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.
New critter discovered on whale carcass
A new species of bug, similar in appearance to the common woodlouse, has been found plastered all over a whale carcass on the floor of the deep Southern Ocean.
India's ancient mammals survived multiple pressures
Most of the mammals that lived in India 200,000 years ago still roam the subcontinent today, in spite of two ice ages, a volcanic super-eruption and the arrival of people, a study reveals.
Cod may serenade females with rhythmic grunts
Male cod may 'sing' to females during mating, suggests a new study investigating the sounds cod and pollack produce during the spawning season.
Volcanic eruptions may affect oceanic microbial processes
Extensive, explosive volcanic eruptions may disrupt a crucial aspect of the global nitrogen cycle, say researchers who have investigated ash deposits on the ocean floor.
Asian elephants that reproduce at a younger age are more likely to die younger
Researchers wanted to understand what causes differences in the reproductive success of the endangered elephants.
New planes could cut aviation carbon emissions
Policies that encourage airlines to replace the old planes in their fleet with newer models could lead to substantial cuts in aviation carbon emissions, according to new research.
Water treatment could be carbon neutral
Carbon dioxide released by some wastewater treatment plants could be recycled at the same time as enhancing the production of renewable energy in the form of natural gas, say scientists.
Variety the spice of life for pollinating insects
Planting a variety of flowers on farmland could boost the number and diversity of pollinating insects, according to new research.
Long-tailed tits set for climate boost
Long-tailed tits will be an unlikely beneficiary of climate change, according to new research.
Owls in trouble in a changing world
Tawny owls are threatened with long-term decline because environmental change is dampening the population cycles of their favoured prey, a new study has shown. If the situation continues, the owls will slowly ...
Seabird guano releases more ammonia at tropics
Seabird guano emits more ammonia into the atmosphere in warmer and wetter climates, scientists have found.
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.