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Luhman 16B is the nearest brown dwarf to Earth, and the third nearest star system to our solar system

Spring is back to normal – after 15 freak mild years

The severe winter means that we still have to wait a few weeks for the return of blossoms, buds and wildlife, writes Michael McCarthy

Leading article: Normal service resumed

"Through primrose tufts in that sweet bower, the periwinkle trailed its wreaths ... birds around me hopped and played." Thus wrote William Wordsworth in "Written In Early Spring", which was clearly not penned in weather like this.

Scientist admits climate errors were 'embarrassing'

One of President Barack Obama's leading scientific advisers has criticised the UN body overseeing the science of climate change, describing the errors and sloppy mistakes which have affected public confidence in climate science as "an embarrassment".

Cold weather and snow to persist for weekend

Heavy snow yesterday heralded a weekend of sub-zero temperatures and continuing blizzards in parts of the UK.

Indigenous knowledge meets science

Fabricated quote used to discredit climate scientist

Sir John Houghton explains to Steve Connor how global warming sceptics have misrepresented his views

Melbourne sweats through hottest night in 108 years

The Australian city of Melbourne has sweltered through its hottest night since 1902, with temperatures topping 34 degrees Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit), meteorologists said today.

Simon Carr: Predicting weather is a mug's game

Three days out and the forecasters are guessing – and it's been proven so

Jim Dale: Why the Met Office got it wrong – again

The weather-watchers are too business-minded

George Cowling: Britain's first television weatherman

Before magnetic clouds, satellite technology, hi-tech graphics and colour television brought more pizzazz to forecasts on screen, a 32-year-old Yorkshireman who worked for the Meteorological Office became the BBC's first on-screen weather presenter. George Cowling stepped in front of the camera at 7.55pm on 11 January 1954. Even though he delivered the forecast in a traditional, BBC style, long before weather presenters adopted a more chatty, informal manner, Cowling was able to turn the scientific explanations into human reality by telling viewers that high winds would make the following day a good one for hanging out washing.

Next year forecast to be hottest on record

Prediction contradicts sceptics' claim that warming stopped in 1998

Just to cheer you up, stand by for the big freeze

After the month-long battering by gales and storms that made November the wettest in Britain on record, the prospect of wintry relief was held up by meteorologists today with a forecast of up to a fortnight of icy but much drier weather.

Met Office reveals last decade was the hottest ever recorded

Data show that Earth is not cooling as some sceptics had claimed, but is hotter now than at any point since 1860

Steve Connor: On any measurement, things are heating up

Both sides of the "debate" over global warming have accused the other of cherry-picking data to suit their competing theses. The issue recently has focused on the past decade, and whether or not global warming in the 21st century has come to a "standstill", as the climate sceptics have suggested.

Steve Connor: Climatology began 200 years ago

Science Notebook: Joseph Fourier was the first to realise the heat-trapping potential of the atmosphere
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada