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.
The rapid evolution of cobra venom
A new study has provided the first comprehensive insight into how snake venom evolved into the sophisticated cocktail of different proteins it is today.
City birds tougher than their country counterparts
Urban breeding birds appeared to cope better with the UK's cold, wet spring of 2012 than those living in woodland.
Satellite Swarm prepares for take-off
Three satellites, each the size of a small car, will take off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia on Friday.
Study supports policy of culling young deer alongside mother
The research, published in Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, is the first to examine the impact on calves of losing their mothers, something that can happen during a culling season.
Rainforest carbon recovers faster than biodiversity
When tropical forests are cleared, they can take a century or more to re-absorb the carbon they once held, according to a new study. But their biodiversity is even slower to recover, and some species may ...
Green roofs may be a source of pollution
Green roofs could become a future source of water pollution, says a new study.
Bushmeat a safety net for West African farmers
Cocoa farmers in West Africa are using bushmeat as a back-up source of food and income in times of hardship, according to new research.
Sudden climate change varies from country to country
Different countries may have recovered faster than others as the last Ice Age ended, new research shows.
Papyrus charcoal offers new fuel source
Turning local sources of underused biomass like maize cobs or papyrus stems into charcoal briquettes could provide better fuel for people across East Africa, scientists suggest. This new, sustainable energy ...
Lowest temperature for life discovered
Scientists have pinpointed the lowest temperature at which simple life can live and grow.
Online tool boosts ash cloud forecasts
A new online tool for predicting the amount of ash pumped into the atmosphere during a volcanic eruption has been made openly available to scientists around the world.
Scientists call for global action on coral reefs
Urgent cuts in carbon emissions are needed if Caribbean coral reefs are to survive past the end of the century, scientists have warned.
Bird eggs reveal urban pollution
Birds' eggs show just how serious a problem river pollution remains in the UK's former industrial heartlands, according to a new study.
Double effort needed to clean up Thames
The River Thames will fail to meet pollution standards in 2015 unless farmers use 20 per cent less fertiliser and water companies reduce phosphorus discharges from sewage treatment, according to a new study.
Melting in the Afar helps scientists understand how oceans form
Lavas from the Afar Depression in Ethiopia, where three tectonic plates are spreading apart, have given scientists a new insight into how ocean basins form.