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Physics - Environment - 24.08.2023
Computational Model Paves the Way for More Efficient Energy Systems
Computational Model Paves the Way for More Efficient Energy Systems
Researchers make theoretical breakthrough in thermoelectric material to better harness waste heat for sustainable energy. Around 70% of the energy we use in everyday life is wasted in the form of heat, produced by engines, factories, and electrical devices. However, researchers from EPFL's School of Engineering have made a significant theoretical step forward that could boost sustainable energy generation.

Environment - 23.08.2023
Biodiversity protects against invasions of non-native tree species
Biodiversity protects against invasions of non-native tree species
For the first time, researchers combined human and ecological factors to analyse the global scale of non-native tree species invasions. Human activity in hotspots of global trade, such as maritime ports, is linked to an increased likelihood of non-native tree species invasions. However, a high diversity of native tree species can help to curb the intensity of such invasions.

Chemistry - Environment - 17.08.2023
Collecting clean water from fog
Researchers at ETH Zurich have demonstrated the use of a specially coated metal mesh to harvest water from fog and simultaneously remove pollutants. People living in dry but foggy areas should benefit from this technology. In countries such as Peru, Bolivia and Chile, it's not uncommon for people who live in foggy areas to hang up nets to catch droplets of water.

Environment - 16.08.2023
Small wheatear on the move at high altitudes
Small wheatear on the move at high altitudes
Even though the summer is still in progress - for many birds the migration to the African winter quarters has already begun. Among them is the wheatear, which breeds in mountainous areas. On its 4500-kilometer journey, which takes about 30 days, the small bird can climb to an altitude of more than 5000 meters.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 11.08.2023
Could artificially dimming the sun prevent ice melt?
Could artificially dimming the sun prevent ice melt?
With methods of so-called geoengineering, the climate could theoretically be artificially influenced and cooled. Bernese researchers have now investigated whether it would be possible to prevent the melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet by artificially "dimming the sun". The results show that artificial influence does not work without decarbonization and entails high risks.

Environment - 09.08.2023
Capturing carbon where it is produced
Capturing carbon where it is produced
EPFL engineers propose a system-wide integration solution for carbon capturing and mineralisation in the cement production, steel manufacturing, and waste incineration sectors. EPFL engineers in Sion, Switzerland have demonstrated the potential for achieving net-zero and net-negative emissions in essential industrial sectors through the integration of carbon capture and mineralization directly into the industrial processes themselves.

Environment - Research Management - 03.08.2023
European cooperation on forest protection
European cooperation on forest protection
The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL is participating in a pan-European project to monitor and evaluate the impact of climate change on forests. The aim is to create a basis for decision-making in practical forest management on a European and regional level. The first calls for grants are now being launched, enabling researchers outside the FORWARDS consortium to contribute to the project's goal.

Environment - Microtechnics - 03.08.2023
Friendly visitor
Friendly visitor

Environment - Life Sciences - 27.07.2023
First nesting of the cattle egret in Switzerland
First nesting of the cattle egret in Switzerland
Switzerland has a new breeding bird: the cattle egret has nested on Swiss soil for the first time, the culmination of a long evolutionary process.

Environment - 25.07.2023
Forest protection 2022: heat, drought and new pests
Forest protection 2022: heat, drought and new pests
In addition to heat and drought, various invasive beetles and other harmful organisms caused problems in the forest in 2022. Many of the observed insects and fungi are new to Switzerland, as the Swiss Forest Protection Competence Center of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research reports in its forest protection overview .

Environment - Life Sciences - 24.07.2023
Using drones to monitor rainforest biodiversity
Using drones to monitor rainforest biodiversity
A team led by researchers from ETH Zurich and WSL advances to the finals of the XPRIZE Rainforest Competition. The international competition aims to promote the development of autonomous technologies for collecting data on biodiversity. The XPRIZE Rainforest Competition is an international contest offering the winning team generous prize money of five million US dollars.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 19.07.2023
How Humboldt founded climate research
How Humboldt founded climate research
Alexander von Humboldt was a pioneer of climate research. On his voyages to America (1799-1804) and Asia (1829), he conducted meteorological measurements that he used to develop a modern, holistic model of the Earth's climate.

Environment - Life Sciences - 19.07.2023
Revisiting the past in Greenland
Revisiting the past in Greenland
SLF biologists are retracing two expeditions undertaken 20 and 90 years ago. Like their predecessors, they will be recording the plant populations they come across, and analysing how these have changed over recent decades. They expect this to provide new insights into the effects of climate change. Biologists Christian Rixen and Andreas Gygax from the WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) set off for Greenland on 25 July, following in the footsteps of two earlier scientists.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 19.07.2023
Scientists gain insight into geothermal-technology induced seismicity
Scientists gain insight into geothermal-technology induced seismicity
Scientists have developed a model that sheds light on the seismic risks arising from subsurface fluid injections carried out as part of geothermal energy extraction. To support the shift to a carbon-free economy, energy producers are eagerly looking for ways to safely extract geothermal energy from deep underground.

Social Sciences - Environment - 13.07.2023
Future image of Weidteile - an attractive urban quarter
Future image of Weidteile - an attractive urban quarter
Following the suspension of the A5 Westast implementation project at the end of 2020, Stadtlabor Biel/Bienne is presenting a further developed vision of the future for the redesign of the Bernstrasse axis in the direction of Brügg.

Environment - 10.07.2023
Widespread illegal trade of hazardous chemicals
Widespread illegal trade of hazardous chemicals
Researchers from Switzerland and China have studied the global trade in highly hazardous chemicals subject to a global treaty - the Rotterdam Convention. The results are sobering: Nearly half of the total trade volume of these chemicals crosses national borders illegally, calling for strong international and national action.

Environment - Life Sciences - 06.07.2023
Why there are no kangaroos in Bali (and no tigers in Australia)
Why there are no kangaroos in Bali (and no tigers in Australia)
Researchers are using a new model to clarify why millions of years ago more animal species from Asia made the leap to the Australian continent than vice versa. The climate in which the species evolved played an important role. If you travel to Bali, you won't see a cockatoo, but if you go to the neighbouring island of Lombok, you will.

Environment - Transport - 06.07.2023
Climate-neutral air travel: Is it possible?
Climate-neutral air travel: Is it possible?
Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI and ETH Zurich have performed calculations to work out how air traffic could become climate-neutral by 2050. They conclude that simply replacing fossil aviation fuel with sustainable synthetic fuels will not be enough. Air traffic would also have to be reduced.

Environment - 06.07.2023
The summer solstice effect
The summer solstice effect
Spring keeps getting earlier, but the timing of leaf fall in autumn has been more of a mystery. For the first time, a study helps solve this mystery by revealing the pivotal role of the summer solstice. The research shows that warming before the solstice triggers an earlier onset of leaf senescence, while warming after the solstice slows down the discoloration process.

Environment - Health - 04.07.2023
Global warming caused 60 percent of Swiss heat deaths in the summer of 2022
Global warming caused 60 percent of Swiss heat deaths in the summer of 2022
Climate change is intensifying heat, leading to a significant increase in heat-related health problems. About 60 percent of the more than 600 heat-related deaths in the summer of 2022 in Switzerland can be attributed to human-induced global warming. This is shown by a study led by the University of Bern.