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Life Sciences - Environment - 11.05.2023
A survey of genetic diversity among native Swiss living organisms
A survey of genetic diversity among native Swiss living organisms
Switzerland is monitoring its biological diversity as part of a global effort to understand its changes and prevent further biodiversity loss. Researchers from ETH Zurich are working on a pioneering pilot study that includes the analysis of genetic diversity of native species. The world is not only suffering from a climate crisis but also from a biodiversity crisis.

Environment - Chemistry - 10.05.2023
Climate change leads to disproportionately high pollutant absorption
Climate change leads to disproportionately high pollutant absorption
Pesticides and other chemicals harm biodiversity, and climate change is also threatening many habitats. With his study, Eawag researcher Johannes Raths has shown that these two challenges for our society may even worsen. Amphipods absorbed pollutants faster as water temperatures rose. The researcher has received an award from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry for his paper on the toxicokinetics of amphipods in combination with increased water temperatures.

Environment - Life Sciences - 09.05.2023
New Eawag spin-off advises wastewater treatment plant
New Eawag spin-off advises wastewater treatment plant
Environmental engineer Wenzel Gruber and microbiologist Robert Niederdorfer - both Eawag postdocs - founded the spin-off Upwater together with two other partners at the beginning of November 2022. It offers measurements for wastewater treatment plants to support them in reducing process instabilities, greenhouse gas emissions as well as energy consumption.

Environment - 08.05.2023
Glacial melt threatens habitats of alpine river organisms
Glacial melt threatens habitats of alpine river organisms
Glacial melt affects numerous organisms that are native to streams fed by glacial water. As the ice masses increasingly retreat, the bodies of water warm up, threatening the habitats of their cold-water inhabitants. Researchers from Eawag, WSL and an international team have now found a method of identifying future potential refugia for these cold-water organisms.

Environment - Life Sciences - 03.05.2023
DNA traces in groundwater
DNA traces in groundwater
May 3, 2023, An Eawag study shows that a large variety of living organisms leave their DNA traces in groundwater - which also depends on the land use in the catchment area. In future, these biological parameters could be used to assess groundwater quality. Groundwater is an invisible - and therefore often disregarded - treasure that is threatened worldwide due to overuse and pollution.

Environment - 02.05.2023
The inequalities of low-carbon electricity
The inequalities of low-carbon electricity
A team from the University of Geneva reveals how a low-carbon electricity sector could favour or disadvantage certain regions in Europe. Greenhouse gas reduction, new jobs, new investment opportunities: the benefits of decarbonising the electricity sector - one of the most polluting - are obvious. However, a transition to lower-carbon electricity production could have a negative impact on some regions, depending on their vulnerabilities and their capacity to adapt, while it could have a positive impact on others.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 27.04.2023
Flying drones in Kyrgyzstan
Flying drones in Kyrgyzstan
SLF-scientists Joel Caduff and Yves Bühler trained scientists and practitioners in drone-based snow depth mapping in the Kyrgyz mountains. After packing a lot of equipment including ski touring sets and an eBee-X drone, we boarded the plane to Istanbul on March 29 and then to Biskek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.

Environment - 25.04.2023
Addressing diversity with diversity: Interdisciplinary collaboration in the habitat mosaic of rivers
Addressing diversity with diversity: Interdisciplinary collaboration in the habitat mosaic of rivers
Restoration and nature conservation projects have the great potential to restore and maintain important functions of our watercourses for future generations. Researchers from four research institutes of the ETH Domain, in collaboration with the FOEN, have investigated how sediment transport and connectivity affect flood safety and river ecology.

Environment - Materials Science - 25.04.2023
Circuit boards from renewable raw materials
Circuit boards from renewable raw materials
Can ecologically sustainable circuit boards for the electronics industry be produced from cellulose fibers? Empa researcher Thomas Geiger looked into this question. He is now part of a multinational EU project called Hypelignum". Its goal: biodegradable electronics. For many years, Thomas Geiger has been conducting research in the field of cellulose fibrils - fine fibers that can be produced from wood pulp or agricultural waste, for example.

Environment - Life Sciences - 20.04.2023
Improving the microbial quality of recycled water in Bengaluru
Improving the microbial quality of recycled water in Bengaluru
In urban India, rising water scarcity and increasing pressure on water supply utilities have prompted the use of treated wastewater as an alternative source. A study of Eawag together with Indian partners explains how the use of sensors and automated chlorination can improve microbial water quality in on-site water reuse systems for increased user safety.

