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Environment - Earth Sciences - 18.02.2021
Human impact on solar radiation levels for decades
Based on the long-term Potsdam radiation time series, ETH Professor Martin Wild and his collaborators have shown that variations in the intensity of sunlight over decades are down to ultra-fine, man-made dirt particles in the atmosphere. In the late 1980s and 1990s, researchers at ETH Zurich discovered the first indications that the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface had been steadily declining since the 1950s.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.02.2021
Streams in agricultural areas benefit from beavers
Streams in agricultural areas benefit from beavers
Beavers are master builders that reshape aquatic landscapes with their dams and lodges. The environments they inhabit experience an increase in the biodiversity of aquatic organisms, for example. Now, for the first time, an Eawag study from the wine-growing region known as "Zürcher Weinland" has shown that this is also true for streams in areas given over largely to agriculture.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.02.2021
Emissions of banned ozone-depleting substance back on decline
Emissions of banned ozone-depleting substance back on decline
After a mysterious and sharp increase between 2012 and 2017 that could be traced to eastern China global emissions of a potent (and banned) substance notorious for depleting the Earth's ozone layer - the protective barrier that absorbs the Sun's harmful UV rays - have fallen rapidly in recent years and are now as low as never before since measurements began in this region in 2008, according to new atmospheric analyses published in "Nature" today.

Earth Sciences - 29.01.2021
Witnesses to Earth's early history
Witnesses to Earth’s early history
Determining the composition of rock in the deepest layer of the Earth's mantle is impossible to do directly. But thanks to isotope measurements of volcanic rocks, ETH researchers are now able to show that the mantle is still home to material from the planet's earliest days. What exactly are the deepest parts of the Earth made of? Geoscientists apply highly sophisticated techniques in pursuit of this question.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 15.01.2021
Changing resilience of oceans to climate change
Changing resilience of oceans to climate change
Oxygen levels in the ancient oceans were surprisingly resilient to climate change, new research suggests. An international team of scientists led by ETH Zurich used geological samples to estimate ocean oxygen during a period of global warming 56 million years ago - and found limited expansion of seafloor anoxia (absence of oxygen).

Environment - Earth Sciences - 06.01.2021
Wastewater treatment plants retain 96 percent of mercury
Wastewater treatment plants retain 96 percent of mercury
Each year, around 130 kilograms of mercury flow into Swiss wastewater treatment plants, which filter out the lion's share from the waste water. This is shown by a survey of almost thirty wastewater treatment plants conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) and the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).