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Saving the forest on a shoestring

Around 80% of the Atlantic Rainforest has been lost as growers of crops like sugar cane have cleared trees to make way for plantations. But a low-cost method could help restore biodiversity.

28 Nov 2018

The Goldilocks effect: Weighing the world's forests

It is an old complaint: not being able to see the wood for the trees. But the grumble is being smashed thanks to a new dimension from a European Space Agency mission soon to launch.

26 Nov 2018

Smoother and safer flying

Flying through a patch of severe and unexpected turbulence is an unforgettable, unsettling and sometimes painful experience for tens of thousands of passengers each year.

22 Nov 2018

Uncovering energy hidden in the cracks

The discovery of an alternative source of oil in the Scottish Highlands could help the UK meet its spiralling energy needs.

20 Nov 2018

Protecting biodiversity in palm oil

News that chocolate, bread and dried fruit all share a common ingredient with household detergents and cosmetics might sound both unlikely and unappetising. However, palm oil is used in each of these and many more everyday products.

15 Nov 2018

The plastics journey: Where are we now?

While plastics have many benefits, plastic waste is a serious form of pollution, particularly in our oceans. Here we take a look at the history of plastics and where we are now.

8 Nov 2018

From "trivial issue" to primetime TV: A researcher's journey through plastic

It is a rare TV programme that has the instant impact of David Attenborough's Blue Planet II.

8 Nov 2018

I'm a bat biologist

Contrary to popular belief, bats are friendly creatures that play an important role in many environments around the world.

2 Nov 2018

Better cocoa crops for better livelihoods

Chocolate may be one of life's little pleasures, but in Ghana, for many, it is the very means of life.

31 Oct 2018

Flood research by numbers

NERC flood science saves lives, homes and businesses. Here are a few fast facts on some of our successes.

19 Oct 2018

How can we work with nature to reduce flood risk?

Our new video explores how using nature to manage flooding can make a real difference to protecting communities.

19 Oct 2018

It is a tale of survival for plants and insects

Insect pollinators that have survived the impacts of intensive agriculture may be more able to resist future environmental changes than previously thought.

9 Oct 2018

Clear biodiversity commitments made by nearly one third of the world's biggest companies

Some of the world's biggest private sector companies are committing to address their environmental impacts and factoring biodiversity into their sustainability reports.

4 Oct 2018

Tiny fossils reveal how shrinking was essential for successful evolution

Scientists have discovered that mammals successfully evolved over the years by getting smaller in size.

18 Sep 2018

Scientists closing in on source of Shetland tsunamis

Shetland has been hit by at least two more tsunamis in the past 10,000 years than previously thought, and scientists are working to identify where the giant waves originated.

17 Sep 2018

Keeping satellites in the sky

As part of a series of interviews with new NERC Independent Research Fellows, Ingrid Cnossen talks about the beauty of flexible working and how understanding the weather can help to keep satellites in orbit.

29 Aug 2018

Under the faultlines

As part of a series of interviews with new NERC Independent Research Fellows, Craig Magee tells us about the portability of being a fellow and why he's going underground to uncover the science behind volcanic eruptions.

29 Aug 2018

Unlocking the mysteries of life giving microbes

As part of a series of interviews with new NERC Independent Research Fellows, Katherine Helliwell tells us about what motivated her to apply for the scheme and the benefits of getting to grips with phytoplankton.

29 Aug 2018

New technology models cities' air quality in under 10 minutes

Dr Nicola Masey has found that a new system can accurately model air quality in large cities like London in minutes, within five metres of any given location using just a standard office computer.

21 Aug 2018

Sydney rock oysters shrinking due to coastal acidification

Sydney rock oysters, found only in the waters of Australia and New Zealand, are getting smaller due to coastal acidification, a new report has found.

16 Aug 2018

Genetic toolkit gives periwinkles seashore advantage

Periwinkles, struggling to survive the seashore battleground, have developed a genetic toolkit to help them adapt to different environments, a new study shows.

10 Aug 2018

Scientists take to the skies to measure emissions from Greater Manchester moor fires

Scientists flew through the plumes of smoke rising from the Greater Manchester moor fires to sample pollution levels.

11 Jul 2018

Why is the UK's honeypot shrinking?

An innovative monitoring scheme could provide a better understanding of the factors that impact on the size and health of honeybee populations, and on honey yields.

9 Jul 2018

Sea robots show Arctic climate change

Underwater robots have uncovered new evidence about life in the Arctic and, for the first time, revealed the moment the region's marine ecosystem springs into life after the dark winter season.

8 Jun 2018

How much time is left to meet the Paris climate agreement?

Dr Phil Goodwin and Professor Ric Williams ran 100 million simulations of carbon emissions and warming to find out.

