Environment

Earth’s vegetation could be saturated with carbon by the end of the century and stop acting as a brake on global warming, scientists warn.

Melting of the Arctic 'will accelerate climate change within 20 years'

An irreversible climate "tipping point" could occur within the next 20 years as a result of the release of huge quantities of organic carbon locked away as frozen plant matter in the vast permafrost region of the Arctic, scientists have found.

Green schemes are 'wide open to major corruption'

Millions of pounds in grants and aid are being siphoned off by fraudsters, warns report

Case 'never stronger' for nuclear reactors

Despite the nuclear crisis in Japan, the case for a new generation of reactors in the UK has never been stronger, the Government's former chief scientist said today.

Green measures: Carbon price goes up to fund renewables

Two long-awaited steps towards Britain becoming a low-carbon economy were announced by Mr Osborne: the creation of a Green Investment Bank (GIB) and the establishment of a "floor price" for carbon.

'Zero-carbon' homes can still emit CO2

Newly built houses will be allowed to emit tons of CO2 every year and still be called "zero carbon" under new rules being considered by ministers.

Children of Light: How Electricity Changed Britain Forever, By Gavin Weightman

Oil powers our society, it is often said, but in truth the single most all-pervasive force in our life is electricity. This message was driven home as I was writing this review: a very local power cut struck my street at around 6pm. We were hopelessly unprepared, with a single dim torch to hand and a few birthday candles. You quickly realise that – apart from the encroaching cold; the thawing freezer and other vital life-support systems; the fact that if the cut were to last a week and become widespread, there would be starvation in the cities – everything we normally do these days needs electricity. The candles were too weak to read by. My iPod would last for a few hours until it needed recharging. We have a gas stove so we cooked a large improvised pasta to keep us warm and went to bed early, warmly wrapped for the long haul, when the house sprang to light again.

The Timeline: Deep-sea exploration

Climate change: In the balance

While many people believe in climate change, others are unconvinced. An exhibition at the Science Museum reflects this ambivalence, says Nick Duerden

Biofuel plan will cause rise in carbon emissions

Britain's promise to more than double its use of biofuels by 2020 is "significantly" adding to worldwide carbon emissions, the Government admitted yesterday. Britain is signed up to a European guarantee to source 10 per cent of its transport fuel from renewable sources, such as biofuels, within the next 10 years.

The Big Debate: are we really fussed about cutting carbon?

How keen are we to help protect the planet?

Is this the housing standard of the future?

Energy secretary, Chris Huhne, noted in a speech to the Green Alliance recently that “a quarter of UK emissions come from the home.” Meanwhile, according to the Office for National Statistics, 60% of the UK’s local authorities experienced an increase in domestic emissions between 2007 and 2008, while only 40 percent experienced a decrease.

Carbon footprint labels: the latest aid for ethical shopping

Shoppers familiar with seeing fair trade, organic or rainforest labels during their weekly shop will have to get used to another logo: the carbon footprint.

Climate change crisis 'can be solved by oil companies'

Climate change can be solved in a snap by making oil, gas and coal companies take responsibility for burying all the carbon dioxide emitted by the fossil fuel products they sell, one of Britain's leading young climate scientists said yesterday.

Global warming? It doesn't exist, says Ryanair boss O'Leary

Outspoken airline chief says climate change is a plot by scientists seeking research cash

Gillard to form minority government in Australia

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's center-left Labor Party will form a minority government to rule Australia for a second three-year term, after two independent lawmakers joined her coalition Tuesday in the interest of stable government.

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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