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Unique study of blooming patterns of high-altitude wildflowers in the Rocky Mountains shows the plants’ response to climate change is more complex than previously believed

Diamonds are forever

Will Millard, the winner of the 2013 Journey of a Lifetime award, recalls an uncomfortable episode during his attempt to packraft down the Moro River to mark the foundation of a new peace park in Sierra Leone and Liberia
A graduate student from the University of California, Los Angeles has developed a new method for remotely measuring river flows
EU researchers develop mapping software that uses correlations of environmental and health data to identify areas that are at risk of disease outbreaks

Hung out to dry

Wetlands are vital storehouses of biodiversity and important bulwarks against the effects of climate change, while also providing livelihoods for millions of people, but they’re being lost at an increasing rate
Short-term prospects for the Aral Sea catchment in Central Asia better than previously thought

Defenders of the forest

Threats to Cambodia’s remote Cardamom forests, which offer a last refuge to numerous endangered species, have led to the formation of an unusual alliance
An international team of scientists has developed a map that identifies the areas in tropical Africa where carbon-stocking projects would provide the greatest benefits
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

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