Feb 18, 2011 12:00 PM

Weather radar clutter is boon for biologists

WASHINGTON (AP) For years images of bats and birds that show up on weather radars have been an annoyance at best. But now, biologists say this information can give them a treasure trove of data about the animals they study.

Researchers told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Friday that they can use the radar information to learn about seasonal changes in feeding and migration patterns for bats, birds and even insects. And the 20-years of radar data in government archives means they can even see how animal activity has changed over time.

It's as if the dark cloud of useless radar data has suddenly yielded a silver lining of biological knowledge.


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