Regrowing a tropical forest – is it better to plant trees or leave it to nature?

David Burslem, University of Aberdeen; Christopher Philipson, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, and Mark Cutler, University of Dundee The destruction of tropical forests is a major contributor to biodiversity loss and the climate crisis. In response, conservationists and scientists like us are debating how to best catalyze the recovery of these forests. How do …

Early magma oceans of Earth detected in 3.7 billion-year-old Greenland rocks

Earth hasn’t always been a blue and green oasis of life in an otherwise inhospitable solar system. During our planet’s first 50 million years, around 4.5 billion years ago, its surface was a hellscape of magma oceans, bubbling and belching with heat from Earth’s interior. Helen M Williams, University of Cambridge

Earth has stayed habitable for billions of years – exactly how lucky did we get?

Toby Tyrrell, University of Southampton It took evolution 3 or 4 billion years to produce Homo sapiens. If the climate had completely failed just once in that time then evolution would have come to a crashing halt and we would not be here now. So to understand how we came to exist on planet Earth, …

Why Crocodiles today look the same as they did 200 million years ago?

Max Stockdale, University of Bristol One of the most enduring tropes about crocodiles is to describe them as “living fossils”. They are cold, slow-moving, and scaly, so they look like how one might picture a dinosaur. Like many clichés, there is an element of truth to this comparison. The crocodiles from 200 million years ago …

Top 5 Places that require bird control

Today, pigeons have made themselves feel at home in the cities like New York, but they actually belong to the seaside cliffs in the rest of the world where they were domesticated thousands of years ago. They were farmed for protein at first, like chicken. Then they were bred as messengers. In around the 16th …