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Electroengineering - Environment - 12.09.2019
Low-cost device generates electricity using natural cooling phenomenon
When frost forms on the ground overnight even when temperatures are well above freezing, or water droplets appear on car windshields even on a clear night, the cause is often a phenomenon called radiative sky cooling. In a paper published in the journal Joule, researchers led by a UCLA materials scientist report that they have leveraged the principles behind radiative sky cooling to develop an innovative way to produce renewable energy at night.

Environment - Microtechnics - 12.09.2019
"Flying fish" robot can dive and fly
A bio-inspired bot uses water from the environment to create a propelling gas and launch itself from the water's surface. The robot had been developed by researchers at Imperial College London. It can travel 26 meters through the air after take-off and could be used to collect water samples in hazardous and cluttered environments, such as during flooding or when monitoring ocean pollution, report the team lead by Mirko Kovac, who also heads the joint "Materials and Technology Center of Robotics" at Empa, in the latest issue of "Science Robotics".

Environment - Earth Sciences - 12.09.2019
Gloomy forecast for the Aletsch Glacier
Gloomy forecast for the Aletsch Glacier
The largest glacier in the Alps is visibly suffering the effects of global warming. ETH researchers have now calculated how much of the Aletsch Glacier will still be visible by the end of the century. In the worst-case scenario, a couple patches of ice will be all that's left. Every year, it attracts thousands of visitors from around the world: as the largest ice flow in the Alps, the Great Aletsch Glacier is a major tourism draw in the Swiss region of Upper Valais, second only to the Matterhorn.

Environment - Microtechnics - 11.09.2019
’Flying fish’ robot can propel itself out of water and glide through the air
A bio-inspired bot uses water from the environment to create a gas and launch itself from the water's surface. The robot, which can travel 26 metres through the air after take-off, could be used to collect water samples in hazardous and cluttered environments, such as during flooding or when monitoring ocean pollution.

Environment - Social Sciences - 11.09.2019
Global Sustainable Development Report calls for urgent, coordinated action
Global Sustainable Development Report calls for urgent, coordinated action
A world without poverty, in which everyone's well-being is ensured: achieving this goal by 2030 is still possible, but only if the relationship between people and nature is fundamentally changed and social inequalities are reduced. That is the conclusion of the 2019 UN Global Sustainable Development Report, drafted by an independent group of scientists co-chaired by Peter Messerli, University of Bern, and Endah Murniningtyas.

Astronomy / Space Science - Environment - 11.09.2019
First water detected on potentially 'habitable' planet
First water detected on potentially ’habitable’ planet
Water vapour has been detected in the atmosphere of a super-Earth with habitable temperatures by UCL researchers in a world first. K2-18b, which is eight times the mass of Earth, is now the only planet orbiting a star outside the Solar System, or 'exoplanet', known to have both water and temperatures that could support life.

Environment - Life Sciences - 11.09.2019
University announces names for seven new College residential houses
If you swallow a drop of water from Lake Michigan, it will contain roughly a million bacterial cells and 10 million bacteriophages-tiny viruses that infect bacteria and may outnumber every other organism on Earth. "There's a lot of interest lately in the human microbiome," saidá Coleman , an assistant professor in the University of Chicago's Department of the Geophysical Sciences.

Life Sciences - Environment - 10.09.2019
One scientist’s quest to map the trillions of microbes in the Great Lakes
If you swallow a drop of water from Lake Michigan, it will contain roughly a million bacterial cells and 10 million bacteriophages-tiny viruses that infect bacteria and may outnumber every other organism on Earth. "There's a lot of interest lately in the human microbiome," saidá Coleman , an assistant professor in the University of Chicago's Department of the Geophysical Sciences.

Environment - 10.09.2019
Tides don't always flush water out to sea
Tides don’t always flush water out to sea
By area, tidal flats make up more than 50 percent of Willapa Bay in southwest Washington state, making this more than 142-square-mile estuary an ideal location for oyster farming. On some parts of these flats, oysters grow well, filling their shells with delicacies for discerning diners. But according to experienced oyster farmers, oysters raised in other parts of Willapa Bay don't yield as much meat.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 10.09.2019
Europe's oldest lake traces 1.4 million years of Mediterranean climate
Europe’s oldest lake traces 1.4 million years of Mediterranean climate
New research by an international team of scientists, led by the University of Cologne and including the University of Bristol, has revealed a lake considered to be the oldest in Europe was first established 1.36 million years ago and has existed continuously ever since. Lake Ohrid, located at the border between the Republics of Albania and North Macedonia, is famous for its exceptional biodiversity, with more than 300 unique (endemic) animal and plant species.

