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Environment - 25.11.2020
Almost like on Venus
Almost like on Venus
A team of international scientists led by ETH researcher Paolo Sossi has gained new insights into Earth's atmosphere of 4.5 billion years ago. Their results have implications for the possible origins of life on Earth. Four-and-a-half billion years ago, Earth would have been hard to recognise.

Environment - 25.11.2020
Adaptive structures cut down the carbon footprint of buildings
Scientists at EPFL have developed new methods to design and control civil structures that are able to automatically adapt to loading. The aim is to reduce the environmental impact of the construction sector. In order to address current environmental challenges, the construction industry must find new ways of building.

Health - Environment - 24.11.2020
COVID-19: Air quality influences the pandemic
COVID-19: Air quality influences the pandemic
Temperature inversions or Saharan dust intrusions can favor the presence of fine particles in the air. Their high concentration can aggravate the consequences of COVID-19. The correlation between the high concentration of fine particles and the severity of influenza waves is well known to epidemiologists.

Environment - 24.11.2020
Study measures Switzerland's potential geothermal heating capacity
An EPFL PhD candidate has calculated the maximum amount of geothermal energy that could theoretically be extracted using ground-source heat pumps in the Cantons of Vaud and Geneva. In a study combining data on the area available for such systems with computer modeling techniques, she found stark differences between geothermal energy's potential in urban versus rural areas.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 19.11.2020
Too much nitrogen and phosphorus damages forests and water bodies
Too much nitrogen and phosphorus damages forests and water bodies
A factsheet from the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) shows: Too much nitrogen and phosphorus is released into the Swiss environment. There they damage biodiversity, forests and water bodies, exacerbate climate change and affect human health. Actually the causes are known. With the help of Eawag researchers, the Swiss Academy of Sciences have collected facts on the problem of excessive nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the environment.

Life Sciences - Environment - 18.11.2020
Cichlid fishes from African Lake Tanganyika shed light on how organismal diversity arises
Cichlid fishes from African Lake Tanganyika shed light on how organismal diversity arises
Lake Tanganyika in Africa is a true hotspot of organismal diversity. Approximately 240 species of cichlid fishes have evolved in this lake in less than 10 million years. A research team from the University of Basel has investigated this phenomenon of -explosive speciation- and provides new insights into the origins of biological diversity, as they report in the journal -Nature-.

Environment - Life Sciences - 12.11.2020
Applying environmental genomics to coral conservation
Applying environmental genomics to coral conservation
Coral reefs are extremely sensitive to temperature, making them particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. But some corals seem able to adapt. Researchers from EPFL and the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD) studied a reef in New Caledonia, combining approaches from environmental science and genomics to characterize their adaptive potential and develop targeted conservation strategies.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 11.11.2020
Governments can curb over-fertilisation
Governments can curb over-fertilisation
Many countries could be using less nitrogen fertiliser in their agriculture without compromising their crop yields, as an international research team headed up by ETH scientists David Wüpper and Robert Finger are demonstrating. The world is awash with nitrogen. In agriculture, nitrogen is used as a fertiliser to increase output, but this causes one of the biggest environmental problems of our time.

Environment - 09.11.2020
Pesticide Exposure Associated with Headaches in Children
Pesticide Exposure Associated with Headaches in Children
Children living in agricultural areas are likely to be exposed to a variety of pesticides during their daily lives, which may impair their neurodevelopment. The most vulnerable populations are families and farmworkers in lowand middle-income countries. In a study published in Environment International by Swiss TPH and partners at the University of Cape Town, researchers found that children in South Africa who engage in pesticide-related farm activities often have more headaches and possibly lower cognitive performance.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 05.11.2020
Diversity Increases Yields and Protects the Environment
Diversity Increases Yields and Protects the Environment
Harnessing the forces of nature and agricultural practice in all its variety - that is diversification. Diversification brings benefits - positive impacts on yields and environmental protection. This is the conclusion of an international study in which Agroscope researchers took part, and which was recently published Advances.

