Environment

New studies show what experts say is the direct consequence of global warming on Magellanic penguins in South America

Helen Dunmore: One Minute Interview

Where are you now and what can you see? I am at home on a winter morning. It is still dark and the ferry has its lights on as it comes across the water.

Passengers on a short excursion as they waited for the release of the Akademik Shokalskiy in December

Communication breakdown on board the Akademik Shokalskiy blamed for the ship being stranded in Antarctic ice over Christmas

A failure to respond to an order from the ship's captain may have played a critical role in the operational fiasco that led to the stranding of the Akademik Shokalskiy in thick Antarctic sea ice on Christmas Eve.

Pine Island Glacier melting past 'the point of no return'

Current ice models are suggesting the glacier has become unstable, and this recession will continue

A pedestrian makes their way along a snow packed street in Indianapolis

What is a polar vortex? The arctic winds that brought cold air and chaos to the US

Much of the United States is currently in the grip of a polar vortex, a system of dense air producing plummeting temperatures and swathes of freezing weather, bringing some parts of the country to a halt and causing chaos in others.

Three dead minke whales lie on the deck of the Japanese whaling vessel Nisshin Maru as it travels through the Southern Ocean

Photos show Japanese boats 'whaling in internationally protected area'

Anti-whaling activists Sea Shepherd say they shot the footage showing dead whales in pools of blood

Richard Parks celebrates at the South Pole clad in national flags

Rugby star Richard Parks cuts 10 days off British South Pole trek record

A former Welsh international rugby player has set the second fastest unsupported solo journey to the South Pole in history.

Scientists found that including data from the Arctic eliminated any 'pause' in global average temperatures

Earth 'will heat up by 4C' by the year 2100, scientists predict

Rise is twice that considered dangerous by climate scientists

Global warming researchers stuck in Antarctic ice likely to spend New Year on board as rescue helicopter stands by

Passengers on a climate change research ship stranded in Antarctica are likely to ring in the New Year on the ice-trapped vessel – as a rescue helicopter on a nearby Chinese ship waits for the weather to clear.

Hair to the throne: Actor John Hurt

Awards have a hirsute tie: Prize for Beard of the Year is three way split

It has not been, we must report, a vintage year for facial hair. The prize for the annual Beard of the Year has had to be shared between The Choir's Gareth Malone, actor John Hurt and rugby player Geoff Parling.

An inquisitive Adelie Penguin next to the stranded ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy, which is trapped in the ice at sea off Antarctica

Rescue of Russian boat stuck in Antarctic ice delayed as Chinese icebreaker forced to turn back

The Chinese vessel has been forced to retreat after a failed attempt to reach the ship. A French vessel has already launched an abandoned rescue attempt

Maria Leijerstam led her two male rivals in a challenge to become the first person to cycle to the South Pole

Page 3 Profile: Maria Leijerstam, Adventurer

Glad to see someone managed a Christmas getaway

Ice queen: Skelton went to Antarctica for Sport Relief

My life in travel: Helen Skelton

'After two months in Antarctica, a hairdryer felt like a luxury'

The Russian ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy trapped in thick Antarctic ice, 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, Australia

Chinese icebreaker heads to rescue Russian vessel stranded in Antarctica

A Russian ship that has been trapped in thick Antarctic ice since Christmas Eve is on the verge of being rescued as a Chinese icebreaker named the Snow Dragon draws near.

British adventurer Maria Leijerstam achieves world first by cycling to South Pole

35-year-old completed challenge today after gruelling 500-mile ride in 'vicious' conditions

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there