WSL, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research

WSL, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research

WSL, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research   link
Location: Davos
Zürcherstrasse 111, 8903 Birmensdorf

Category: Environment, Physics
Affiliation: ETH Board

The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest Snow and Landscape Research WSL focusses on the use and protection of landscapes and habitats. Being a part of the ETH domain, the particular function of the research institute is to act as a bridge between pure theoretical science and the practical implementation of scientific findings. WSL research aims at finding ways to sustainably manage landscapes and forests for maximum benefit to people’s quality of life and to handle the natural hazards that typically occur in mountainous countries in the best possible ways for maximum protection at affordable costs. WSL research maintains an international top position and provides the fundamental knowledge for sustainable environmental policies in Switzerland.


Understanding carbon release from the tundra

Environment - Apr 17

The warming climate shifts the dynamics of tundra environments and makes them release trapped carbon, according to a new study published in Nature. These changes could transform tundras from carbon sinks into a carbon source, exacerbating the effects of climate change. Open-top chambers (OTCs) in Latnjajaure, Sweden provide a controlled environment to study simulated warming of the tundra ecosystem.

Environment - Apr 11

Social costs of energy systems


Developing wind and solar infrastructure in the landscape can be tricky and often associated with resistance to arise among the population.

Environment - Mar 26

WSL Strategy 2035


The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL presents its 2035 research strategy. In times of climate change, biodiversity loss and urbanization, WSL has set itself the goal of being an important player in overcoming future challenges.

Environment - Mar 18

Biodiversity at forest edges


Forests contain a lot of biodiversity and provide many ecosystem services such as carbon storage, wood production, and cooling.

Environment - Mar 13

How landscape conservation protects against fires


Climate change influences how often and how intensively forests in Switzerland could burn in the future. However, changes in land-use play a major role therein. Forest fire specialists at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research WSL in Cadenazzo have demonstrated this interplay in a new study.

Power dynamics in nature conservation

The "SCNAT knowledge" web portal provides guidance. The Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) and its network report the state of knowledge, based on sound scientific findings and in regards to Switzerland - for the attention of politics, administration, business, science and practice.

Global warming is sinking meteorites

Environment - Earth Sciences

More than 300,000 meteorites lie on the Antarctic ice. They contain an unprecedented wealth of information about our solar system. With every tenth of a degree of global warming, thousands of meteorites sink. Researchers from WSL and ETH recommend that their collection be promoted.

Environment - Mar 22

Researching the spread of drought


It is important for water management to understand how drought spreads. In a new study, researchers from the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF show that in every third case, atmospheric drought is followed by low water levels. More rarely does drought have a negative impact on groundwater.

Environment - Mar 14

Impact of climate change on biodiversity


Ecological communities in rivers and lakes are responding to climate change in a similar way to communities on land. This is shown by the first comprehensive comparison of freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems around the globe, co-led by Eawag and WSL. When temperatures rise, warm-loving species are the main beneficiaries. One surprising exception may be the plankton.

Environment - Feb 15

Advancing forest monitoring


Forests are under pressure and rapidly changing. In order to be able to react to these changes, forest monitoring is of crucial importance.

Environment - Feb 14

New e-learning course online


European agriculture faces complex sustainability challenges. A team of scientists from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Agroscope, and the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam addressed these challenges in an interdisciplinary project. The project's most important results can now be explored in an interactive e-learning course.

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