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Environment/Sustainable Development



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Environment/Sustainable Development
19.02.2018
Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds - Just a Myth?
Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds - Just a Myth?
How do fish end up in isolated bodies of water when they can't swim there themselves' For centuries, researchers have assumed that water birds transfer fish eggs into these waters - however, a systematic literature review by researchers at the University of Basel has shown that there is no evidence of this to date.
Environment/Sustainable Development - Medicine/Pharmacology
07.02.2018
Confirming the risks of pesticide use in Burkina Faso
Confirming the risks of pesticide use in Burkina Faso
Poor pesticide practices in Burkina Faso pose a threat to human health and the environment. An EPFL thesis has quantified this problem for the first time through an analysis of soil, water, sediment, vegetable and hair samples. Small-scale vegetable growers in Burkina Faso are unfamiliar with the proper use of pesticides and end up exposing both people and the environment to serious contamination risks.
Architecture - Environment/Sustainable Development
08.01.2018
A small town affected by climate change
A small town affected by climate change
In the year 2100, temperatures at EPFL are expected to be similar to those currently experienced in Perugia, in central Italy.
Environment/Sustainable Development
04.01.2018
A thermometer for the oceans
A thermometer for the oceans
The average sea temperature is an essential parameter of the global climate - but it is very difficult to measure. At least until now, because an international team of researchers including Empa scientists have now developed a novel method using the concentration of noble gases in the eternal ice. This allows conclusions to be drawn on the changes in sea temperature from the last ice age to the present day, as the researchers report in the current issue of "Nature".
Life Sciences - Environment/Sustainable Development
01.01.2018
Standardizing perovskite aging measurements
Standardizing perovskite aging measurements
EPFL scientists have produced a data-driven proposal for standardizing the measurements of perovskite solar cell stability and degradation. Published in Nature Energy , the work aims to create consensus in the field and overcome one of the major hurdles on the way to commercializing perovskite photovoltaics.
Environment/Sustainable Development - Life Sciences
20.11.2017
How our forests are adapting to climate change
How our forests are adapting to climate change
How do trees adjust to the effects of global warming? EPFL researchers have studied how beech and spruce trees - two of the most common plant species in Europe - react to changing temperatures. And they discovered that the amount of moisture in the air plays a decisive role. Rising temperatures, increasingly intense rainfall and extended periods of drought are some of the known effects of climate change.
Environment/Sustainable Development
17.11.2017
The importance of forest biodiversity could increase with climate change
The importance of forest biodiversity could increase with climate change
Forests fulfil many important functions for humanity, and do so particularly well if they contain many different tree species. At the same time, European forests could potentially provide more services than they do at the moment. These are the results of two new studies in which researchers from the Institute of Plant Sciences of the University of Bern were involved.
Environment/Sustainable Development - Medicine/Pharmacology
14.11.2017
Global Warming - New Study Calls for Decisive Action
Global Warming - New Study Calls for Decisive Action
The largest global study to date on the effects of climate change on temperature-related mortality shows that more deaths due to hot weather may not be balanced by fewer deaths in colder world regions should global temperatures continue to rise. Swiss TPH, working for improved health of the people around the globe, prepared the data set for Switzerland.
Environment/Sustainable Development
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/Sustainable Development
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/Sustainable Development - Life Sciences
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/Sustainable Development - Life Sciences
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.
Environment/Sustainable Development - 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.
Life Sciences - Environment/Sustainable Development
05.09.2017
Combating Japanese Beetles with Fungi
Combating Japanese Beetles with Fungi
Zurich-Reckenholz, 05.09.2017 - In June of this year, the Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) was detected for the first time in Switzerland, in the canton of Ticino. Considered to be a quarantine pest, it is subject to obligatory control. Agroscope researchers are testing whether this quarantine pest can be controlled with fungi that are effective against May and June beetles.
Environment/Sustainable Development
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.
Civil Engineering/Traffic Engineering - Environment/Sustainable Development
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.
Civil Engineering/Traffic Engineering - Environment/Sustainable Development
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.
Environment/Sustainable Development - Life Sciences
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.
Microtechnics/Electroengineering - Environment/Sustainable Development
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/Sustainable Development - 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.
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