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Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.11.2022
Green and blue food webs are wired differently
Green and blue food webs are wired differently
Terrestrial and aquatic food webs respond differently to changes in the environment. Understanding these differences is fundamental to identifying the species most important to an ecosystem and to effectively protecting biodiversity. This is shown by a study led by the research institutes Eawag and WSL and published in the journal Nature Communications .

Earth Sciences - 01.11.2022
Retracing the steps of Swiss explorers in the Himalaya
Retracing the steps of Swiss explorers in the Himalaya
Daring Swiss pioneers took exciting photos and observations of glaciers in the Indian Himalayas in the 1930s. Glaciologists from WSL and the ETH Zurich now repeated their trip to collect up-to-date data. 14.09.2022 -Swiss explorers in Indian Himalaya Six Swiss pioneers explored the hidden valleys of the Garhwal range of the Indian Himalaya more than eight decades ago.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 27.10.2022
What seismic waves reveal about Martian crust
What seismic waves reveal about Martian crust
Following two large meteorite impacts on Mars, researchers have observed, for the first time, seismic waves propagating along the surface of a planet other than Earth. The data from the marsquakes was recorded by NASA's InSight lander and analysed at ETH Zurich in collaboration with the InSight Science Team.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 27.10.2022
Magma on Mars likely
Magma on Mars likely
Until now, Mars has been generally considered a geologically dead planet. An international team of researchers led by ETH Zurich now reports that seismic signals indicate vulcanism still plays an active role in shaping the Martian surface. Why study the terrestrial neighbour? Exploring Earth's planetary neighbours is no easy task.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 18.10.2022
How rusting iron removes arsenic from water
How rusting iron removes arsenic from water
In many regions of the world, groundwater is contaminated with arsenic of natural origin. The harmful substance can be filtered out of water with the help of iron. researchers have for the first time made visible exactly what happens in this process in a new type of experimental set-up. When metallic iron corrodes, i.e. rusts, iron oxides are formed that can strongly bind pollutants such as arsenic.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.09.2022
A warm intrusion in the Arctic causes extreme pollution levels
A warm intrusion in the Arctic causes extreme pollution levels
During the MOSAiC research expedition, conducted in the Arctic pack ice between 2019 and 2020, scientists observed an atmospheric perturbation triggered by the intrusion of a highly polluted warm air-mass. A first study providing further insight into the phenomenon and its potential implications has just been published.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 26.08.2022
Where to land on the Moon?
Where to land on the Moon?
With the help of artificial intelligence, an international research team led by ETH Zurich has explored the Moon's permanently shadowed regions. The information they have obtained about the area's surface properties will help to identify suitable locations for future lunar missions. It was 1972 when the last humans landed on the Moon.

Earth Sciences - 22.08.2022
A historical perspective on glacial retreat
A historical perspective on glacial retreat
Researchers at ETH Zurich and WSL have for the first time reconstructed the extent of Switzerland's glacier ice loss in the 20th century. For this purpose, the researchers used historical imagery and conclude that the country's glaciers lost half their volume between 1931 and 2016. Glaciers are melting rapidly - and since the 2000s, scientists have been recording and researching changes in their volume more and more precisely.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 11.08.2022
Fluoride in groundwater: global map shows all risk areas for the first time
Fluoride in groundwater: global map shows all risk areas for the first time
As an additive in toothpaste, it protects our teeth from decay. But when fluoride occurs in nature in larger quantities and accumulates in groundwater, it can become a hazard for our health. For the first time, scientists have produced a detailed map of global fluoride contamination in groundwater and shown which regions of the world are particularly affected.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 10.08.2022
One more clue to the Moon's origin
One more clue to the Moon’s origin
Researchers from ETH Zurich discover the first definitive proof that the Moon inherited indigenous noble gases from the Earth's mantle. The discovery represents a significant piece of the puzzle towards understanding how the Moon and, potentially, the Earth and other celestial bodies were formed. Humankind has maintained an enduring fascination with the Moon.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 28.07.2022
Heatwaves thawing Arctic permafrost
Heatwaves thawing Arctic permafrost
Satellite data affords researchers a new method for quantifying carbon mobilisation in Arctic permafrost. Their findings also reveal how summer heatwaves accelerate the rate of Arctic landslides in thawing permafrost. In the northernmost region of the earth the arctic permafrost is melting at an accelerated rate.