4 Jun 2018

Hay Trans.MISSION Q&A with Chris Haughton and Dr Emily Shuckburgh

Dr Emily Shuckburgh worked with author and illustrator Chris Haughton to show how scientists measure the impacts of CO2 over time.

26 May 2018

Hay Trans.MISSION Q&A with Dan Binns and Professor Ally Lewis

Aardman director Dan Binns teamed up with Professor Ally Lewis to explore the surprising amount of air pollution emitted by the home.

26 May 2018

Hay Trans.MISSION Q&A with Nicola Davies and Professor Ed Hawkins

Poet Nicola Davies teamed up with Professor Ed Hawkins to explore climate and weather in a series of poems set to images.

26 May 2018

Mining for answers in the ocean's archives

With a death toll of more than 250,000 people, the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 was one of the most devastating disasters of recent history.

23 May 2018

Securing the UK's natural carbon storage

The UK's spectacular scenery attracts millions of visitors from around the world. Iconic heath, peatland and sea lochs don't just look beautiful though. They are shaped by the changing climate.

17 May 2018

Building an offshore wind farm

Mapping the seabed off the northeast coast of the UK to help find the best site for future offshore wind energy developments.

3 May 2018

Painting underwater pictures with sound

Silent marine robots that record sounds underwater are allowing researchers at the University of East Anglia to listen to the oceans as never before.

10 Apr 2018

Skin of the Earth

Exploding populations are challenging the world to keep more people fed using less - and less good quality - land.

22 Mar 2018

Helping species on the move

Meet the software for working out where species will thrive in future, as global warming pushes them north seeking cooler places and key habitat is lost.

8 Mar 2018

How cities draw the heat

It is 15 years since the UK sweltered in the record-breaking 2003 summer heatwave. While the sunshine was welcome to many, it also brought deadly consequences, with more than 2,000 people across England and Wales dying in the stifling heat

22 Feb 2018

Secrets of sudden death of 200,000 antelopes in Central Asia

In May 2015 the sudden death of more than 200,000 saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan baffled the world.

18 Jan 2018

On the way to plastic-free oceans

Four days since leaving port, Dr Katsiaryna Pabortsava reaches her destination. She's in the middle of the North Atlantic, thousands of miles from land, and she's looking for microplastics.

8 Jan 2018

Our changing Arctic

The Barents Sea is a wild, dark, stormy old ocean. Who would want to be out there on a ship in January?

17 Nov 2017

Seals and our shores

Our relationship with seals has changed significantly over the years but now, more than ever, the focus is on ensuring that our survival does not threaten theirs.

15 Nov 2017

Where does bad air come from?

Auchencorth Moss is one of Scotland's distinctive moorlands, this precious habitat is now providing valuable information for scientists working to combat air pollution in cities and towns across the country.

13 Nov 2017

Your tropical food trolley

Tropical climates in the depths of Asia, Africa or South America might seem a world away from the checkout queue in your average Scottish supermarket or corner shop. But if your basket contains chocolate, coffee, bananas or rice, you can almost guarantee that what you eat comes from far warmer places thousands of miles away.

10 Nov 2017

Good pointers

When you open up the mapping app on your smartphone, a little blue dot appears showing where you are. Out one side, a little shadow shows which way you're facing. Type in your destination and it leads the way. It knows if you pause and it knows when to tell you to turn.

7 Nov 2017

Solving the mystery of Shetland's tsunami sands

Shetland's wild, rugged landscape has long fascinated scientists, but for one British Geological Survey marine geologist, it's the seabed around the islands that have ignited his interest.

6 Nov 2017

Scotland seen by satellites

The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology has used the latest satellite technology to launch new digital maps showing the differences of the UK countryside. The maps show the UK's most built-up, most wooded and most farmed counties.

1 Nov 2017

I'm a puffin scientist

The future looks brighter for the colourful puffins on the Isle of May off the coast of Fife in Scotland.

27 Oct 2017

Tags: Birds, Marine life, UK

X-rays of Scotland's seabed reveal how Ice Age ended

Scientists have X-rayed sediment cores taken from the seabed around the coast of North West Scotland and Shetland to solve the mystery of what happened to Scotland's ice sheet at the end of the Ice Age.

27 Oct 2017

Meet your inner lizard

An ancient little lizard-like creature from the Scottish Borders is the missing ancestral link between human beings and the fish we evolved from millions of years ago.

24 Oct 2017

What do you think is the biggest question on Earth?

This 17-19 November at 'UnEarthed. Explore the world at your feet', about 100 NERC-funded scientists are engaging the public with the biggest questions on Earth.

20 Oct 2017

UK's most wanted...

You've probably heard of the harlequin ladybird and you've certainly seen a grey squirrel, but what about others that might be on their way?

22 Sep 2017

Microplastics in the bellies of creatures living at the bottom of the ocean

Around half of marine creatures living at depths of more than 2,000 metres in the North Atlantic could be eating microplastic material, marine scientists have discovered.

