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The best science long reads of 2019

The best science long reads of 2019

Science
From the search for new dinosaur skeletons in the "Badlands" of Wyoming, to the push to return humans to the Moon for the first time since 1972, here's a festive selection of the best science and environment long reads published by the BBC this year.Mission Jurassic: Searching for dinosaur bones By Jonathan Amos This year, a team of scientists began an audacious dinosaur hunt.They have started to excavate a square mile (260 hectares) of land at a secret location in the "Badlands" of Wyoming - and have already discovered a treasure trove of bones. The researchers hope it will give them an unprecedented understanding of the dinosaurs that lived 150m years ago, and could help to solve the mystery of how these Jurassic beasts grew so huge. Read the feature ...
The big science and environment stories of 2019

The big science and environment stories of 2019

Science
This year, millions of people around the world mobilised in protest to highlight the dire emergency facing our planet. Could 2019 prove to be the year when talk turned to action on the climate crisis? We looked back at some of the biggest stories of the year in science and the environment.The year the world woke up? In 2019, the reaction to the ongoing climate crisis switched up another gear. Inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, the climate strike movement exploded this year. Millions took part in mass protests during the course of the year in countries as diverse as Australia, Uganda, Colombia, Japan, Germany and the UK.Greta chose to make a statement when she sailed - rather than flew - to a UN climate meeting in New Yor...

Science Says: Diet plays big role in how huge whales can get

Technology
A new study finds diet plays a big role in how large whales can getBy MALCOLM RITTER AP Science WriterDecember 14, 2019, 2:09 PM4 min readNEW YORK -- Whales are big, but why aren't they bigger? A new study says it's basically about how many calories they can take in. That's the conclusion of researchers who used small boats to chase down 300 whales of various species around the world. They reached out with a long pole to attach sensors to the creatures with suction cups, allowing them to record what the animals were doing on their dives for food. The results suggest body size is controlled by how whales capture prey and how much food is available, researchers reported Thursday in the journal Science. The study included 90 blue whales, the biggest animal ever to live. Size estima...
Science warnings, US retreat add urgency to UN climate talks

Science warnings, US retreat add urgency to UN climate talks

Technology
Mass protests, a last-minute venue change and talk of climate tipping points are adding some unplanned drama to this year’s international talks on tackling global warming. Delegates from almost 200 countries had hoped to put the finishing touches to the rules governing the 2015 Paris accord, ironing out a few wrinkles left over from last year’s conference in Katowice, Poland, and setting the scene for a major review of their efforts in 2020. But then Brazil pulled its offer of hosting the talks and stand-in Chile, rattled by anti-government protests, canceled five weeks before the meeting. Next, President Donald Trump served formal notice that the United States was quitting the Paris accord, delivering a symbolic blow to one of his predecessor’s signature achievements. And scienti
Researchers discover stellar black hole too large for science to explain

Researchers discover stellar black hole too large for science to explain

Science
Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A team of scientists based in China announced the discovery of a stellar black hole so large that science currently lacks an explanation for it. The Chinese Academy of Sciences said researchers at the academy's National Astronomical Observatory of China discovered LB-1, a black hole about 15,000 light years from earth and with a mass roughly 70 times greater than our sun. LB-1 is a stellar black hole, meaning it was formed by the explosion of a collapsing star, and scientists previously believed a black hole of this type could reach a size of no larger than 20 times the mass of our sun due to matter being lost to stellar winds during the star's collapse. "Black holes of such mass should not even exist in our galaxy, according to most of the current models of stellar evol...