Planet Earth - Spring 2012
Planet Earth is a free magazine aimed at non-specialists with an interest in environmental science.
For the time being Planet Earth magazine has returned to print in a limited way and is available to subscribers in the UK; unfortunately we can't send paper copies outside the UK, but the electronic version of the magazine will continue to be available to all our readers.
If you are a subscriber but would prefer not to receive a paper copy, please email us at email@example.com, or write to us at Planet Earth Editors, NERC, Polaris House, North Star Avenue, Swindon SN2 1EU, giving us your name and full address.
Correction: Please note that, because of a mistake in calculations aimed at presenting all figures in the same units, the paper and e-magazine versions of this issue contain two errors in the feature on shale gas. On page 21 the article incorrectly said that Cuadrilla estimates there are 7 billion cubic metres (BCM) of shale gas in the Bowland Shale underneath Blackpool, whereas the British Geological Survey estimates recoverable gas resources of 0·2BCM. In fact, these two numbers should be 5664BCM and 133BCM respectively. We apologise for these errors, which have been corrected in the PDF versions below.
Alternatively, PDF documents of each article (or the entire magazine) are available to download below.
Download as PDF
* Unless specified, all articles are less than 2MB in size.
Planet Earth - Spring 2012 (5·5MB) Whole magazine. Individual articles are available below.
News (2·4MB) The Hoff sighted in Antarctica, wolves predicting climate change, butterflies in decline and other stories in brief.
Snakebite! Venom research could save thousands of lives.
Forked tongues: the evolution of human languages How did we end up with so many languages?
(Cover story) The smoke detectors Flying over forest fires to learn about the air pollution they cause.
Somewhere over the radar How a facility in the Arctic Circle is probing the mysteries of space weather.
Eyes in the sky Eight uses for satellites in environmental science.
Data for all Storing and sharing a priceless asset.
Not just a pile of old dung What bat guano can tell us about ancient biodiversity.
Shale: no great shakes? The real low-down on a new energy source.
Spotting ice from space The next generation of polar science.
Tasting the salt of the Earth's oceans A new global view of how salt and fresh water are distributed.
We're all in it together Sharing knowledge to make the most of UK peatlands.
The Antarctic ozone hole: 25 years on Richard Hollingham interviews the British Antarctic Survey's Jonathan Shanklin.