18 Sep 2017

30 years of healing the ozone layer

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The signing of the Montreal Protocol was a landmark political event. The treaty is the first in the history of the United Nations to achieve universal ratification. Environmental science made it happen.

11 Sep 2017

Biodiversity detectives!

Take a look at some of the amazing techniques scientists use to follow nature's clues.

8 Sep 2017

Down in the bottom of the deep blue sea

Deep sea covers most of our planet and yet we know more about the surface of the moon than its dark depths.

15 Aug 2017

Uncovering changing climate in the UK's seas, coasts and oceans

Climate change is having important effects on UK seas and coastlines and these have been brought together by the UK Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) in their report published today.

28 Jul 2017

Making clean growth happen

How cutting-edge environmental research supports the growth of the UK economy.

21 Jul 2017

Green and Black Ambassadors

In early 2017 NERC funded 18 projects to engage the UK public with environmental science around challenging issues.

17 Jul 2017

New £10 million Changing Arctic Ocean research programme kicks off

More than 20 researchers from 16 UK research institutes, including British Antarctic Survey, will join forces on board the RRS James Clark Ross to investigate the knock-on effects of rapid warming and sea-ice loss in the Arctic region.

10 Jul 2017

Do neonicotinoids have a sting in their tail?

Today, the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology has published the results from its large-scale neonicotinoid field study.

30 Jun 2017

Every land volcano on Earth to be monitored from space

Data from two European Space Station Sentinel satellites that routinely map the planet's surface will be used to monitor volcanoes.

29 Jun 2017

Bring your garden to life

Could your garden be a vital frontline in the battle to protect and promote biodiversity? Barry Hague spoke to Professors Rosie Hails and Nigel Dunnett to find out more.

22 Jun 2017

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity is a word that covers so many things that its precise meaning can be tricky to pin down. So we asked Professor David Raffaelli, the director of one of our biggest biodiversity research programmes, to give us a bit of background.

15 Jun 2017

Tags: Biodiversity

The UK researchers seeking origins of China's smog

Research being conducted at a Beijing super-site is monitoring concentrations and varieties of airborne particles and volatile gases in the atmosphere and their potential impact on human health.

18 Apr 2017

Devil rays get worldwide protection, and genetic tools could catch out illegal traders

Devil rays, close cousins of the enormous manta rays, are stars of nature documentaries. These charismatic creatures are under threat from humans, specifically, because of the gill plate trade.

12 Apr 2017

Keeping back the floods resources available

Want to get to know your fluvial from your pluvial? Use our posters and postcards to get up to date with what causes flooding and what's being done to reduce its impact.

10 Apr 2017

Tags: Flooding

RRS Sir David Attenborough polar research ship one year on

It's exactly a year since NERC launched a campaign to name our new polar research vessel. We take a look at what's happened since RRS Sir David Attenborough was picked.

13 Mar 2017

Flash Flood! - Environmental science in virtual reality

If you came to last October's Into the blue science showcase in Manchester you may have been offered the chance to immerse yourself in a dangerous virtual river valley, with the game Flash Flood!

2 Mar 2017

Revealing the UK's hidden depths

Underneath the Earth's surface lies a wealth of resources. But will the way we currently use them give us problems in the future? Dr Ciaran Beggan, Dr Andrew Barkwith and Dr Caroline Graham at the British Geological Survey (BGS) explain why we need a clearer picture.

27 Feb 2017

New footage shows crack in Larsen C Ice Shelf

Currently a huge iceberg, roughly the size of Norfolk, looks set to break off the Larsen C Ice Shelf, which is more than twice the size of Wales.

22 Feb 2017

Trees of the sea share their secrets

Coralline algae are found on nearly every shore in the world and could be holding important clues to climate change. Kelvin Boot explores.

22 Feb 2017

Managing flooding by working with nature

The government announced £15 million for natural flood management initiatives, we went to find out more about what they are and what they can do.

20 Feb 2017

Is climate change causing more UK floods?

Nick Reynard, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology's lead for natural hazards, reports.

16 Feb 2017

Groundwater: The threat beneath our feet

Groundwater is the ultimate invisible asset. Originating in rain and snowfall that works its way down into soil and rock, it supports key ecosystems and meets the water needs of millions. But it can also pose a potential flood risk.

13 Feb 2017

Equipping the UK to cope with coastal erosion

Frequently linked to an increased threat from flooding, coastal erosion was widespread in the 20th century. We explain how the iCOASST project is helping to reveal what the next hundred years could hold.

1 Feb 2017

On the road to resilience in Ethiopia

It's time to rethink roads. In the vital fields of flood prevention and water supply, they offer incredible potential to enhance and enrich the lives of some of the world's poorest people.

12 Jan 2017

How could governments around the world protect bees?

