News Temperatures have plunged to -13C in the town of Hell, Michigan

The extreme weather in the US has got so cold that even Hell has frozen over.

White Heat, By M J McGrath

A hunter who is hot on the trail

Why build-up of fresh water in Arctic could spell trouble for Britain

Scientists fear huge volumes of meltwater from diminishing ice caps may divert the Gulf Stream

Ozone layer damaged by unusually harsh winter

The stratospheric ozone layer, which shields the Earth from the Sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, has been damaged to its greatest-ever extent over the Arctic this winter.

Steve Connor: We may be on the brink of major instability

Decent science fiction has more than a grain of truth to it. So it was with The Day After Tomorrow, the movie that brought the esoteric science of ocean currents to cinema audiences. But the fantastical plot behind the film contained only a tiny grain of truth in a whole sackful of Hollywood hype.

BP to push through share swap next month

Oil giant BP is to push through its £10bn share-swap with Russia's Rosneft – but without the Arctic exploration agreement – despite last week's court ruling that blocked the deal.

The Future History of the Arctic, By Charles Emmerson

Political hot spot with its name in Northern Lights

Album: Alex Turner, Submarine, Domino

Submarine is the directorial debut of Richard Ayoade (better known as Moss from The IT Crowd), a gentle comedy of delusional adolescence set in South Wales at some indeterminate point in the late 20th century.

The frontier town with no rough edges

City Slicker: Tromso - Norway's most northern city offers a warm, sophisticated welcome. Mark Rowe suggests ideas for new and returning visitors

Heavy snow returns to the Highlands

Between 15cm and 25cm of snow is predicted over the weekend in the Highlands, after much of Scotland and Northern Ireland were blanketed by snow yesterday.

Scientists study swans' bottoms

Scientists have been studying the backsides of Bewick's swans as they turn tail for their breeding grounds, to learn more about why their numbers are falling.

Arctic Circle? No, Aberdeen

To many Scots, "The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen" is a popular traditional song by Mary Webb – the sort of thing your Uncle Jimmy might sing after too many wee drams at Hogmanay, writes Victoria Summerley.

Bruce Parry: 'The greatest journey of my life has been figuring out who I am'

A rite of passage is important for many young people It's why I joined the Marines: to prove myself. But societies all over the world use this youthful angst to fight wars. You go to an area such as the Omo Valley, Ethiopia [where Parry stayed with the Nyangatom tribe], and the different tribes are essentially cousins who've developed a separate identity to fight for the scarce resources there. The elders play on the young men's sense of pride, wind them up and send them off on a killing spree. We do that in our society, too, albeit in a more civilized way.

Simon Roberts: Welcome to the Arctic rush hour

It's 9am on a dark and frosty mid-winter morning in Murmansk, the largest city north of the Arctic Circle. As a clutch of commuters trudge across a snow-caked railway footbridge, the sun remains trapped below the horizon in a perpetual, blue-tinged dusk. "It's part of a phenomenon the Russians call polyarnye nochi, or polar nights," explains British photographer Simon Roberts, who spent a year travelling across one of the world's coldest countries. "From December until mid-January, this region is shrouded in darkness, except for a faint glow of light around midday." Accompanying the gloom are temperatures that reach as low as -40C, the point at which skin freezes.

Snow man: Bruce Parry explores the Arctic

What takes Britain's most intrepid broadcaster to the extremes of the planet? It's all about telling the whole story, says Bruce Parry
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee