China's commercial hub Shanghai was blanketed by dense smog Friday, delaying flights and spurring sales of face masks.
Levels of PM 2.5 -- tiny particles in the air considered particularly hazardous to health -- rose to more than 600 micrograms per cubic meter in the afternoon, Shanghai's government said on its microblog.Full Story
President Francois Hollande said Thursday France would increase fines for illegal trading in ivory and endangered animal species.
Speaking at a round table on poaching that gathered French and African leaders, Hollande said he had asked Justice Minister Christiane Taubira to ramp up action against trafficking in imperiled species and animal parts.Full Story
Thirty-five pilot whales stranded in a remote part of Florida's Everglades National Park headed toward deeper waters, raising hopes that they could be saved.
Eleven whales have died since the mass stranding was first reported Tuesday after an additional carcass was found. Four of them had to be euthanized.Full Story
A thin layer of very fine clay with a consistency similar to some cosmetics made Japan's tsunami-causing earthquake of 2011 much more dramatic because it acted as a lubricant, scientists say.
The narrow strip of slippery, wet clay that sits between two tectonic plates off the country's northeast coast allowed them to shift past each other at tremendous speed and to travel much further than in most regular quakes, researchers said.Full Story
Anthropologists said Wednesday they had decoded the oldest DNA ever found in the human family, extracted from a 400,000-year-old thigh bone found in a pit in Spain.
The feat expands knowledge of human genetics by some 300,000 years, they said, but also suggests the odyssey of Man's evolution may have been more convoluted than thought.Full Story
Australian researchers said Thursday they had established the existence of vast freshwater reserves trapped beneath the ocean floor which could sustain future generations as current sources dwindle.
Lead author Vincent Post, from Australia's Flinders University, said that an estimated 500,000 cubic kilometers (120,000 cubic miles) of low-salinity water had been found buried beneath the seabed on continental shelves off Australia, China, North America and South Africa.Full Story
Oil exploration and increased sea traffic in the Arctic are encroaching on polar bear habitat, adding to the existing climate change risk, representatives of Arctic nations said at a Moscow conference Wednesday.
"Today we face new challenges with the ship traffic increase and the oil and gas development," Canada's Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said at the international forum on polar bear conservation organised by the World Wildlife Fund.Full Story
The U.N.'s new Green Climate Fund (GCF)opened its headquarters in South Korea on Wednesday, facing the key challenge of funding its mission to support low carbon projects around the world.
The GCF was essentially created as a mechanism for transferring funds from developed to developing nations to help them counter the effects of climate change.Full Story
From the sky, the 84 glimmering white turbines at Ashegoda wind farm shoot up from the ground like massive spokes, standing out high amid vast expanses of yellow wheat.
Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, mostly populated by cattle farmers who grow the country's staple grains, is an unlikely site for a modern French-run wind farm, let alone sub-Saharan Africa's largest.Full Story
After two delays, private U.S. company SpaceX on Tuesday successfully launched its first commercial satellite, after repairs were made to the Falcon 9 rocket.
It roared into space at 2241 GMT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, SpaceX said in a statement.Full Story