Environment - Microtechnics - 03.11.2020
Drones to monitor ecological changes
Drones to monitor ecological changes
A team of researchers from Empa and Imperial College London developed drones that can attach sensors to trees to monitor environmental and ecological changes in forests. Sensors for forest monitoring are already used to track changes in temperature, humidity and light, as well as the movements of animals and insects through their habitats.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 03.11.2020
Shortcuts lead to greater pesticide contamination
Shortcuts lead to greater pesticide contamination
In agricultural areas, large volumes of water from fields, roads and paths drain directly into streams via manholes and other forms of artificial drainage. These shortcuts also transport pesticides into surface waters - and, according to a new study, in significantly larger quantities than was previously assumed.

Environment - Computer Science - 03.11.2020
Soot particles influence global warming more than assumed
A team of researchers from ETH Zurich has used simulations on the CSCS supercomputer "Piz Daint" to investigate how ageing mechanisms of soot particles in the atmosphere affect cloud formation. The results show that the influence of ozone and sulfuric acid on soot ageing alters cloud formation and, ultimately, the climate.

Environment - Innovation - 29.10.2020
How does 5G affect the climate?
How does 5G affect the climate?
A team of researchers from the University of Zurich and Empa has analyzed the consequences of the 5G mobile phone standard for the climate. One thing is clear: 5G technology can curb greenhouse gas emissions, as new applications become available and digitalization is used more efficiently. Today the study authors are presenting the results to members of the Swiss parliament in Bern.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 29.10.2020
The influence of wind on underwater landslides in Lake Biel
The influence of wind on underwater landslides in Lake Biel
When the wind on Lake Biel blows from the south-west and it rains heavily, large quantities of sediment are washed out of the River Aare into the lake. Since the south-west wind also influences the circulation in the lake, the wind direction determines to a large extent where the sediment is deposited in the lake, namely along the eastern shore towards Biel - an important finding for identifying areas at risk of landslides.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 26.10.2020
Back to the future of climate
Back to the future of climate
Hot and humid: Using minerals from ancient soils, ETH researchers are reconstructing the climate that prevailed on Earth some 55 million years ago. Their findings will help them to better assess how our climate might look in the future. Between 57 and 55 million years ago, the geological epoch known as the Paleocene ended and gave way to the Eocene.

Environment - 22.10.2020
Lake Kivu: Danger of a lethal gas eruption is not increasing
Lake Kivu: Danger of a lethal gas eruption is not increasing
The findings of a new measurement campaign on Lake Kivu in Africa show that, contrary to previous assumptions, the methane concentration in the water is relatively stable or increasing only very slowly. Therefore, the risk of a sudden gas eruption from the lake is currently not increasing. Photo story of the measurement campaign in March 2018 on Lake Kivu, East Africa.

Environment - Health - 15.10.2020
Green earplugs
Green earplugs
Cars, trains, planes: For two thirds of the European population, traffic noise is part of everyday life. However, the right environment can have a major impact on this nuisance, as Empa researchers have found out. Green spaces in urban areas help to make road and railroad noise less of a nuisance. Only in the case of aircraft noise does this seem counterproductive: the greener the surroundings, the more disturbing the aircraft noise.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 15.10.2020
Two planets around a red dwarf
Two planets around a red dwarf
The -SAINT-EX- Observatory, led by scientists from the National Centre of Competence in Research NCCR PlanetS of the University of Bern and the University of Geneva, has detected two exoplanets orbiting the star TOI-1266. The Mexico-based telescope thus demonstrates its high precision and takes an important step in the quest of finding potentially habitable worlds.

Politics - Environment - 15.10.2020
Unequal distribution of research into marine resources
Unequal distribution of research into marine resources
Exploration and utilisation of resources from the world's oceans is not equally distributed across the globe. Although many of these resources originate in the Global South, they are mostly being researched by just a few countries from the North. Accordingly, this is also where most of the benefits and profits are flowing to, despite the Convention on Biological Diversity.
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