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Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 28.02.2024
Do we have cosmic dust to thank for life on Earth?
Do we have cosmic dust to thank for life on Earth?
It might be that what set prebiotic chemistry in motion and kept it going in the early days of the Earth was dust from outer space accumulating in holes melted into ice sheets. Researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Cambridge have used a computer model to test this scenario. Before life existed on Earth, there had to be chemistry to form organic molecules from the chemical elements nitrogen, sulphur, carbon and phosphorus.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 26.02.2024
Earth as a test object
Earth as a test object
Physicists at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich wanted to know whether the planned LIFE space mission could really detect traces of life on other planets. Yes, it can. The researchers reached this conclusion with the help of observations of our own planet. Life is indeed possible on Earth. This has been demonstrated in a study conducted by the Institute of Particle Physics and Astrophysics at ETH Zurich.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 12.02.2024
When the global climate has the hiccups
When the global climate has the hiccups
Climate changes usually happens over long periods of time, but during the last glacial period, extreme fluctuations in temperature occurred within just a few years. Researchers at the University of Basel have now been able to prove the phenomenon also occurred during the penultimate glacial period. In recent geological history, the so-called Quaternary period, there have been repeated ice ages and warm periods.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 09.02.2024
Water-worlds, the key to an exoplanet enigma
Water-worlds, the key to an exoplanet enigma
Exoplanets with a radius twice that of the Earth are rare. A team from MPIA, UNIGE and UNIBE has come up with new explanations. Why are so few exoplanets about twice the size of Earth detected? On the basis of computer simulations, a team from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) and the Universities of Geneva (UNIGE) and Bern (UNIBE) has confirmed that the migration of sub-Neptunes planets - water-worlds - could explain this absence.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 08.02.2024
Erosion promotes species diversity
Erosion promotes species diversity
Madagascar is home to over 11,000 plant species, 80 percent of which are found nowhere else on Earth. A recent study by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL and ETH Zurich has put forward a new hypothesis for the underlying cause of Madagascar's rich plant biodiversity, which has been regarded as an unsolved mystery of natural history.

Earth Sciences - 08.02.2024
Why olivine and diamonds are best friends
Why olivine and diamonds are best friends
Hardly any gemstone is more difficult to find than diamonds. Geologists from ETH Zurich and the University of Melbourne have now established a link between their occurrence and the mineral olivine. This could make the search for diamonds easier in the future. In brief The abundance of magnesium and iron in the mineral olivine provides information on whether or not diamonds could be present in a kimberlite rock sample.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 26.01.2024
Glacier melting destroys important climate data archive
Glacier melting destroys important climate data archive
As part of the Ice Memory initiative, PSI researchers, with colleagues from the University of Fribourg and Ca' Foscari University of Venice as well as the Institute of Polar Sciences of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), analysed ice cores drilled in 2018 and 2020 from the Corbassière glacier at Grand Combin in the canton of Valais.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 25.01.2024
How gases travel laterally through a lake
How gases travel laterally through a lake
At night or during cold winter days, lake water cools faster near the shore than in the middle of the lake. This creates a current that connects the shallow shore region with the deeper part of the lake. An international team led by researchers were able to show for the first time that this horizontal circulation transports gases such as oxygen and methane.



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