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Environment - History / Archeology - 08.10.2012
Humans influencing climate since over 2000 years
Humans influencing climate since over 2000 years
New data extracted from Greenland's glaciers show that methane in the atmosphere follows the waxing and waning of civilizations. Humans have been producing substantial amounts of greenhouse gases since long before the industrial revolution 2012. By studying the tiny amounts of gases trapped in air bubbles in Greenland's glaciers, researchers have been able to add details to an emerging picture of historical human induced environmental change that reaches as far back as the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty.

Environment - Life Sciences - 12.09.2012
The effects of droughts on mountain pastures
The effects of droughts on mountain pastures
Researchers simulate an arid climate using greenhouse tunnels to study the effects of increased dryness on forage grown on mountain pastures.

Physics - Environment - 10.09.2012
Nano-velcro clasps heavy metal molecules in its grips
Nano-velcro clasps heavy metal molecules in its grips
Researchers develop nano-strips for inexpensive testing of mercury levels in our lakes and oceans with unprecedented sensitivity Mercury, when dumped in lakes and rivers, accumulates in fish, and often ends up on our plates. A Swiss-American team of researchers led by Francesco Stellacci at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Bartosz Grzybowski at Northwestern University has devised a simple, inexpensive system based on nanoparticles, a kind of nano-velcro, to detect and trap this toxic pollutant as well as others.

Life Sciences - Environment - 23.04.2012
Wo unsere Schwalben den Winter verbringen
Seit Ende März werden es täglich mehr: Die Rückkehr der Schwalben ist jetzt in vollem Gang. Wo die Vögel den Winter verbracht haben, war bisher unbekannt.

Environment - Life Sciences - 17.04.2012
Under a warm blanket of snow
Under a warm blanket of snow
Researchers are studying the effects of climate change on the degradation of organic matter in the soil. First results underline the importance of the thermal insulation provided by an intact layer of snow on the dynamics of soil microorganisms. You'd think that during the winter, all life trapped beneath a layer of snow would shut down and wait for warmer days.

Environment - Physics - 04.10.2011
A guiding light for new directions in energy production
A guiding light for new directions in energy production
Advances in the field could help solve the energy challenge. The science of light and liquids has been intimately entwined since Léon Foucault discovered the speed of light in 1862, when he observed that light travels more slowly in water than in air.

Electroengineering - Environment - 29.08.2011
A high-tech propulsion system for the next 100 years
A high-tech propulsion system for the next 100 years
Environmentally friendly fuels are not just of interest for use in cars. The University of Birmingham has been operating a canal boat with a fuel cell drive for three years now.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 28.08.2011
Simulations to protect the Valais
Simulations to protect the Valais
Scientists model sediment deposits carried by the Naviscence River in the Swiss Valais canton. They are simulating possible scenarios for the future of the Zinal ski area, which could be threatened by the river.

Environment - 25.08.2011
Unprecedented insight into cloud formation
Unprecedented insight into cloud formation
The CLOUD experiment has been designed to study the effect of cosmic rays on the formation of atmospheric aerosols - tiny liquid or solid particles suspended in the atmosphere - under controlled laboratory conditions. Atmospheric aerosols are thought to be responsible for a large fraction of the seeds that form cloud droplets.

Environment - Chemistry - 18.07.2011
Deep below the Deepwater Horizon
Deep below the Deepwater Horizon
For the first time, scientists gathered oil and gas directly as it escaped from a deep ocean wellhead — that of the damaged Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 11.07.2011
From raindrop to flood
From raindrop to flood
Scientists are starting a new field campaign in the Val Ferret. They're collecting data to study how the environment influences flood rates in mountain valleys. Predicting natural disasters in order to inform and warn populations residing in risk zones is a major challenge today. "Mathematical models exist, but they still don't take into account all the data that are needed to establish reliable predictions, such as the influence of air temperature, the formation of thermal winds or the impact of precipitation," explains Professor Marc Parlange.

Physics - Environment - 07.07.2011
How will Swiss radioactive waste be disposed of?
How will Swiss radioactive waste be disposed of?
If Switzerland does indeed abandon nuclear energy within the time-frame announced by the Swiss Confederation, the question of the burial and disposal of the accumulated waste needs to be addressed.

Environment - 27.06.2011
Air quality sensors on city buses
Air quality sensors on city buses
Rather than installing stations on fixed towers, why not use mobile sensors spread out over the whole city to get better air quality measurements?

Environment - 09.06.2011
A Power Grid on a Chip
A Power Grid on a Chip
Researchers have developed a device only 4mm thick that can manage an urban power grid a thousand times faster than currently possible.

Environment - Administration - 27.05.2011
Underground waters resist forced depollution
Underground waters resist forced depollution
An experiment has demonstrated the role played by micro-organisms in the degradation - without oxygen - of a very common pollutant: vinyl chloride. The traces of human industrial activity persist deep inside the ground. And sometimes for a long time! In Switzerland alone, the Federal Office for the Environment records no less than 50,000 polluted sites, including 4000 that have been declared "contaminated" and require clean-up operations.

Electroengineering - Environment - 25.05.2011
Record efficiency for solar cells
Record efficiency for solar cells
Scientists have further boosted the energy conversion efficiency of flexible solar cells made of copper indium gallium (di)selenide (also known as CIGS) to a new world record of 18.7% - a significant improvement overt he previous record of 17.6% achieved by the same team in June 2010.

Environment - 02.02.2011
Intact roads for clean air
Intact roads for clean air
Road traffic is one of the main sources of fine particulate matter in the atmosphere, above all when the weather situation favors the creation of winter smog, as has been the case over the past few day in the Swiss "Mittelland".

Environment - 24.01.2011
L’homme bouleverse le climat depuis des millénaires
L’homme bouleverse le climat depuis des millénaires
The Roman Conquest, the Black Death and the discovery of America - by modifying the nature of the forests - have had a significant impact on the environment.

History / Archeology - Environment - 13.01.2011
Climate impact on ancient societies
Climate impact on ancient societies
Annual-resolved European summer climate has, for the first time ever, been reconstructed over the past 2,500 years. Tree rings reveal possible links between past climate variability and changes in human history. Climate change coincided with periods of socioeconomic, cultural and political turmoil associated with the Barbarian Migrations, the Black Death and Thirty Years' War.

Environment - 04.01.2011
Corals provide evidence of Global Warming
Corals provide evidence of Global Warming
Examination of deep sea corals reveals that there have been drastic changes to oceanic currents in the western North Atlantic since the 1970s.
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