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Environment - 10:01
Emperor penguins still free of microplastics
Emperor penguins still free of microplastics
Good news from Antarctica: researchers have examined emperor penguins and found no evidence of microplastics in their stomachs. The study, conducted by the University of Basel and the Alfred-Wegener Institute, is an important assessment of environmental pollution at the South Pole. The researchers studied a colony of emperor penguins in Atka Bay, a remote area on the northeastern edge of the Ekström Ice Shelf.

Environment - Life Sciences - 26.09.2022
Alpine plants respond to climate change
Alpine plants respond to climate change
Researchers from ETH Zurich are studying how alpine vegetation is responding to a warming climate - and how some plant communities are continuing to stand firm against newcomers from lower elevations. A glance down the vertiginous slope is enough to create a dizzying sensation of being airborne. Far below is the city of Chur, with tiny cars beetling among toy houses.

Environment - Life Sciences - 23.09.2022
Aquatic insects are less likely to be invasive
Aquatic insects are less likely to be invasive
Insects that live entirely or partly in freshwater have a much lower proportion of invasive species than insects that live on land. This is shown in a study by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology Eawag and an international team of researchers.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 22.09.2022
How global warming affects astronomical observations
How global warming affects astronomical observations
Astronomical observations from ground-based telescopes are sensitive to local atmospheric conditions. Anthropogenic climate change will negatively affect some of these conditions at observation sites around the globe, as a team of researchers led by the University of Bern and the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS report.

Environment - Life Sciences - 22.09.2022
How nanoplastics enter the aquatic food web
How nanoplastics enter the aquatic food web
The smallest of all plastic particles have remained largely unexplored until now, because they could not be detected in the environment. Now researchers at Eawag show: Nanoplastics stick to slimy biofilms, which can for example be found on stones in streams or rivers. When freshwater snails feed on the slime, the nanoplastics are taken up.

Environment - 14.09.2022
Why densification often fails due to acceptance
Why densification often fails due to acceptance
Today, densification is a principle of urban development. Nevertheless, it repeatedly encounters local resistance. ETH spatial scientists: inside have now systematically investigated in six world cities and in the canton of Zurich how the acceptance of densification can be explained among the population.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.09.2022
A warm intrusion in the Arctic causes extreme pollution levels
A warm intrusion in the Arctic causes extreme pollution levels
During the MOSAiC research expedition, conducted in the Arctic pack ice between 2019 and 2020, scientists observed an atmospheric perturbation triggered by the intrusion of a highly polluted warm air-mass. A first study providing further insight into the phenomenon and its potential implications has just been published.

Environment - 08.09.2022
Longer, Hotter and More Frequent Heat Waves in Swiss Cities
Longer, Hotter and More Frequent Heat Waves in Swiss Cities
Hot days followed by sweltering nights without any temperature relief in between might become a new norm towards the end of the 21st century. Researchers from the University of Zurich have analyzed the frequency, intensity and length of such extreme events for five Swiss cities. Lugano and Geneva would be most affected.

Environment - 06.09.2022
Why are southeast Tibet's glaciers melting so fast?
Why are southeast Tibet’s glaciers melting so fast?
Millions of people depend on water from the glaciers of High-Mountain Asia. South-eastern Tibet, however, has some of the most rapidly melting glaciers in Asia. This is due to less summer snowfall, as a study led by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL shows. Unlike in the Alps, glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau receive most of their snowfall during the summer months, which are the wettest but also the warmest.

Environment - Architecture - 05.09.2022
Green city: a few bushes are not enough to refresh
Green city: a few bushes are not enough to refresh
Extreme heat makes life barely bearable, especially in cities. Greenery is supposed to help regulate the temperature. Experts from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts explain how we can go green in terms of urban climate. Planting an avenue here, greening a roof there - Peter Schwehr, Head of the Competence Center for Typology & Planning in Architecture at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, thinks little of it.

