print, it also does well in e-book. The stand-out example is a particularly, shall we say, shady trilogy, whose e-book sales are about 36% of the print sales. Could the success of the e-book version of these titles lie, I wonder, in the fact that no-one can see what you're reading on your Kindle...?
So, it's mixed news: more books were bought in 2012, but because more of them were e-books, publishers made less money. Good news for reading, less so for publishing.
Meanwhile, here at Amgueddfa Cymru our journey into 'e' continues...
With thanks to The Bookseller for the sales figures.
Crocuses bloom from January onwards, so your crocus plants could be flowering any time now! How exciting! Please check your crocus plants every day to see if their flowers have opened and remember to record the date they opened and the height of the plant.
Your crocus flowers will be purple in colour with orange anther and stigma (the parts inside the flower). They can grow to a height of 10cm.
If you have no flowers yet then don’t worry! The recent cold weather and all the snow may have slowed them down. As the weather warms up the flowers may come out all of a sudden, so keep an eye on them!