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Top Science Stories of 2020

   2020    Science
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.
Series: Top Science Stories

Battle Begins

       Nature
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.
Series: The Climate Wars

Extinction: The Facts

   2020    Nature
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.

Food Water Waste

   2020    Nature
Across the world, rising demands for food, water and materials have pushed resources to the limit. Many parts of the world have major challenges over fresh water. A lot of soils have a lot of residual pesticides and herbicides. At the same time waste is piling higher. All this demands a new wave of innovation. The challenge is to make more of the things we need without the environmental cost.
Series: The Great Acceleration

Energy Revolutions

   2020    Technology
Over the last years, the world has experienced an energy revolution, driven by an urgent need to green the grid and save life on Earth as we know it. 50 years ago, a devastating oil crisis kicked off an energy revolution. The world set course to cut the costly habit of burning fossil fuels. With the urgent new threat of a changing climate, the drive to unleash the power of the sun, earth and wind has accelerated into a race for humanity's survival. Change is taken place but, is it happening fast enough to secure our future? Technologies are right here, right now, and they will enable the transition to 100% renewables, because winning the energy race means a win for the entire world.
Series: The Great Acceleration

Forests

   2019    Nature    HD
The last episode examines the fragile interdependence that exists between forests' wide variety of residents, including bald eagles, hunting dogs and Siberian tigers.
Over half of all the world's trees, evergreen and deciduous, stand in great assemblies. For many of us, they are places of mystery and darkness. They are key to our climate, and home to countless unique species. The boreal forest contains 750 billion trees, and it stores over 40 percent of the world's carbon, making it a vital element in the fight against climate change. In the past, we have destroyed them without hesitation. Yet, forests do have an astonishing ability to recover. If we choose to give forests time and space, they could reclothe the earth with much of the rich and varied communities of animals and plants of which we have, so recently, robbed it. A future with more forests is key to the resilience of our planet.
Series: Our Planet
Planet Earth

Planet Earth

   2007    Nature
The Lost Pirate Kingdom

The Lost Pirate Kingdom

   2021    History
The Last Dance

The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
The Human Body

The Human Body

   1998    Medicine
Wild Wild Country

Wild Wild Country

   2018    Culture
Elvis Presley: The Searcher

Elvis Presley: The Searcher

   2018    History
One Strange Rock

One Strange Rock

   2018    Science
Leaving Neverland

Leaving Neverland

   2019    Culture