Chemistry - Environment - 05.09.2022
Combining forces for the energy transition
Combining forces for the energy transition
The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and the start-up AlphaSYNT have a common mission. By signing a cooperation and licensing agreement, they aim to commercialise a novel approach to "power-to-gas" conversion, or to be more specific: "power-to-methane". The innovative methanation process developed by PSI will allow energy to be stored as methane gas in future.

Architecture - Environment - 01.09.2022
Why it will be imperative to reduce the size of rental properties
Why it will be imperative to reduce the size of rental properties
A PhD thesis carried out at EPFL has shown that, based on realistic forecasts, the only way we'll be able to shrink the environmental footprint of residential dwelling by 2050 in Switzerland is through a joint effort between housing owners and tenants. The thesis research, performed by civil engineering student Margarita Agriantoni, is based on computer simulations of different housing development scenarios over the next 30 years (from 2020 to 2050).

Environment - Computer Science - 01.09.2022
A self-learning algorithm that helps save heating energy
A self-learning algorithm that helps save heating energy
With energy prices soaring, heating costs will also inevitably rise in the coming winter. In order to mitigate this, solutions for operating buildings more efficiently are needed. The Empa spin-off viboo has developed an algorithm that makes it possible to operate even older buildings with around 25 percent less energy - while user comfort remains the same or even improves.

Environment - Life Sciences - 31.08.2022
Determining why the Arctic is turning ever greener
Determining why the Arctic is turning ever greener
A research team from ETH Zurich and WSL travelled to Spitsbergen this summer to take a closer look at the phenomenon of Arctic greening. Project manager Sebastian Dötterl discusses research in the face of polar bears, strikes and war. Coronavirus, war and a pilots' strike First, the coronavirus pandemic delayed the start of the project by more than a year.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 25.08.2022
James-Webb detects carbon dioxide in exoplanet atmosphere
James-Webb detects carbon dioxide in exoplanet atmosphere
The new space telescope has revealed the presence of carbon dioxide on the gas giant WASP-39b. A first in which the UNIGE and UNIBE participated. Launched at the end of 2021 by NASA, with the collaboration of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the James-Webb Space Telescope has delivered an exceptional first scientific result: for the first time, CO2 has been clearly detected in the atmosphere of WASP-39b, a planet located outside the solar system.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 25.08.2022
James Webb Space Telescope detects carbon dioxide in exoplanet atmosphere
James Webb Space Telescope detects carbon dioxide in exoplanet atmosphere
The James Webb Space Telescope delivers a sensation right away with its first scientific result: for the first time, CO2 has been conclusively detected in the atmosphere of a planet outside the solar system. Researchers from the University of Bern, the University of Geneva and the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS are involved in the study.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 24.08.2022
Ecological stability of lakes declining globally over time
Ecological stability of lakes declining globally over time
Of over a thousand lakes studied worldwide, about one in ten shows strange behaviour. In general, there is an increasing tendency for aquatic ecosystems to tip over.

Environment - Health - 16.08.2022
The unequal distribution of noise
The unequal distribution of noise
In cities, those who earn more are better able to protect themselves against noise and its associated health risks. This is shown by two new ETH studies conducted in Bern, Zurich, Hannover and Mainz. Too much noise is detrimental to health: it leads to sleep disorders, increased blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

Life Sciences - Environment - 16.08.2022
Insect pests influence the sexuality of flowers
Insect pests influence the sexuality of flowers
Flowers are sexual structures of plants that are normally assumed to have evolved in harmony with their mutualistic pollinators such as bees, butterflies and honeybirds. However, a new study involving the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL shows that herbivorous insects play a central role.

Environment - 15.08.2022
Compound extreme events stress the oceans
Compound extreme events stress the oceans
When marine heatwaves and ocean acidity extreme events co-occur, it can have severe impacts on marine ecosystems. Researchers at the Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research at the University of Bern have determined for the first time the frequency and drivers of these compound events and have projected them into the future.
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