Innovation / Technology - Environment - 10.09.2019
New ways to find natural gas leaks quickly
New ways to find natural gas leaks quickly
Finding natural gas leaks more quickly and at lower cost could reduce methane emissions. Ten promising technologies mounted on drones, trucks and airplanes were tested last year. The results are in. On trucks, drones and airplanes, 10 promising technologies for finding natural gas leaks swiftly and cheaply competed in the Mobile Monitoring Challenge, the first independent assessment of moving gas leak detectors at well sites.

Environment - 10.09.2019
Treating more wastewater with less energy
Treating more wastewater with less energy
More and more people are moving to cities and agglomerations in Switzerland, which is putting extreme pressure on some wastewater treatment plants: Because they are having to treat greater volumes of wastewater, their energy consumption is skyrocketing. And some WTPs are close to reaching capacity. Together with various project partners from industry, Eawag has now been testing out a new kind of technology for the past six months at the Sihltal WTP.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 09.09.2019
First day of dinosaur extinction recorded in rocks at asteroid impact site
First day of dinosaur extinction recorded in rocks at asteroid impact site
Researchers probing the impact that wiped out the dinosaurs find evidence of wildfires and tsunami in the rocks at ground zero. An international team led by University of Texas and including Imperial College London researchers analysed more than 130 metres of rock that had built up over just one day - the day after the asteroid struck.

Environment - Innovation / Technology - 09.09.2019
Interest rates are a decisive factor for competitive renewables
Renewable energy has become competitive - and one often-overlooked reason is the reduced cost of financing. Researchers from ETH Zurich and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) have modelled different scenarios in order to investigate the impact of rising interest rates on renewable energy.

Environment - 09.09.2019
Lightning ’superbolts’ form over oceans from November to February
The lightning season in the Southeastern U.S. is almost finished for this year, but the peak season for the most powerful strokes of lightning won't begin until November, according to a newly published global survey of these rare events. A University of Washington study maps the location and timing of "superbolts” - bolts that release electrical energy of more than 1 million Joules, or a thousand times more energy than the average lightning bolt, in the very low frequency range in which lightning is most active.

Environment - Chemistry - 09.09.2019
New Investigation Cuts Through the Haze Surrounding
New Investigation Cuts Through the Haze Surrounding "Smoke-Free" Tobacco Products
Scientists find that the potentially harmful emissions from a trendy smoking alternative are comparable to electronic cigarettes A class of alternative tobacco product called heat-not-burn is quickly gaining in popularity across the globe.áThe product manufacturers claim that these battery-operated devices produce a "clean," nicotine-laden vapor that contains fewer irritant and carcinogenic chemicals than a conventional cigarette - and are therefore a less harmful option for tobacco users.

Environment - 09.09.2019
Human influence on groundwater quality
Human influence on groundwater quality
Eawag researchers have identified the major anthropogenic threats and their chief origins in a review article. Intensive agriculture, urban sprawl, the pharmaceutical industry, poor wastewater infrastructure, lack of water-quality data as well as lack of awareness of the meaning of groundwater as a renewable resource are among the most urgent problems.

Environment - Astronomy / Space Science - 09.09.2019
Satellites reveal peatland fire susceptibility
Satellites reveal peatland fire susceptibility
Fires in Southeast Asian peatlands release huge amounts of carbon, along with deadly smoke. Now, new satellite measurements of soil moisture may offer a promising approach to reducing those fires and their widespread haze. When large areas of carbon-rich soil catch fire, the blaze emits massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and creates a thick haze some residents of Southeast Asia know all too well.

Computer Science / Telecom - Environment - 06.09.2019
Machine learning and its radical application to severe weather prediction
In the last decade, artificial intelligence ("AI”) applications have exploded across various research sectors, including computer vision, communications and medicine. Now, the rapidly developing technology is making its mark in weather prediction. The fields of atmospheric science and satellite meteorology are ideally suited for the task, offering a rich training ground capable of feeding an AI system's endless appetite for data.

Environment - Business / Economics - 05.09.2019
Five cool things about our environmental research
From decarbonising heat to food security and water sustainability, we're working to bring about improvements that will benefit nature and the well-being of the planet. Durham's research is having an impact on the environment and potentially all of our lives. In fact, it's hard to imagine a more important research focus for us than the environment given that all life depends upon it.

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