Health - Earth Sciences - 26.07.2022
Imaging the brain with ultrasound waves
Imaging the brain with ultrasound waves
As wave specialists, seismologists map the structure of planets from the information that seismic waves carry. Now, the team led by ETH professor Andreas Fichtner is also using this knowledge for medical imaging. Both ultrasound for medical imaging and seismology for imaging the Earth's interior measure the propagation of waves through matter.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.07.2022
Ozone depletion over North Pole produces weather anomalies
Ozone depletion over North Pole produces weather anomalies
Researchers from ETH Zurich have established that the destruction of ozone over the Arctic in the spring causes abnormal weather throughout the northern hemisphere, with many places being warmer and drier than average - or too wet. Many people are familiar with the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica, but what is less well known is that occasionally, the protective ozone in the stratosphere over the Arctic is destroyed as well, thinning the ozone layer there.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 27.06.2022
Long-term liquid water also on non-Earth-like planets?
Long-term liquid water also on non-Earth-like planets?
Liquid water is an important prerequisite for life to develop on a planet. As researchers from the University of Bern, the University of Zurich and the National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) PlanetS report in a new study, liquid water could also exist for billions of years on planets that are very different from Earth.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 22.06.2022
Tapping the ocean as a source of natural products
Tapping the ocean as a source of natural products
Using DNA data, researchers have examined seawater to find not only new species of bacteria, but also previously unknown natural products that may one day prove beneficial. The oceans are teeming with countless forms of life, from the world's largest creature - the blue whale - to miniscule microorganisms.

Earth Sciences - Physics - 16.06.2022
An underrated factor
An underrated factor
How the plates of the Earth's crust move depends largely on the behaviour of the rocks below them in the mantle. A new ETH study now shows that the grain size of these rocks is a key factor. The face of our planet is shaped by forces deep within its interior. These push the plates of the Earth's crust against each other, causing mountains and volcanoes to form along the collision zones.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 09.06.2022
Ground-breaking number of brown dwarfs discovered
Ground-breaking number of brown dwarfs discovered
Brown dwarfs, mysterious objects that straddle the line between stars and planets, are essential to our understanding of both stellar and planetary populations. However, only 40 brown dwarfs could be imaged around stars in almost three decades of searches. An international team led by researchers from the Open University and the University of Bern directly imaged a remarkable four new brown dwarfs thanks to a new innovative search method.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 09.06.2022
It was true detective work!
It was true detective work!
The InSight mission on Mars is running out of power and most of its functions could be shut down in the months to come. Some have already been deactivated. However, the attached seismometer, SEIS, will remain in operation for as long as possible. ETH Professor Domenico Giardini takes stock of three years of marsquake measurements.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 31.05.2022
Water treatment plants would be ready for the removal of nanoplastics
Water treatment plants would be ready for the removal of nanoplastics
The biologically active, slow-flow sand filters of lake water treatment would remove nanoplastics from the raw water very efficiently. This was shown both in the laboratory and in larger, realistic tests and modelling. It's a hot topic, at least on social media: tiny plastic particles allegedly end up not only in oceans and lakes, but also in drinking water - and, yes, even in bottled mineral water.

Earth Sciences - Innovation - 20.05.2022
The missing piece to faster, cheaper and more accurate 3D mapping
The missing piece to faster, cheaper and more accurate 3D mapping
Engineers at EPFL and the University of Geneva believe they hold the key to automated drone mapping. By combining artificial intelligence with a new algorithm, their method promises to considerably reduce the time and resources needed to accurately scan complex landscapes. Three-dimensional (3D) mapping is a very useful tool, such as for monitoring construction sites, tracking the effects of climate change on ecosystems and verifying the safety of roads and bridges.
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