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.
London heat boost underestimated
London's urban heat island effect, which keeps night-time temperatures in the capital warmer than in surrounding rural areas, may have been underestimated by up to 45 per cent.
Litter now everywhere in the ocean
Litter is now found in even the most remote areas of the oceans, say scientists trying to understand how much rubbish is lying at the bottom of Europe's seas.
Marine bacteria unfazed by rising ocean acidification
Bacteria are more resistant to ocean acidification than previously thought, say scientists.
Ancient grassland species take a century to return
Old chalk grasslands that have been disturbed by farming can take more than a hundred years to recover their full diversity of plants, new research shows.
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.
Orangutan nests reveal engineering expertise
An innovative study looking at how orangutans build their nests has revealed that the apes use a high level of engineering know-how.
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.
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.
High-CO2 world threatens seabed life
Environmental change is transforming many parts of the north-east Atlantic seabed, and according to a newly-published paper this will almost certainly get worse in the coming decades.
Clear link between solar activity and winter weather revealed
Scientists have demonstrated a clear link between the 11-year sun cycle and winter weather over the northern hemisphere for the first time.