Science / Environment

Race to ratify the Paris climate deal starts at the UN

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and French President Hollande join in the celebrations

By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent, New York The first significant step to putting the Paris Climate Agreement into practice will take place on Friday. Around 155 countries are expected to formally sign the deal at the UN, setting in motion events that could see the treaty operational within a year. The UN says the expected record turnout for the signing shows ...

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Great monarch butterfly migration mystery solved

Monarch butterflies are the only insects to migrate such a long distance

By Victoria Gill Science reporter, BBC News Scientists have built a model circuit that solves the mystery of one of nature’s most famous journeys – the great migration of monarch butterflies from Canada to Mexico. Monarchs are the only insects to migrate such a vast distance. So, by teaming up with biologists, mathematicians set out to recreate the internal compass they ...

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Complex sugars cooked up from ‘comet ice’

Scientists are still working out how life-critical chemicals are made from ice and stardust

By Jonathan Webb Science reporter, BBC News Scientists have detected ribose – a sugar needed to make RNA and DNA – in laboratory experiments which simulate the very early Solar System. They shone UV light on a simple, frozen mixture of chemicals mimicking the ices that form in space, between stars. As it condensed and then warmed up, the ice produced ...

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Penguin Watch: Public asked to aid Antarctic research

Adelie penguins populations are declining on the Antarctic Peninsula

By Victoria Gill Science reporter, BBC News British scientists who have set up a network of penguin-monitoring cameras in Antarctica are asking the public to help them carry out their research. The Oxford University team is launching a new version of their ambitious project,Penguin Watch, on Thursday. This is now the largest Antarctic citizen science venture in the world. In “PenguinWatch ...

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Moon used to spin ‘on different axis’

The scientists suggest volcanic activity generated the "wander"

BBC News : The Moon used to spin on a different axis and show a slightly different face to the Earth, a new study suggests. Using data collected by Nasa’s Lunar Prospector mission in the late 1990s, scientists spotted two hydrogen-rich regions near the Moon’s poles, probably indicating the presence of water ice. The icy patches are opposite each other ...

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