Our directory of things of interest


For the past six years, Abu Dhabi has been building what it hopes will be the world’s leading eco-city – Masdar City. But questions are being asked as to just who these types of man-made habitats are actually for

Global tree cover

There is a long tradition in the emotional relationship between people and forests. We can get an understanding of the extent of the global tree cover from satellite sensors such as NASA’s MODIS

Indonesia’s fire fight

Indonesia’s Riau province faced a health crisis this year with 50,000 people laid low with respiratory illnesses due to forest fire haze, according to the country’s disaster management authorities
When deforestation occurs in South America, Southeast Asia and Africa, the effects on crop production will be felt in areas as far away as the US Midwest, Europe and China, according to a new study published in Nature
The controversial rival to the Panama canal is set to break ground on the beginning of a $50billion construction project, which will carve the country in two

Cartography and catastrophe

When disaster strikes, the United Nations turns to a charity based in a tiny Buckinghamshire hamlet. Tom Hart discovers how Map Action charts disasters that range from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines to the refugee crisis in the Middle East
Fabled Himalayan kingdom Shangri-la may be a myth, but geologists have uncovered a hidden gorge buried beside the Yarlung Tsangpo River in southern Tibet that throws into doubt previous theories on how the famous gorges of the Himalayas were formed

Ed Davey versus America

50,000 Americans have petitioned Ed Davey to end the UK’s programme for wood pellet power generation

This is the way to Amarilla

A second line on the world’s biggest urban cable car network, known as the Línea Amarilla (‘yellow line’), has opened in Bolivia’s capital city, La Paz
Rapidly climbing levels of obesity across China are being blamed on bad urban design that encourages car usage over walking
The ever-growing international trade in beef, soy, palm oil and wood products has been found as one of the key drivers of worldwide deforestation
A new report has confirmed worldwide urban agriculture now totals 456 million hectares and shows an increase in food being both grown and consumed within cities
UK youth unemployment has fallen again, but October’s figures still remain above pre-recession levels, according to the latest labour market figures
A new report shows the geography behind fast food, diabetes and ethnicity in the UK
Just a few kilometres from the congested downtown of a city whose choking traffic fumes have seen it dubbed the Big Smoke sits a strange anomaly, a dark, placid, fecund place existing in a world of noise, light and chaos
Under the shadow of Mont Blanc, the Alpine town of Chamonix has been a tourist magnet since the 18th century. But as tourism and climate change put pressure on the surrounding environment, the local authorities have decided to act

Urban ecosystems found

New research from the US has shed light on ecosystems that exist in urban areas and explain how interactions between humans, geology, chemistry and biology contributed toward urban ecosystems that are particularly sensitive to mismanagement

Eat the Alps

Hidden in a forgotten corner of Austria, the Lungau is a naturally beautiful biosphere with a talent for self-sufficiency

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Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

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    The true cost of meat
    As one of the world’s biggest methane emitters, the meat industry has a lot more to concern itself with than merely dietary issues ...


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