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Environment - 27.10.2017
Peat bogs defy the laws of biodiversity
Peat bogs defy the laws of biodiversity
EPFL scientists working with a team of researchers from across Europe have found that peat bogs, despite their low biodiversity, can effectively withstand both moderate and glacial climates. That finding stands to change the way we look at biodiversity.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 26.10.2017
The oceans were colder than we thought
The oceans were colder than we thought
A team of EPFL and European researchers has discovered a flaw in the way past ocean temperatures have been estimated up to now. Their findings could mean that the current period of climate change is unparalleled over the last 100 million years. According to the methodology widely used by the scientific community, the temperature of the ocean depths and that of the surface of the polar ocean 100 million years ago were around 15 degrees higher than current readings.

Environment - Materials Science - 24.10.2017
Adhesives and composite materials made from Swiss tree bark
Adhesives and composite materials made from Swiss tree bark
Studies show that tannins extracted from native tree bark can be used to produce adhesives and composite materials. An additional area of application might be 3D printing. The bark of native conifers is known as a waste product in the timber industry. It is mostly burnt or used as garden mulch. A team from the National Research Programme "Resource Wood" (NRP 66) has now developed a new process to extract valuable tannins from tree bark to produce adhesives and composite materials.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 19.10.2017
Hydroelectric power plants have to be adapted for climate change
Hydroelectric power plants have to be adapted for climate change
Of all the electricity produced in Switzerland, 56% comes from hydropower. The life span of hydroelectric plants, which are massive and expensive to build and maintain, is measured in decades, yet the rivers and streams they depend on and the surrounding environment are ever-changing.

Environment - 18.10.2017
Rapid environmental change makes species more vulnerable to extinction
Rapid environmental change makes species more vulnerable to extinction
When species interact with each other, they do not evolve separately, but do so together. This process is called coevolution. Natural selection favors predators that are better at capturing prey, and it favors prey with better defenses for escaping predators. Among mutualistic biological communities, where two species mutually benefit from their relationship, natural selection favors, for example, plants that are better at being pollinated by insects as well as insects that are better at extracting pollen and nectar from flowers.

Materials Science - Environment - 11.10.2017
Database clarifies bottom-up design of cement
Database clarifies bottom-up design of cement
An international team of researchers from EPFL, ETHZ and Rice University in Houston creates a database tool for the design of cement, a component of concrete, the most-used construction material in the world and a significant source of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Materials Science - Environment - 28.09.2017
Record stability for perovskite solar cells, efficiency over 20%
Record stability for perovskite solar cells, efficiency over 20%
EPFL scientists have greatly improved the operational stability of perovskite solar cells by introducing cuprous thiocyanate protected by a thin layer of reduced graphene oxide.

Environment - Chemistry - 26.09.2017
Atmosphere in X-ray light
Atmosphere in X-ray light
Light from the particle accelerator helps to understand ozone decomposition A new experimental chamber coupled to the Swiss Light Source (SLS), a large-scale research facility of the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI, allows researchers to recreate atmospheric processes in the laboratory through unprecedented precision analysis involving X-rays.

Environment - Life Sciences - 14.09.2017
Unexpected facets of Antarctica emerge from the labs
Unexpected facets of Antarctica emerge from the labs
Six months after the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition ended, the teams that ran the 22 scientific projects are hard at work sorting through the many samples they collected. Some preliminary findings were announced during a conference in Crans Montana organized by the Swiss Polar Institute, who just appointed Konrad Steffen as new academic director.

Environment - Social Sciences - 23.08.2017
Using compost to preserve forests in Madagascar
Using compost to preserve forests in Madagascar
Research by an EPFL PhD student has found a way to boost Madagascar's corn crop yields up to five times while decreasing deforestation at the same time.

Environment - Life Sciences - 21.08.2017
Urban butterflies under threat of extinction
Urban butterflies under threat of extinction
According to an EPFL study, butterflies living in urban areas face the threat of consanguinity and potential extinction.

Environment - 17.08.2017
More than just spilling the beans
More than just spilling the beans
Because of their high nitrogen content, spent coffee grounds are a popular garden fertilizer. Recycled in this manner, they already contribute to an environmentally friendly waste management. But they have the potential to deliver much more: a new procedure developed at the PSI allows high quality methane to be formed from spent coffee grounds.

Materials Science - Environment - 03.08.2017
When time ravages from within
When time ravages from within
Will the reinforced concrete bridge still be standing for years to come, or has corrosion already set in? ETH scientists have discovered that previous concrete samples were too small to allow a reliable statement on the condition of reinforced concrete. Taminabrücke opened in June this year following four years of construction.

Materials Science - Environment - 26.07.2017
Not air con, but a cooling curtain
Not air con, but a cooling curtain
Climate change is leading to ever higher temperatures and aridity in many areas, making efficient room cooling increasingly important.

Life Sciences - Environment - 25.07.2017
Pinpointing sources of water pollution with a robotic eel
Pinpointing sources of water pollution with a robotic eel
Researchers from EPFL, together with other institutes, have developed a robotic eel that swims through contaminated water to find the source of the pollution.

Environment - 17.07.2017
Unbalanced wind farm planning exacerbates fluctuations
Unbalanced wind farm planning exacerbates fluctuations
If European countries cooperated better in the field of wind energy, wind power output would fluctuate less. This is the conclusion reached by a group of energy and climate researchers at ETH Zürich and Imperial College London, who for the first time have combined a long-term analysis of predominant weather patterns with Europe-wide wind electricity generation.

Environment - Materials Science - 05.07.2017
Concrete from wood
Concrete from wood
Researchers from the National Research Programme "Resource Wood" have developed a type of concrete that largely consists of wood. The building material offers the construction industry new possibilities and is based in large part on renewable resources. Houses can be made of wood, as they were in the past - or of concrete, as they are today.

Environment - Mathematics - 30.06.2017
Concurrent hot and dry summers more common in future
Concurrent hot and dry summers more common in future
In the past, climate scientists have tended to underestimate the risk of a co-occurrence of heatwave and drought.

Environment - Life Sciences - 27.06.2017
Previously Unknown Extinction of Marine Megafauna Discovered
Previously Unknown Extinction of Marine Megafauna Discovered
The disappearance of a large part of the terrestrial megafauna such as saber-toothed cat and the mammoth during the ice age is well known. Now, researchers at the University of Zurich and the Naturkunde Museum in Berlin have shown that a similar extinction event had taken place earlier, in the oceans.

Environment - Innovation - 20.06.2017
Underground energy revolution
Underground energy revolution
How can we organize energy supply in the post-fossil era? How can energy be stored efficiently? And how can we organize distribution as economically and conveniently as possible? Empa's research platform 'ehub? is searching for answers to these questions.