NERC-funded researchers have gathered crucial evidence on how governments and people can best protect pollinators vital to the production of food worldwide.

29 Nov 2016

Antibiotic resistance must be tackled in the field

We could be encouraging antimicrobial resistance by overusing antibiotics but other factors may also be at play. We spoke to researchers going beyond the clinic to understand how drug-resistance builds up in the bacteria in our sewers and rivers.

22 Nov 2016

Scientists measure snow density in Greenland

Last month, scientists from the Centre for Polar Observation & Modelling (CPOM) headed to Greenland to carry out vital fieldwork as part of a NERC-CryoSat contract to calibrate and validate measurements taken by the satellite.

10 Nov 2016

New images capture Into the blue spirit

Pictured together for the first time, two of NERC's key scientific instruments capture the essence of Into the blue, a public showcase of environmental science in the northwest of England where both ship and aircraft will be on display.

3 Oct 2016

Air pollution questions with Professor Frank Kelly

Professor Kelly holds the chair in environmental health at King's College London, where he is director of the Analytical & Environmental Sciences Division. Here, he answers some key questions about air pollution in the UK's capital.

3 Oct 2016

Taking UK atmospheric science global

London's atmosphere may still have its mysteries, but compared to many places it's an open book.

30 Sep 2016

Who's to blame for bad air?

Controlling our own emissions is a good idea, but plenty of the pollution problems most nations face come from abroad.

29 Sep 2016

Air pollution from Icelandic volcanoes

In September 2014, a huge volcanic eruption in Iceland emitted up to nine times as much sulfur dioxide per day as all European industry combined.

29 Sep 2016

Sense about sensors

Commercial pollution monitors are attracting plenty of hype, but scientists say buyers should beware.

28 Sep 2016

Lifting the lid on London's air

When scientists flew a research plane over London in 2013, they didn't just establish that a new sensing technique could let us monitor emissions in real time. They also stumbled on the traces of one of the biggest corporate scandals ever.

28 Sep 2016

Solving the mysteries of the monsoon

Scientists have just returned from a groundbreaking research campaign to understand the Indian monsoon.

27 Sep 2016

The worst air quality in the world?

Last year El Niño brought drought to south-east Asia, creating the conditions for enormous wildfires that send vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and endangered people's health across the region with terrible air pollution. Martin Wooster of King's College London and NERC NCEO reports.

27 Sep 2016

Ship emissions: Monitoring, enforcement and human health

Air pollution from ships is a serious problem that doesn't get enough attention. Kelvin Boot explains how environmental science can help ensure industry plays by the rules.

26 Sep 2016

What can satellite data do for aquaculture?

The BBSRC and NERC-funded ShellEye project seeks to help shellfish farmers manage threats from harmful algal blooms and E. coli bacteria.

22 Sep 2016

Earthquakes and eruptions in Iceland

Geoscientists at the University of Cambridge are uncovering how volcanic activity in Iceland causes earthquakes.

30 Aug 2016

Successful disease elimination offers hope for amphibians

Scientists have reported one of the first big wins in the fight against an invasive fungal disease.

23 Aug 2016

Drones on ice

The Antarctic isn't kind to drones - but it's not easy or cheap for people to work in either, so robots represent a huge scientific opportunity.

16 Aug 2016

Gliders on the storm

Marine scientists are a hardy bunch, but even they aren't keen on working amid 60ft waves in the depths of the Atlantic winter. Luckily next-generation ocean robots increasingly mean they don't have to.

11 Aug 2016

Modelling our landscape in 3D

Drones are helping NERC's British Geological Survey understand and monitor areas that are susceptible to landslides around the UK.

9 Aug 2016

New breakthrough helps trace river pollution

Scientists are developing a new way to track the origins of phosphorus pollution in our rivers and understand how it behaves once it gets there.

5 Aug 2016

Soaring with the Global Hawk

Last year a new UK-made atmospheric science instrument flew for the first time on NASA's Global Hawk unmanned aircraft.

3 Aug 2016

Citizen science: The people behind the data

From the UK Ladybird Survey to the Big Bumblebee Discovery, volunteer field workers are helping to answer some of science's big questions.

1 Aug 2016

First solid hydrogen drone takes to skies

The first drone powered by solid hydrogen made its maiden flight in February – the fruit of a long-term collaboration between the private sector and scientists at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS).

25 Jul 2016

Antarctic Peninsula: Warming pauses but glaciers go on melting

A temporary respite in rising temperatures in one of the world's fastest-warming places doesn't mean climate change has stopped, says new British Antarctic Survey research.

21 Jul 2016

Communicating volcano risk

Researchers have created films aimed at reducing volcanic risk in societies threatened by eruptions.

20 Jul 2016

Diving for science

Jo Porter and Richard Shucksmith describe what it's like to take part in an intensive course training the scientific divers of the future.

15 Jul 2016