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Ingenious water treatment and hybrid African cars were among the highlights of our coverage of 2015. But climate change and environmental damage also caught the eyes of our readers. Based on the number of views each story received, here is the countdown of our top ten news articles of the year.

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10. India and Saudi Arabia reject science for 1.5 degrees goal

The two countries prevent evidence for a more ambitious climate goal from being used at the COP 21 summit.

Map on Wall_Sven Torfinn_Panos

9. ‘Gap maps’ show the holes in development evidence

A series of maps points to missing evidence on whether water, sanitation and hygiene projects have worked.

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8. Soil erosion may threaten global food security

Study calls for more efficient nutrient recycling to limit erosion’s impact on food availability.

Bubble desalination

7. Bubble desalination latest effort to boost crop growth

Humid greenhouse turns salt water into fresh water in hot, arid regions.

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6. Report finds homosexuality is part of African life

A controversial study proves that homosexuality is not ‘un-African’ and that embracing it boosts development.

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5. Saudi Arabia blocks drive to tighten global warming cap

The country refuses draft climate deal that calls for more research on 1.5 degree warming cap (see 10).

promising farming practices

4. African universities advised to team up on agriculture

The continent could develop its own farming tech if academic collaboration is improved, hears meeting.


Kiira smack

3. Uganda pushes ahead with ‘risky’ car plans

Kiira motors wants to make 7,000 hybrid cars a year by 2018, but Kenyan firms are strong competition.

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2. Canal could turn Lake Nicaragua into ‘dead zone’

Dredging for US$50 billion construction project risks wiping out the lake’s fish.


two people drinking water

1. Egyptian method filters seawater in minutes

The technology uses evaporation to create cheap and effective way to make potable water.