If there’s one thing the Digital Age has wrought, it’s wider access to data. Suddenly, we can all learn the details about everyday phenomena.
Here’s something that satisfies that same urge for data, but without human-made technology. The National Center for Atmospheric Research (via Inhabitots) recently planted an “Ozone Garden,” with plants tailored to monitor local air quality.
These plants react visibility when ozone levels are high, like a biological air sniffer. Examples include green shoots of milkweed, potato, and cut leaf coneflowers. Prolonged ozone exposure may cause these plants to develop spots, or change colors to black or yellow.
The National Center for Atmospheric Research isn’t the first organization to plant an Ozone Garden, and the plants it used aren’t the only good ozone detectors. Other examples include dogwood, buttonbush, and soy beans.
All of these plants are available to the average gardener, so you could even plant an Ozone Garden of your own.