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Ash dieback: ash woodlands ‘may flourish once again’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption An epidemic of ash dieback is devastating forests Scientists say there is hope that some ash forests will be able to survive a devastating tree disease. Surveys around Europe reveal mortality rates from ash dieback as high as 70% in woodlands and 85% in plantations. A previous study found […]

Saving the world’s last West African giraffes in Niger

Image copyright GCF/Sean Viljoen For almost 50 years, the highly threatened West African giraffe has been absent from Niger’s Gadabedji Biosphere Reserve. Illegal hunting, climate change and habitat loss have all contributed to the population’s decline. An ambitious conservation initiative has now re-introduced eight giraffes into the reserve, in the first conservation effort of its […]

World’s strangest sharks and rays ‘on brink of extinction’

Image copyright Shutterstock Image caption The biggest threat to angel sharks is commercial fishing Some of the world’s most unusual sharks and rays are on the brink of extinction because of threats such as commercial fishing, scientists have said. A shark that uses its tail to stun prey and a ray half the length of […]

Sir David Attenborough: Climate change ‘our greatest threat’

Media captionSir David Attenborough addressing the climate change conference in Poland. The naturalist Sir David Attenborough has said climate change is humanity’s greatest threat in thousands of years. The broadcaster said it could lead to the collapse of civilisations and the extinction of “much of the natural world”. He was speaking at the opening ceremony […]

Sir David Attenborough: Climate change ‘our greatest threat’

Media captionSir David Attenborough addressing the climate change conference in Poland. The naturalist Sir David Attenborough has said climate change is humanity’s greatest threat in thousands of years. The broadcaster said it could lead to the collapse of civilisations and the extinction of “much of the natural world”. He was speaking at the opening ceremony […]

World’s strangest sharks and rays ‘on brink of extinction’

Image copyright Shutterstock Image caption The biggest threat to angel sharks is commercial fishing Some of the world’s most unusual sharks and rays are on the brink of extinction because of threats such as commercial fishing, scientists have said. A shark that uses its tail to stun prey and a ray half the length of […]

Osiris-Rex: Nasa probe arrives at Asteroid Bennu

Image copyright NASA/University of Arizona Image caption Asteroid Bennu: Osiris-Rex’s home for the next couple of years The American space agency’s Osiris-Rex probe has drawn up alongside Asteroid Bennu after a two-year, two-billion-km journey from Earth. The mission will spend 2.5 years at the 500m-wide rock, mapping its surface and studying its composition. In mid-2020, […]

Gravitational waves: Monster black hole merger detected

Gravitational waves: Monster black hole merger detected

Image copyright IGO/Caltech/MIT/Sonoma State Image caption Artwork: The coalescing objects produced a single black hole over 80 times the mass of our star Gravitational waves have been picked up from the biggest black hole merger yet detected. Scientists say their laser labs sensed the ripples in space-time emanating from this gargantuan collision on 29 July […]

Soyuz rocket: First crewed launch since failure docks at ISS

Image copyright EPA Image caption The team will spend six-and-a-half months on the International Space Station (ISS) Three astronauts have docked at the International Space Station, on the first crewed Soyuz rocket launch since a dramatic failure in October. Astronauts from Russia, the US and Canada left from Kazakhstan on their mission at 17:30 (11:30 […]

Climate change: ‘World at crossroads’ warning as key talks begin

Media captionClimate change: How 1.5C could change the world Four senior figures behind efforts to limit climate change have warned that the planet “is at a crossroads” as key talks opened a day early in Poland. In a rare move, four former presidents of the United Nations-sponsored talks called for decisive action. The meeting in […]