news from the lab 2017

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Earth Sciences



Results 1 - 10 of 10.

Earth Sciences - Environment/Sustainable Development
26.10.2017
The oceans were colder than we thought
The oceans were colder than we thought
A team of EPFL and European researchers has discovered a flaw in the way past ocean temperatures have been estimated up to now. Their findings could mean that the current period of climate change is unparalleled over the last 100 million years. According to the methodology widely used by the scientific community, the temperature of the ocean depths and that of the surface of the polar ocean 100 million years ago were around 15 degrees higher than current readings.
Earth Sciences - Mechanical Engineering/Mechanics
19.10.2017
Hydroelectric power plants have to be adapted for climate change
Hydroelectric power plants have to be adapted for climate change
Of all the electricity produced in Switzerland, 56% comes from hydropower. The life span of hydroelectric plants, which are massive and expensive to build and maintain, is measured in decades, yet the rivers and streams they depend on and the surrounding environment are ever-changing.
Earth Sciences
05.10.2017
Magma chambers have a sponge-like structure
Magma chambers have a sponge-like structure
ETH researchers show that magma chambers under supervolcanoes are more like soggy sponges than reservoirs of molten rock.
Earth Sciences
10.05.2017
Continental crust thanks to the right mixture
Continental crust thanks to the right mixture
For the first time, ETH scientists have successfully recreated the formation of continental crust in the Archean using a computer simulation. The model helps us to better understand processes that took place three to four billion years ago. The present-day formation of continental crust can be investigated in the framework of plate tectonics; however, it is unclear how continental crust could have formed in the Archean, a period three to four billion years ago, when there was no plate tectonics.
Environment/Sustainable Development - Earth Sciences
24.04.2017
Little Ice Age displaced the tropical rain belt
Little Ice Age displaced the tropical rain belt
Even small changes in global temperature can trigger a migration of the tropical rain belt. This can also lead to climate change, as described by a team of researchers from ETH Zurich and other universities. The tropical rain belt, also known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), is in a state of constant migration.
Earth Sciences - Media
24.03.2017
Steep rise of the Bernese Alps
Steep rise of the Bernese Alps
Media releases, information for representatives of the media Media Relations (E) The striking North Face of the Bernese Alps is the result of a steep rise of rocks from the depths following a collision of two tectonic plates.
Astronomy - Earth Sciences
22.03.2017
Sunbathing meteoroids
Sunbathing meteoroids
When a meteoroid travels in space, solar radiation leaves distinctive imprints on its outer layer. Together with colleagues, ETH researcher Antoine Roth has developed novel analytical techniques to detect these imprints, allowing the team to reconstruct meteorites' space journeys. The inconspicuous, small stone that was analysed with high-tech equipment is named Jiddat al Harasis 466.
Earth Sciences - Astronomy
06.03.2017
Earth is bombarded at random
Earth is bombarded at random
Asteroids don't hit our planet at regular intervals, as was previously thought. Earth scientists have reached this conclusion after analysing impact craters formed in the last 500 million years, concentrating on precisely dated events. Do mass extinctions, like the fall of the dinosaurs, and the formation of large impact craters on Earth occur together at regular intervals? ‘This question has been under discussion for more than thirty years now,' says Matthias Meier from ETH Zurich's Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology.
Earth Sciences
03.03.2017
Snow and Sand Erosion Explained
Snow and Sand Erosion Explained
Scientists at EPFL and SLF describe with precision how snow and sand surfaces erode when exposed to wind. Their description can contribute to better predictions of dust emissions from deserts and snow transport in Antarctica, and can be adapted to other planets. Wind and water transport a multitude of particles with them, leading to erosion or deposits, like dust emissions from the Saharan desert that can reach Europe and snow transport that can...
Environment/Sustainable Development - Earth Sciences
16.02.2017
Less snow and a shorter ski season in the Alps
Less snow and a shorter ski season in the Alps
After long-awaited snowfall in January, parts of the Alps are now covered with fresh powder and happy skiers. But the Swiss side of the iconic mountain range had the driest December since record-keeping began over 150 years ago, and 2016 was the third year in a row with scarce snow over the Christmas period.

 
 
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