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Image copyright SPL The rich benefit most from a de facto subsidy for home heating, a report says. The paper from the think tank Green Alliance makes the point that heating gas incurs VAT at only 5% instead of the usual 20%. Because the wealthy own the biggest houses, it says, they gain twice as …

Image copyright EHT Image caption Examining old data, the scientists can tell the bright region in the ring moves around When scientists presented the first ever picture of a black hole last year, it was hailed as an extraordinary breakthrough. Well, now they’ve released some additional imagery that was acquired in the years running up …

Image copyright EPA Image caption China’s President Xi Jinping addressing the UN via video link China will aim to hit peak emissions before 2030 and for carbon neutrality by 2060, President Xi Jinping has announced. Mr Xi outlined the steps when speaking via videolink to the UN General Assembly in New York. The announcement is …

Image caption In the UK, wheat is the largest arable crop A plan to use all of England’s farm grants to protect the environment is being diluted, the BBC has learned. Currently, farmers get a guaranteed EU grant based on the amount of land they farm. Ministers said that after Brexit they must earn grants …

Image copyright Dan Crowley Image caption Maples are known by the scientific name, Acer One in five maple species are threatened in the wild, according to the first full assessment of extinction risks. Known for the vivid colour of their autumn leaves, the trees are popular in parks and gardens. But in their natural habitats, …

image copyrightSupplied Toxins made by microscopic algae in water caused the previously unexplained deaths of hundreds of elephants in Botswana, wildlife officials say. Botswana is home to a third of Africa’s declining elephant population. The alarm was raised when elephant carcasses were spotted in the country’s Okavango Delta between May and June. Officials say a …

There is a powerful new satellite in the sky to monitor emissions of methane (CH4), one of the key gases driving human-induced climate change. Known as Iris, the spacecraft can map plumes of CH4 in the atmosphere down to a resolution of just 25m. This makes it possible to identify individual sources, such as specific …

image copyrightGetty Images image captionThe trees – known as the gympie-gympie among Australians – are primarily found in north-eastern Queensland Toxins produced by Australia’s stinging trees bear a strong resemblance to those of spiders and scorpions, scientists have found. The findings, published in the Science Advances journal, come from University of Queensland researchers. Those stung …

A man who has thought a lot about the maths behind stirring cups of tea has won one of the world’s most lucrative academic prizes. Professor Sir Martin Hairer from Imperial College in London won the 2021 Breakthrough Prize for Mathematics by applying complex maths to simple situations – like stirring a cup of tea. …

Image copyright Getty Images Dozens of wildfires have been burning their way through swathes of the US West Coast over the last month, killing more than 30 people and forcing tens of thousands from their homes. Lightning strikes in August sparked a number of the blazes, while warm temperatures and dry conditions have fuelled additional …