NERC in the news
Here is a selection of recent news articles appearing in the press, in which the Natural Environment Research Council and/or its research are mentioned.
Rhino conservation: Dung science leads to zoo baby boom
10 May 2013
Scientists at Chester Zoo say their work has achieved a rhino baby boom. The researchers have spent the past five years carefully monitoring the hormone levels of their resident female rhinos in order to work out the best time to introduce them to a potential partner. And after a decade of no new baby rhinos, there have now been four births at the zoo in four years. But the project has required NERC funded scientist Katie Edwards to spend every day weighing and analysing rhino dung.
The streets of 'Britain's Atlantis' seen for the first time in centuries
10 May 2013
British researchers have revealed the street of a lost medieval town dubbed 'Britain's Atlantis', for the first time. The team from the University of Southampton, including members of the National Oceanography Centre, used advanced 3D scanning to reveal the port town of Dunwich. Present day Dunwich is a village 14 miles south of Lowestoft in Suffolk, but it was once a thriving port - similar in size to 14th Century London until coastal erosion left it 10M underwater.
Fungus network 'plays role in plant communication'
10 May 2013
Plants use underground fungal networks to warn their neighbours of aphid attack, UK scientists have discovered. The study, published this week in Ecology Letters, is the first to reveal plants' ability to communicate underground in this way.
Esa approves Biomass satellite to monitor Earth's forests
8 May 2013
A satellite that can "weigh" the Earth's forests has just been given the go ahead by the European Space Agency. Biomass, as it will be known, is expected to launch in 2020. Scientists will use Biomass to calculate the amount of carbon stored in the world's forests, and to monitor for any changes over the course of the five-year mission. The UK's Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc) has funded much of the basic science underpinning the Biomass concept.
Sharp rise in summer melt on Antarctic Peninsula
16 Apr 2013
Summer melting on the Antarctic Peninsula has intensified almost ten-fold in the past 600 years and mostly in the past 50 years, according to new research. The study, published in Nature Geoscience, is the first to demonstrate the sensitivity of summer melt on the peninsula to rising temperatures in the 20th Century.
POP! The Science of Bubbles
12 Apr 2013
One of NERC's research fellows, Dr Helen Czerski, presented a full length programme on BBC4 on her work on bubbles. Czerski, a physicist, shows how bubbles affect our world in all sorts of unexpected ways. Whether it's the future of ship design or innovative new forms of medical treatment, bubbles play a vital role.¿
Climate change will lead to bumpier flights
12 Apr 2013
Climate change will lead to bumpier flights caused by increased mid-air turbulence, according to an analysis by NERC's National Centre for Atmospheric Science. The research, published in Nature Climate Change, says rising concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere will increase the likelihood of hitting air turbulence by between 40 and 170 per cent.
NERC Research Cruise on BBC One Show 26 March 2013
27 Mar 2013
The BBC One Show broadcast footage of the RRS James Cook 'Changing Oceans Expedition' from May 2012. Filming took place on board, following the work of the researchers, and underwater using a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) to look at the impact of changes in the temperature and chemistry of the oceans on cold-water reefs and the associated life that rely on them.
BBC iPlayer (19:26mins in)
Expedition Blog - May 2012
Deepest undersea vents discovered by UK team
22 Feb 2013
UK scientists exploring the ocean floor in the Caribbean have discovered an "astounding" set of hydrothermal vents, the deepest anywhere in the world. Deploying a remotely-operated vehicle in the Cayman Trough, they stumbled across a previously-unknown site nearly 5000m below the surface. The researchers are aboard the NERC Royal Research Ship James Cook. Video pictures relayed live back to the ship show spindly chimneys up to 10m high.
Drones monitor impact of seaweed
22 Feb 2013
Scientists from the University of Birmingham have been working with space agency Nasa to use high-flying robot drones to study the Earth's atmosphere. This is part of a major NERC-funded collaboration to investigate the tropical tropopause layer and involves NASA Global Hawk drones and the NERC/Met Office atmospheric research aircraft.
BBC Science Correspondent blog