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Wildlife Is Making A Comeback At Chernobyl, Now That People Have Left

The accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 had a devastating impact on the local population and forced 116,000 people to permanently leave their homes. But now researchers have discovered that, while the people may not have returned, the contaminated area of Belarus is teeming with wild animals, including elk, wild boar, deer and wolves. Perhaps surprisingly, many of these numbers seem to be on the rise and some of them are higher than in uncontaminated areas.

We Could Have Discovered Climate Change As Early As The 1940s If We Had Just Looked

The signs of global warming are hitting us over the head today — if you’ll remember, the fire and drought-ridden summer of 2015 was the also hottest in recorded history — but how long has our planet actually been feeling the heat? In parts of the tropics, anthropogenic climate change has been tinkering with the thermometer since the 1940s.

Feral Cats Can Destroy The Environment

Cats kill billions of small mammals, reptiles, and birds every year. In environments where cats have natural predators, like coyotes in parts of the United States, this isn’t a problem. But left unchecked, cats can become an invasive species that damages local ecosystems.

How Plants And Animals Would Colonise An Ice-Free Antarctica

Antarctica’s ice sheets could totally collapse if the world’s fossil fuels are burnt off, according to a recent climate change simulation. While we are unlikely to see such a dramatic event any time soon, we are already observing big changes and it’s worth considering what the worst case scenario might look like for the continent’s ecosystems. How long before Antarctica turns into grassy tundra?

A Mad Science Experiment Proves A Simple Evolutionary Hypothesis

You may consider your eyes a priceless commodity, but for Mexican cavefish, they were a burdensome expense. In a first-of-a-kind study, scientists have figured out exactly how much energy an animal saves by abandoning vision — in this case, anywhere from 5 to 15%.

Sperm Whale Clans Speak Different Dialects

We humans pride ourselves on our cultural diversity, but we’re not the only creatures that form unique societies. Turns out, two clans of sperm whales living near the Galápagos Islands speak different dialects — offering yet more evidence that animals have culture, too.

Polar Bears May Survive By Hunting Caribou As Arctic Ice Melts

Polar bears are the furry poster children for the impact of warming Arctic seas, but new research says they may be able adapt and survive the loss of Arctic sea ice by foraging on land.

Why Did 60,000 Antelope Drop Dead Over Four Days?

When 60,000 critically endangered saiga antelope dropped dead in central Kazakhstan in June, it had to have been a major bummer for the veterinarians who had just arrived to study the herd. Those wildlife vets have since become detectives, trying to unravel an Agatha Christie-worthy puzzle. Now they think they have a culprit, but it’s a baffling one.

Humans Have Eliminated Half The World's Trees

Human beings are having an overwhelming impact on Earth’s ecosystems, whether we’re pouring plastic into the ocean or filling the skies with carbon. But it’s not just modern society that’s to blame — our environmental legacy stretches way back into history. Since dawn of civilisation, we’ve caused nearly half of the world’s trees to disappear.

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