'More hot summers' for parts of UK

Heatwave, Southbank Centre
The simulations found that milder winters and drier summers will also become more likely

Scorching summers such as the one in 2003 look set to become more common in England and Wales, a study suggests.

And devastating rains such as in Britain's worst winter in 2013-14 may be less likely in the decades ahead.

Work by the Met Office has calculated the odds of particular weather scenarios striking in future years.

The computer simulations-based study, in journal Nature Climate Change, finds that milder winters and drier summers will also become more likely.

The work draws on a major analysis, known as UKCP09, released back in 2009 which offered projections of the future British climate divided into 30-year periods.

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Will animals of the future only be safe in captivity?

Look ahead towards the middle of the century and much-loved animals such as lemurs, rhinos and tigers will only survive in some form of captivity.

And extinction will be even more of a threat than it is now.

Read full article Will animals of the future only be safe in captivity?

Madagascar's lemurs cling to survival

The famous lemurs of Madagascar face such severe threats to their survival that none of them may be left in the wild within 25 years.

That stark warning comes from one of the world's leading specialists in the iconic animals.

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Drastic action to save endangered tortoise

In a desperate bid to save one of the world's most endangered animals, conservationists are taking the controversial step of defacing the last survivors.

Ploughshare tortoises are highly prized for their distinctive gold and black shells and fetch exceptionally high prices on the international black market.

Read full article Drastic action to save endangered tortoise

Philae awakening provides extraordinary opportunity

The Philae lander after separation captured by Rosettas OSIRIS narrow-angle camera
The Philae lander after separation captured by Rosettas OSIRIS narrow-angle camera

The astonishing survival of the comet lander Philae means we have a unique opportunity to witness something previous generations could only dream of.

The tiny spacecraft, nestling in a dark corner of the comet's rugged surface, will have a ringside seat as this alien world approaches the Sun and starts to generate its tail.

Read full article Philae awakening provides extraordinary opportunity

Voyage to the north through ramparts of ice

Fram
Nansen wanted to jam a ship into the ice and let drift do the rest

At first sight the great slabs of grey-blue ice covering the Arctic Ocean appear to be rock-solid and immobile but the extraordinary fact is that they are restless and shifting.

Beneath what appears to be an unbending and endless landscape, the winds and currents are constantly at work reshaping it.

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Climate drives 'new era' in Arctic Ocean

Changes in the Arctic Ocean are so profound that the region is entering what amounts to "a new era", according to Norwegian scientists.

A switch from a permanent cover of thick ice to a new state where thinner ice vanishes in the summer will have far-reaching implications, they say.

Read full article Climate drives 'new era' in Arctic Ocean

Arctic mission monitors ice shift

A highly unusual expedition is under way in the Arctic Ocean where a research vessel has been parked in the ice all winter.

Run by the Norwegian Polar Institute, the mission is exploring the big questions of how the region is changing and what this means for the ice and the wildlife.

Read full article Arctic mission monitors ice shift

Longer-term thinking 'needed' on air pollution

Paris
The UK gets some pollution produced in France, and they get some of ours

Warnings about dirty air come so often that only the most severe seem to catch anyone's attention.

The last major episode to grab the headlines came a year ago when many areas of Britain were blanketed in a noxious brew that turned the skies grey-brown for several days.

Read full article Longer-term thinking 'needed' on air pollution

What is the point of the Large Hadron Collider?

inside the LHCb experiment
No small undertaking: the experiments occupy huge subterranean caverns

Every time fundamental research hits the headlines you can be sure that someone - maybe lots of people - will question whether it's worth it.

And so it is with the restart of this mother of all physics experiments, ready after its two-year upgrade to explore uncharted corners of the sub-atomic realm.

Read full article What is the point of the Large Hadron Collider?