News 2019

« BACK

Earth Sciences



Results 1 - 13 of 13.


Environment - Earth Sciences - 12.09.2019
Gloomy forecast for the Aletsch Glacier
Gloomy forecast for the Aletsch Glacier
The largest glacier in the Alps is visibly suffering the effects of global warming. ETH researchers have now calculated how much of the Aletsch Glacier will still be visible by the end of the century. In the worst-case scenario, a couple patches of ice will be all that's left. Every year, it attracts thousands of visitors from around the world: as the largest ice flow in the Alps, the Great Aletsch Glacier is a major tourism draw in the Swiss region of Upper Valais, second only to the Matterhorn.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 29.08.2019
Hints of a volcanically active exomoon
Hints of a volcanically active exomoon
A rocky extrasolar moon (exomoon) with bubbling lava may orbit a planet 550 light-years away from us. This is suggested by an international team of researchers led by the University of Bern on the basis of theoretical predictions matching observations. The "exo-Io" would appear to be an extreme version of Jupiter's moon Io.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 20.08.2019
Methods for reducing the risks of melting glaciers
Methods for reducing the risks of melting glaciers
Under a pilot project being spearheaded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), a team of experts - including civil and environmental engineers from EPFL - are studying methods to help protect a region of the Andes Mountains threatened by glacial retreat. The testing phase of the pilot project will conclude at the end of the month.

Earth Sciences - Computer Science / Telecom - 13.08.2019
Monitoring the Matterhorn with millions of data points
Monitoring the Matterhorn with millions of data points
A unique project is linking in-situ measurements with natural hazards research. For the past ten years, a network of wireless sensors on the Matterhorn's Hörnli ridge has been constantly streaming measurement data on the condition of steep rock faces, permafrost and prevailing climate. The project leader, Jan Beutel, reviews progress to date.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 24.07.2019
Volcanoes shaped the climate before humankind
Volcanoes shaped the climate before humankind
Five large volcanic eruptions occurred in the early 19th century. They caused cooling and - as a study led by the University of Bern shows - to drying in the monsoon regions and glaciers growing in the Alps. The study shows that the pre-industrial climate was not constant: if one takes this cold period as the starting point for current global warming, the climate has already warmed up more than assumed in the current discussions.

Earth Sciences - 27.06.2019
When Lake Zurich guarantees the best cool-down
When Lake Zurich guarantees the best cool-down
Two years ago, researchers from Eawag and EPFL posted a publicly accessible 3D model on www.meteolakes.ch * that uses current and forecast data from MeteoSchweiz, hydrological data from the Federal Office for the Environment and satellite data to map lake water temperatures. The temperatures are calculated for different depths and with a temporal resolution of three hours.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 23.05.2019
Source of new CFC emissions discovered
Source of new CFC emissions discovered
Since 2013, annual emissions of the banned chlorofluorocarbon CFC-11 have increased by around 7,000 metric tons from eastern China, according to a new study by an international team of scientists including Empa researchers, published in «Nature» today. The new discovery follows a finding in 2018 that emissions of this very important ozone-depleting substance had increased.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 15.04.2019
Necrophagy: a means of survival in the Dead Sea
Necrophagy: a means of survival in the Dead Sea
UNIGE researchers have found that bacteria can survive in the sediments of the Dead Sea at a depth of over 400 metres in spite of extreme conditions. Studying organic matter in sediments helps shed light on the distant past. What was the climate like? What organisms populated the Earth? What conditions did they live in? Researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, and the University of Lyon, France, have examined the sediments in the Dead Sea, where the salinity is without compare, making it one of the most hostile environments on the planet.

Earth Sciences - 08.04.2019
Melting Glaciers Causing Sea Levels to Rise at Ever Greater Rates
Melting Glaciers Causing Sea Levels to Rise at Ever Greater Rates
Melting ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic as well as ice melt from glaciers all over the world are causing sea levels to rise. Glaciers alone lost more than 9,000 billion tons of ice since 1961, raising water levels by 27 millimeters, an international research team under the lead of UZH have now found.

Earth Sciences - 22.03.2019
How fluid viscosity affects earthquake intensity
How fluid viscosity affects earthquake intensity
A young researcher at EPFL has demonstrated that the viscosity of fluids present in faults has a direct effect on the force of earthquakes. Fault zones play a key role in shaping the deformation of the Earth's crust. All of these zones contain fluids, which heavily influence how earthquakes propagate.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 18.03.2019
Researchers make a key discovery on how alpine streams work
Researchers make a key discovery on how alpine streams work
An EPFL study has showed that until now, scientists have been substantially underestimating how quickly gases are exchanged between mountain streams and the atmosphere. Based on research in the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Valais, an EPFL laboratory has shed new light on the role of mountain streams to emit greenhouse gases.

Earth Sciences - Health - 28.01.2019
New method to determine how safe buildings are after an earthquake
New method to determine how safe buildings are after an earthquake
EPFL scientists have developed a new method for evaluating building safety after an earthquake, helping residents return to their homes more quickly. Deciding when it's safe for a building's residents to move back in after an earthquake is a major challenge and responsibility for civil engineers. Not only do they have to evaluate whether the building could collapse, but also whether it could withstand aftershocks of the same magnitude.