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Earth Sciences - Environment - 10.07.2024
The formation of the Antarctic ice floes
The formation of the Antarctic ice floes
An international research team led by Silvia Spezzaferri from the University of Freiburg has discovered why the Antarctic polar ice cap is melting faster on the western side of the continent than on the eastern side. New drillings and sophisticated modeling have shown that this phenomenon can be traced back to the original formation of the ice sheet 34 million years ago .

Earth Sciences - Environment - 04.07.2024
Expedition to Greenland aboard a sailing ship transformed into a scientific platform
Expedition to Greenland aboard a sailing ship transformed into a scientific platform
As part of the GreenFjord project, prof. Samuel Jaccard from the University of Lausanne and five other scientists board the sailing vessel Forel to carry out a sampling and analysis campaign in SW Greenland.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 28.06.2024
New class of Mars quakes reveals daily meteorite strikes
New class of Mars quakes reveals daily meteorite strikes
An international team of researchers combine orbital imagery with seismological data from NASA's Mars InSight lander to derive a new impact rate for meteorite strikes on Mars. Seismology also offers a new tool for determining the density of Mars' craters and the age of different regions of a planet.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 25.06.2024
Geological archives predict our climate future
Geological archives predict our climate future
By analysing 56-million-year-old sediments, a team from the University of Geneva has measured the increase in soil erosion caused by global warming, synonymous with major flooding. 56 million years ago, the Earth experienced a major and rapid climate warming due to greenhouse gas emissions, probably due to volcanic eruptions.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 10.06.2024
First detection of frost on the Solar System's tallest volcanoes on Mars
First detection of frost on the Solar System’s tallest volcanoes on Mars
For the first time, water frost has been detected on the colossal volcanoes on Mars, which are the largest mountains in the Solar System. The international team led by the University of Bern used high-resolution color images from the Bernese Mars camera, CaSSIS, onboard the European Space Agency's ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter spacecraft.

History / Archeology - Earth Sciences - 21.05.2024
Cosmic rays illuminate the past
Cosmic rays illuminate the past
Researchers at the University of Bern have for the first time been able to pin down a prehistoric settlement of early farmers in northern Greece dating back more than 7,000 years to the year. For this they combined annual growth ring measurements on wooden building elements with the sudden spike of cosmogenic radiocarbon in 5259 BC.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 08.05.2024
Hints of a possible atmosphere around a rocky exoplanet
Hints of a possible atmosphere around a rocky exoplanet
Researchers using NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope may have detected an atmosphere surrounding 55 Cancri e, a rocky exoplanet 41 light-years from Earth. This is the best evidence to date for a rocky planet atmosphere outside our solar system. Brice-Olivier Demory, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Bern and member of the the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS, was part of the international research team that just published the results in Nature.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 30.04.2024
How the plant world shapes the climate cycle
How the plant world shapes the climate cycle
In order to understand the Earth's resilience, researchers at ETH Zurich are modelling climate changes from times long past. And they show: Plants are not simply victims of circumstances, but have helped to shape climate conditions on Earth. Over the course of hundreds of millions of years, Earth has lived through a series of climatic shifts, shaping the planet as we know it today.

Earth Sciences - History / Archeology - 22.04.2024
Climate change in the early Middle Ages triggered by volcanic eruptions in Iceland
Climate change in the early Middle Ages triggered by volcanic eruptions in Iceland
Icebergs on the Bosporus and a frozen Black Sea: an international study by the University of Bern with the participation of the Austrian Academy of Sciences shows how volcanic eruptions on Iceland influenced the European climate in the early Middle Ages and led to severe winter cooling anomalies. It was one of the coldest winters the region has ever experienced: In 763, large parts of the Black Sea froze over and icebergs were sighted on the Boporus.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.04.2024
Tiny plastic particles are found everywhere
Tiny plastic particles are found everywhere
Microplastic particles can be found in the most remote ocean regions on earth. In Antarctica, pollution levels are even higher than previously assumed. This is one finding of a recent study involving researchers from the University of Basel. It's not the first study on microplastics in Antarctica that researchers from the University of Basel and the Alfred-Wegener Institute (AWI) have conducted.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 08.04.2024
Global warming is sinking meteorites
Global warming is sinking meteorites
More than 300,000 meteorites lie on the Antarctic ice. They contain an unprecedented wealth of information about our solar system. With every tenth of a degree of global warming, thousands of meteorites sink. Researchers from WSL and ETH recommend that their collection be promoted. The Antarctic holds a valuable treasure of around 300,000 meteorites lying on the surface of the ice.

Astronomy / Space - Earth Sciences - 05.04.2024
CHEOPS detects a ''rainbow'' on an exoplanet
CHEOPS detects a ’’rainbow’’ on an exoplanet
New observations from the space telescope point to the existence of a 'glory' in the atmosphere of WASP-76b, a luminous phenomenon like a rainbow. The CHEOPS space telescope, whose scientific operations centre is based at the University of Geneva , is providing new information on the mysterious exoplanet WASP-76b.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 02.04.2024
Strengthening Swiss hydropower with science
Strengthening Swiss hydropower with science
Researchers at ETH Zurich led by Robert Boes are developing specific solutions to optimise electricity production from Swiss hydropower plants. This will ensure that hydropower remains the backbone of Switzerland's electricity supply in the future. "Although Swiss hydropower is a proven technology, we must constantly work on optimising it.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 25.03.2024
How micro- and nanoplastics are infiltrating the Arctic ice
How micro- and nanoplastics are infiltrating the Arctic ice
Environmental scientist Alice Pradel cultivates ice cores in the lab to investigate the transport and accumulation of microand nanoplastics. Her aim in doing so is to better understand material flows in the Arctic ice. "Beat the Microbead" is the name of a campaign launched in 2012 with the aim of reducing the use of microplastics in cosmetic products in order to minimise negative effects on the environment and people.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 20.03.2024
Detecting storms thanks to GPS
Detecting storms thanks to GPS
Researchers at ETH Zurich have succeeded in detecting heavy precipitation events directly with GPS data. The results of their study could significantly improve meteorological monitoring and forecasting. An exceptionally severe storm swept over Zurich on 13 July 2021 shortly before 2 a.m.: howling squalls, constant lightning and torrential rain woke people up with a start.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 19.03.2024
AI-powered system maps corals in 3D in record time
AI-powered system maps corals in 3D in record time
An artificial intelligence system developed at EPFL can produce 3D maps of coral reefs from camera footage in just a few minutes. It marks a major leap forward in deep-sea exploration and conservation capabilities for organizations like the Transnational Red Sea Center (TRSC). Corals often provide a colorful backdrop to photographs of shimmering fish captured by amateur divers.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 06.03.2024
Facilitate lake delta renaturation projects
Facilitate lake delta renaturation projects
Engineers from EPFL and partner organizations have developed a method for classifying lacustrine deltas based on morphological parameters, in order to determine which of the deltas severely altered by human activity are best suited for restoration to their natural state. The Reuss delta on the edge of Lake Lucerne is once again a nature-lover's paradise, complete with gravel islands and stretches of shallow water where plants, animals and bathers coexist in harmony.

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.