Voices Flooded fields around the River Tone seen from Windmill Hill, Somerset. Some parts of England have suffered the wettest January since records began

Three Independent letter writers covered the issue superbly

Rig engineers accused of ignoring tests that foretold disaster

Managers and engineers aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig may have made a "fundamental mistake" in ignoring the results of tests conducted just hours before the explosion that doomed it, according to testimony given by a BP investigator to a congressional committee.

Steve Connor: A worrying set of results for marine life – and for humans

The oceans are critical to our understanding of climate change because of the way they interact with the atmosphere. They absorb both heat and carbon dioxide and their moderating influence on global warming is undisputed – about half of the extra CO2 put into the atmosphere since industrial times has been absorbed by the oceans. It may come as a surprise to find that scientists are still trying to work out the scale of the temperature rise of the oceans in recent decades. But this is understandable given the size of the surface area covered by the oceans and the depths to which they extend.

Patience on Capitol Hill runs dry as firms try to shift blame for oil leak

Top executives from BP and two other companies involved in the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico last month were chastised repeatedly yesterday at a key US Senate hearing for attempting at the outset to shift blame for the disaster to one another.

Bubble of methane triggered rig blast, say workers

The deadly blowout of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was triggered by a bubble of methane gas that escaped from the well and shot up the drill column, expanding quickly as it burst through several seals and barriers before exploding, according to interviews with rig workers conducted during BP's internal investigation.

Companies team up with Abu Dhabi over green jet fuel

Boeing, Etihad Airways and Honeywell’s UOP have signed up with an Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle to develop green jet fuel from “pickle weed”.

Emma Bamford: Liferafts are not always the best bet in a crisis

Sea safety regulators now instruct that a boat is usually a much safer place to be in a huge ocean than a liferaft, which is akin to a small tent perched on top of a lilo. The lessons learned from the 1979 Fastnet disaster, in which 15 yachtsmen and women died, many in their liferafts after abandoning ship, helped to form this guideline. So for skipper Richie Fearon to order the amateur crew of Cork off the boat, the situation must have been perilous indeed.

24-Hour Room Service: The Chelsea Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Steaks but no stakes at this hip hangout

First person: 'I survived the Northwest Passage'

Kev Oliver, 42

Scientists uncover new ocean threat from plastics



Scientists have identified a new source of chemical pollution released by the huge amounts of plastic rubbish found floating in the oceans of the world. A study has found that as plastics break down in the sea they release potentially toxic substances not found in nature and which could affect the growth and development of marine organisms.

My Life In Adventure Travel: Alexandra Cousteau

'My favourite place is the place I've never been to'

Katy Holland: Surf's up! Time to teach my beach boys how to take to the waves

Are we there yet? It's exhilarating to spend so much time in the sea, even if you do end up drinking most of it

Griddled prawn and asparagus salad

Serves 4 as a main

Felipe Fernandez-Armesto: It's been a long, cold, lonely winter but, here comes the Sun. (And yes, it's all right)

The last time solar activity slowed this much, whole empires fell. But the past few days' activity may augur well

Quadriplegic sailor challenges elements again

Fundraiser aims to sail solo around the British Isles aided by 'sip and puff' controls
Career Services

Day In a Page

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 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore