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

Discipline: 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.

Environment - Earth Sciences

The snowfall level is rising, and the amount of snow falling - if any - is less than usual. As a result, summer and autumn droughts are becoming more frequent. With many ski resorts and toboggan runs closed and horse-drawn carriages using wheels instead of runners, the 2022/23 winter season has got off to a slow start.

Environment - Jan 18

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has appointed the SLF to be the world's leading competence centre for snow monitoring. The WMO's Infrastructure Commission based its decision on the fact that the SLF already possesses high-quality measuring infrastructure and over 80 years of knowledge.

The world could lose over 40 percent of its total glacier mass and 80 percent of all individual glaciers this century. Depending on how successful efforts to curb the climate crisis are, it could be "only" a quarter. This is reported today in the journal Science by an international research team with participation from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL. The aim is to support discussions on adaptation to climate change, such as those that took place at the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 27).

Faced with the challenges posed to forests by climate change, new European policies call for increased efforts to restore forest ecosystems through massive tree plantations by 2030, in full respect of ecological principles.

WSL ecologist Niklaus Zimmermann is once again one of the world's most highly cited scientists, for the ninth time in a row. New on the list is glaciologist Matthias Huss, who works at WSL and ETH Zurich.

Environment - Nov 8, 2022

Throughout Europe forests are monitored in order to quantify forest growth. The EU-project PathFinder aims to coordinate the way data from forest inventories are shared between countries. The goal is to supply decision makers with better data on forest growth in order to reduce emissions, mitigate climate change and promote biodiversity. The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL is participating.

Environment - Jan 16

The work of WSL researcher Thomas Wohlgemuth, Anke Jentsch and Rupert Seidl provides a broad overview of the state of knowledge in disturbance ecology.

Trees absorb tiny metal particles from the air and soil and deposit them in their tissues. This has been shown by an experiment conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL. These findings open up possibilities for detecting environmental pollution or even remedying it in the future.

Environment - Nov 17, 2022

Ecki Brockerhoff, Head of the Forest Health and Biotic Interactions Research Unit of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, received the "Forest Health Achievement Award" at the IUFRO Forest Health Conference in Lisbon in September 2022.

Rahel Oberhummer is a Swiss artist whose work lies at the intersection of science and abstraction. Her practice - which is developed in close collaboration with scientific experts - focuses in particular on the observation of natural phenomena.

Terrestrial and aquatic food webs respond differently to changes in the environment. Understanding these differences is fundamental to identifying the species most important to an ecosystem and to effectively protecting biodiversity. This is shown by a study led by the research institutes Eawag and WSL and published in the journal Nature Communications .

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