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The expansion of the Gobi desert in Central Asia was caused by the emergence of the Hangay and Altai ranges, according to a new study
A team led by researchers from the University of Maryland has produced the first high-resolution map of global forest extent, loss and gain

Trekking the salt trail

In the Nepalese Himalaya, a time-honoured trade route still favours the bold
How do cartographers and explorers come up with new names for locations and features in relatively recently discovered parts of the world? Adrian Fox and Kate Bazeley explore the history of naming Antarctica
A pair of University of Cincinnati researchers has used computer algorithms to develop a novel method for creating landscape maps
A team of US researchers has developed an online map through which users can view how people organise themselves according to variables such as age, income, race and household size in cities across the USA
Indecision by India and Pakistan has stalled Nepal’s attempt to gain recognition for five 8,000-metre-plus mountain peaks, according to a BBC report
Inspired by stories of European adventurers exploring the great West African rivers in centuries past, husband and wife team Jason Florio and Helen Jones-Florio followed the course of the River Gambia from source to mouth

The science of slums

In an edited extract from his new book, Danny Dorling argues that the idea of the population bomb is a fallacy and that the human population is checking its rise without the need for a grand plan
Adding calcium to the soil can help to reverse the decades-long decline of forests damaged by acid rain, according to a paper published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters
A team of scientists has found evidence of an enormous, previously unknown canyon hidden under the Greenland ice
Soot, or black carbon, released into the air as Europe rapidly industrialised, was probably responsible for the abrupt retreat of mountain glaciers in the Alps, according to a new study

Death of the riverboats

Part of a huge hydro-electricity project on the Mekong River and its tributaries, the construction of the Nam Ou 2 dam in Laos could devastate the lives of thousands who rely on the river for their income

Looking differently

Rainforest conservation has long focused on pristine jungle and indigenous communities. Geordie Torr visits a new project in Manu, Peru, that’s instead investigating the importance of degraded forest and immigrant communities
A team of NASA scientists has used satellite data to create the most detailed global maps of plant photosynthesis ever produced

Return to the desert

Despite a court victory that allowed Botswana’s Bushmen to return to their ancestral land, they continue to face harassment from a government keen to turn the land over to mining

Putting down roots

According to its supporters, the so-called Great Green Wall across northern Africa will stop food shortages, green the desert and even stop nomads roaming. But so far, it's still largely a grand vision

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DOSSIERS

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

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    Twenty years ago, Mexico City was considered the ultimate urban disaster. But, recent political and economic reforms have transformed it into a hub of...

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