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Top Science Stories of 2020
2020 has been an unprecedented year in science. From a global pandemic and race to find a cure, to exploring our planetary neighbours and our own world, stay in the know with the latest stories that defined this tumultuous year. 365 days marked by stark warnings about the planet's future and technological triumphs. During this journey around the sun, science continued to reveal stories of our past and also provide promise that we can overcome the obstacles in way some far ahead and others more immediate.
Top Science Stories
Global warming, and how to combat it, has provoked intense debate, changed the way we see the planet and created headlines around the world. But when and how did scientists first discover global warming, why has it led to such furious debate? In this three-part series geologist Dr Iain Stewart presents a definitive guide to the history of climate change.
Battle Begins uncovers some of the great unsung heroes of climate change science, and introduces us to a secret organisation of American government scientists, known as Jason, who wrote the first official report on global warming as far back as 1979. By the late 1980s global warming had already become a serious political issue. It looked as if the world was uniting to take action. But it turned out to be a false dawn.
The Climate Wars
Can We Cool the Planet
Are rising temperatures driving Earth's ecosystems past a point of no return? We have promising technologies that put solutions within our grasp. Scientists are exploring solutions: from geoengineering to sucking carbon out of the air to cloud brightening, as means to cool the planet. Cutting-edge solutions and high-risk measures. But would they work? And what are the risks of engineering Earth's climate?
Extinction: The Facts
With a million species at risk of extinction, Sir David Attenborough explores how this crisis of biodiversity has consequences for us all, threatening food and water security, undermining our ability to control our climate and even putting us at greater risk of pandemic diseases.
Everything in the natural world is connected in networks that support the whole of life on earth, and we are losing many of the benefits that nature provides to us. The loss of insects is threatening the pollination of crops, while the loss of biodiversity in the soil also threatens plants growth.
Last year, a UN report identified the key drivers of biodiversity loss, including overfishing, climate change and pollution. But the single biggest driver of biodiversity loss is the destruction of natural habitats. Seventy-five per cent of Earth's land surface (where not covered by ice) has been changed by humans, much of it for agriculture, and as consumers we may unwittingly be contributing towards the loss of species through what we buy in the supermarket. Human activities like the trade in animals and the destruction of habitats drive the emergence of diseases. Disease ecologists believe that if we continue on this pathway, this year’s pandemic will not be a one-off event.
Rainforests face more threats than ever before, but remain the last stronghold for some truly astonishing animal families. Today we know rainforests are some of the most wondrous and important habitats on Earth. It is the richest habitat on earth, teeming with millions of dramatic plants and animals. From giant landscape gardeners to a whole family supported by a single leaf, there are surprises at every turn.
The Private Life of Plants
Depeche Mode: Live in Berlin
The Last Dance
The Private Life of a Masterpiece
The Story of Science
Orbit: Earth Extraordinary Journey
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