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Environment - Chemistry - 20.10.2023
Generating clean electricity with chicken feathers
Generating clean electricity with chicken feathers
Turning unused waste from food production into clean energy: Researchers at ETH Zurich and Nanyang Technological University Singapore are using chicken feathers to make fuel cells more cost-effective and sustainable. The food industry generates enormous amounts of waste and by-products, including from poultry production.

Environment - 18.10.2023
Researchers study one of the world's darkest rivers
Researchers study one of the world’s darkest rivers
They set out to study the Congo Basin's carbon cycle and in the process have become aware of one of the world's darkest blackwater rivers: the Ruki. In the first study on this major jungle river, an international research team led by ETH Zurich explains how this blackness comes about and what it says about the river system's carbon balance.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 17.10.2023
Simulation of the evolution of glaciers over the last 120,000 years
Scientists have developed an unprecedented simulation that allows the last 120,000 years of glacier evolution in the Alps to be visualized in 80 seconds.

Environment - 13.10.2023
Sub-national data is crucial for global mountain biodiversity conservation
Sub-national data is crucial for global mountain biodiversity conservation
To assess biodiversity goals, reports are typically based on entire countries. Researchers from the Global Mountain Biodiversity Assessment at the University of Bern and the University of Lausanne challenge this country-level analysis regarding conservation efforts for mountain biodiversity. They emphasize that significant sub-national differences are being overlooked and highlight the need for cross-country conservation initiatives.

Environment - 12.10.2023
Concrete as CO2 trap - right at the plant
Concrete as CO2 trap - right at the plant
After their production, which emits a lot of carbon dioxide, cement-based building materials such as concrete absorb the climate gas again - a process that takes decades and can hardly be controlled. What if it could be accelerated to protect the climate? researchers are collaborating with numerous partners in an elaborate project to find a solution that already takes place in the concrete production plant.

Environment - 10.10.2023
Photovoltaics in the Alps deliver up to four times more electricity in winter
Photovoltaics in the Alps deliver up to four times more electricity in winter
Alpine solar plants can produce up to four times as much electricity in the winter half-year as plants in the Central Plateau.

Transport - Environment - 10.10.2023
Heavy trucks likely not zero-emission in the near future
Heavy trucks likely not zero-emission in the near future
Without political measures for zero-emission technologies, a significant proportion of heavy goods vehicles will still run on diesel in 2035. This result is shown in a new ETH Zurich study on the decarbonisation of truck traffic. Without political incentives, heavy goods vehicles will probably continue to run on diesel in the future.

Environment - Psychology - 09.10.2023
Building shared knowledge on the climate crisis
Building shared knowledge on the climate crisis
Professor Annegret Hannawa from USI Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society will conduct one of the sessions of the upcoming Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavík, Iceland. The conference is the largest annual international meeting on the Arctic, and over 700 speakers and more than 2000 participants from 60 countries are expected.

Agronomy / Food Science - Environment - 03.10.2023
2050: 10 billion people need to be fed
2050: 10 billion people need to be fed
When it comes to feeding a growing population at a time of conflict and climate change, Mother Earth has a lot on her plate. To build a sustainable future we'll need to return to a farm-to-table model, and that's opening up vast and exciting avenues of research for scientists in an array of fields. In this special report , we explore some of the developments taking place in research labs and out on the farm.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 27.09.2023
Why the tropics are so rich in species
Why the tropics are so rich in species
Biodiversity is greatest in the tropics. That fact that it is hot and humid there plays an important role. However, climate alone cannot explain the global biodiversity patterns well. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research have now tackled this old problem from a completely different angle - and identified a new, doubly important reason for high tropical diversity.

Environment - Economics - 27.09.2023
Toilets serve as concrete examples for industrial restructuring
Toilets serve as concrete examples for industrial restructuring
Through an innovative project in Sri Lanka, an EPFL researcher and a Sri Lankan researcher have demonstrated that construction practices in transition economies can operate more efficiently, sustainably and responsibly.

Materials Science - Environment - 26.09.2023
Trust is good - control is better
Trust is good - control is better
Although strict limits exist, batteries can still contain too many harmful ingredients such as mercury, cadmium and lead. The Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) has therefore launched a control campaign. Empa has laid the foundations for this with a specially developed method for analyzing heavy metals .

Environment - Computer Science - 22.09.2023
AI Increases Precision in Plant Observation
AI Increases Precision in Plant Observation
Evolutionary Biology Artificial intelligence (AI) can help plant scientists collect and analyze unprecedented volumes of data, which would not be possible using conventional methods. Researchers at the University of Zurich (UZH) have now used big data, machine learning and field observations in the university's experimental garden to show how plants respond to changes in the environment.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 22.09.2023
The seas are in extremis
The seas are in extremis
An extraordinary heat wave is assailing the world's oceans with an intensity that is surprising climate researchers. Environmental physicist Nicolas Gruber provides some context. Record temperatures in the Mediterranean. Huge heat wave in the North Atlantic. The temperature of the oceans at an all-time high.

Environment - 14.09.2023
How Europe's forests regenerate - without any human interference
How Europe’s forests regenerate - without any human interference
Forests renew themselves naturally. There has been very little research into how exactly this happens - until now. Researchers at ETH Zurich and WSL have set themselves the task of solving this puzzle. Tariche Bois Banal Natural Forest Reserve, Switzerland (Photograph: Markus Bolliger) Yannek Käber, a doctoral candidate in the Professorship of Forest Ecology at ETH Zurich, and his colleagues from ETH and WSL together with the European Forest Research Initiative (EuFoRIa, www.euforia-project.org), have taken a look at regeneration in protected European forests for the first time.

Environment - 14.09.2023
How forests regenerate - without interference
Forests renew themselves naturally. There has been very little research into how exactly this happens - until now. Researchers at ETH Zurich and WSL have set themselves the task of solving this puzzle. In brief Competition between trees is one of the driving forces in the natural regeneration of forests.

Environment - Pedagogy - 12.09.2023
Children help create circular futures
Children help create circular futures
When the children's creativity meets scientific expertise, new ideas are born - for example, about what the sustainable world of tomorrow might look like.

Environment - Chemistry - 08.09.2023
How trees influence cloud formation
How trees influence cloud formation
As part of the international CLOUD project at the nuclear research centre CERN, researchers at PSI have identified so-called sesquiterpenes - gaseous hydrocarbons that are released by plants - as being a major factor in cloud formation. This finding could reduce uncertainties in climate models and help make more accurate predictions.

Environment - 08.09.2023
The first climate strikes had an influence on Swiss residents
The first climate strikes had an influence on Swiss residents
A study by researchers found that Greta Thunberg’s Fridays for Future climate strikes have influenced the environmental behavior of Swiss residents. Climate activist Greta Thunberg made the headlines in September 2019 with her Fridays for Future climate strikes, in which some 4 million students in 150 countries protested to demand action on climate change.

Environment - Social Sciences - 30.08.2023
Neighbors can influence your decision to buy solar panels
Neighbors can influence your decision to buy solar panels
An EPFL study carried out in Vaud Canton has shed light on the factors that can prompt people to buy solar panels. It found that having neighbors with solar panels plays a significant role, alongside more well-known influences, such as our social circle. If you're a homeowner, have a high-level job, and have friends or family members with solar panels, chances are that you've got them, too.