Environment - Life Sciences - 20.04.2023
Centralized database helps scientists better understand coral reefs
Centralized database helps scientists better understand coral reefs
Coral reefs are under a growing threat from climate change and human activity, making it more important than ever to understand their strengths and vulnerabilities. A team of scientists has now taken an important step in this direction with the new RECIFS open-access database on reef environments. The Reef Environment Centralized InFormation System ( RECIFS ) is a web application that provides a single repository of all datasets currently available on reef environments worldwide.

Environment - Innovation - 19.04.2023
Wood: A wild card for the energy transition
Wood: A wild card for the energy transition
Wood is a trump card for the energy transition because it is very versatile and easy to store. Compared to today, up to a third more energy could be obtained from wood, not only in the form of heat, but also in the form of electricity and fuels. However, current use is not efficient enough, Swiss bioenergy researchers have shown in a new report.

Environment - Microtechnics - 18.04.2023
Delicate, diligent, transient
Delicate, diligent, transient
Their task is to monitor the condition of ecosystems, for instance in the forest floor - and crumble to dust when their work is done: bio-gliders modeled on the Java cucumber, which sails its seeds dozens of meters through the air. researchers have developed these sustainable flying sensors from potato starch and wood waste.

Environment - 13.04.2023
Tracing mine accidents with satellite data
Tracing mine accidents with satellite data
Mining repeatedly causes water pollution, with devastating consequences for people and the environment. In the countries of the Global South, polluters often get away with it because the waters are seldom monitored and thus there is a lack of clear evidence. This is where the view from above can help: satellite data provides important evidence on the origin, spread and extent of such environmental disasters, as Désirée Ruppen shows as part of her doctoral thesis.

Environment - 11.04.2023
Wastewater treatment plants: On the trail of the climate pest nitrous oxide
Wastewater treatment plants: On the trail of the climate pest nitrous oxide
Nitrous oxide is one of the main greenhouse gases and also contributes to the destruction of the ozone layer. One of the places where it is released is in wastewater treatment plants. A study has now investigated how much of this is due to the treatment of sludge liquid, which is to be expanded over the next few years.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 05.04.2023
The unexpected contribution of medieval monks to volcanology
The unexpected contribution of medieval monks to volcanology
By analysing medieval texts, an international team led by the University of Geneva has succeeded in precisely dating some of the largest eruptions in history. By observing the night sky, medieval monks unwittingly recorded some of history's largest volcanic eruptions. An international team of researchers, led by the University of Geneva , drew on readings of 12th and 13th century European and Middle Eastern chronicles, along with ice core and tree ring data, to accurately date some of the biggest volcanic eruptions the world has ever seen.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 03.04.2023
Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation was more stable than thought
Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation was more stable than thought
A study by the University of Bern concludes that at the end of the last ice age there was not, as previously assumed, a complete collapse of the ocean circulation in the Atlantic, which provide a mild climate in Europe. This realization has implications for the discussion on climate tipping points. The climate does not change linearly.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 03.04.2023
Emissions of banned ozone-destroying chemicals increasing
Emissions of banned ozone-destroying chemicals increasing
A new analysis has found rapidly increasing emissions between 2010 and 2020 of five ozone-depleting chemicals whose production for most uses had been banned under the Montreal Protocol. The emissions of these five chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, occur in part from leakage during the synthesis of ozone-friendly alternatives to CFCs.

Environment - 31.03.2023
Why are forests turning brown in summer?
Why are forests turning brown in summer?
Increasing summer heat and drought are affecting European forests - some years, trees brown prematurely and some even start to die back. Researchers from ETH Zurich and the WSL are showing how exceptional weather conditions over several years are turning forests brown. by Michael Keller (Photograph: Valentin Queloz / WSL) It was as though autumn had arrived in July.

Environment - 31.03.2023
What makes forests brown in summer
What makes forests brown in summer
Forests throughout Europe suffer increasingly from heat and drought in summer - in some years trees brown prematurely and sometimes even die completely. Researchers at ETH Zurich and WSL show how extreme weather conditions favor the browning of forests over several years . As if it were already autumn in July.
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