6 Sep 2023

El Niño stops carbon sink, water drag, new 'odour map'

From Nine To Noon, 11:45 am on 6 September 2023

Science correspondent Laurie Winkless joins Kathryn with three new fascinating studies. The first is into the effect extreme El Niño weather had on forest carbon sinks across South America - essentially, they were switched off.

Hydrodynamic drag - that feeling of the water slowing you down when you're swimming - has been looked at by researchers at Brown University - with a finding that the drag on partially submerged objects is much higher than thought.

And unlike with sight and sound, there's no way to accurately measure odour. But a new AI model has been trained to predict the smells of molecular structures - what are the implications?

Laurie Winkless is a physicist and science writer.

El Nino is the warm phase of the El Nino/La Nina Southern Oscillation (ENSO) that occurs across the tropical Pacific Ocean roughly every five years. The ENSO affects weather systems across the world, bringing extreme weather such as floods and droughts. El Nino generally causes drier conditions in Australia and South-East Asia, and wetter and warmer conditions in the Americas.

El Niño's effect on forest carbon sinks has been detailed in a new study. Photo: AFP / Science Photo Library