Saturday, 17 September 2011

Iain Stewart in a Box?

As many of you will already know, and the rest of you in my classes will soon gather, I, like many other geography teachers, am rather fond of Iain Stewart, Professor of Geocommunications at Plymouth. If you haven't already seen them, his documentaries are excellent, and in the library, and make up a very informative, easy to watch part of your four hours extra reading a week (Check out "Power of the Planet" and "How Earth Made Us" - particularly good as an introduction to higher level geography).

Iain is in the news today for taking part in an experiment for his next documentary, the test is taking place this weekend at the Eden Project, where you can see Iain living in a perspex box with 120 plants:

Why? This should be an excellent demonstration of the role plants play in the regulation of our atmosphere. The plants will not be able to convert all of the CO2 produced into oxygen, and the experiment could be terminated early if oxygen levels drop too low, but with the range of plants in the box, the concentration of oxygen should drop no lower the 12%, which is roughly comparable to an altitude of over 4000m.

This has been done before, in the mid 18th century, with mice, so lets wish Iain the best, and keep an eye on this story as it develops over the next couple of days!

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