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.
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.
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.
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.
Scientists show how deadly volcanic phenomenon moves
For the first time scientists have tracked how one of the deadliest volcanic hazards moves over time.
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.
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.
Long-tailed tits set for climate boost
Long-tailed tits will be an unlikely beneficiary of climate change, according to new research.
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 all animals on ...
Discovery of oldest footprints gives clues to Mexico's climate
The oldest human footprints in North America have been dated for the first time and could help scientists to understand what Mexico's climate was like 7000 years ago.
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 scientists and ...