Planet Earth online is the free, companion website to the award-winning magazine Planet Earth published and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Planet Earth covers news from across the environmental sciences - whether research is funded directly by NERC or is carried out by NERC's research and collaborative centres. It also covers the work of partner organisations, such as through the £1bn "Living with Environmental Change" programme.
Recycling heat from industry could reduce carbon emissions
Industrial processes that require high temperatures often expel any surplus heat into the environment. While industries are fairly good at using as much of this surplus as possible, a small amount of heat ...
Ragweed to become more widespread in Northern Europe as the climate changes
The highly allergenic plant ragweed is set to become more widespread throughout Northern Europe as the climate changes, according to a new study.
Individual ecosystems survived the largest known mass extinction event
The end of the Permian geologic time period, 252 million years ago, was marked by huge volcanic eruptions that resulted in global warming and a change in climate so severe it caused the extinction of nearly ...
New model predicts high-speed rail vibrations
Scientists have developed a new model to predict how much a new high-speed railway would shake the ground around it, and the effect this could have on those living near the line.
Snake venom collected decades ago remains as potent as ever
Snake venom collected decades ago is as potent as ever, an international team of researchers has concluded. So we may be able to use it for research rather than collecting more in the field - good news for ...
Changing climate may leave some species homeless
As oceans warm some species may be forced to find new habitats or face extinction, scientists say.
Scientists pinpoint the exact source of many of the rocks used to build Stonehenge
A new study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, suggests that the site researchers had previously thought was the starting place of many of Stonehenge's rocks may not have been the source ...
Ancient graves hint at cultural shift to Anglo-Saxon Britain
Human remains dug up from an ancient grave in Oxfordshire add to a growing body of evidence that Britain's fifth-century transition from Roman to Anglo-Saxon was cultural rather than bloody.
Floods caused lead poisoning in UK cattle
A case of lead poisoning that killed two young cattle on a West Wales farm was caused by contaminated flood deposits, new research has revealed.
Seabirds' personalities determine feeding styles
Seabirds have distinct individual personalities that affect where they feed and how likely they are to prosper, a pair of recent studies suggests.
Seashells provide million-year-old weather report
New research, published in Earth and Planetary Research Letters, led by scientists from the University of Cambridge, used plankton – tiny bugs, whose shells litter the ocean floors. By drilling into the ...
Big sperm don't always win the race
When females mate with more than one male, each one's sperm has to compete to get to her eggs. Until now, researchers had thought the fastest sperm would dominate.
Carbon dates cast doubt on Near East's role in human migration
The traditional view is that the first humans with anatomy like ours evolved in Africa, then from about 50,000 years ago started to spread into the Near East before continuing into Asia and Europe.
Leopards persist in mountain range despite persecution
An inaccessible, rugged mountain region in northeast South Africa is home to the densest leopard population outside a state-protected area anywhere in Africa, according to a recent study.
Biology of early human relative uncovered
The partial skeleton of an ancient hominin has been uncovered for the first time in Tanzania, giving a new insight into the species' biology, say scientists.