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Environment - Earth Sciences - 02.12.2020
Scientists organize to tackle crisis of coral bleaching
Scientists organize to tackle crisis of coral bleaching
Coral reefs are among the most diverse ecosystems in the world, protecting coastlines from erosion and supporting more than 500 million people through tourism and fishing livelihoods. But at the current rate of global warming, mass coral bleaching is expected to become more frequent and severe worldwide.

Environment - Social Sciences - 01.12.2020
Gentrification disproportionately affects minorities
Disadvantaged residents from predominately Black neighborhoods have fewer options in face of gentrification. A new study by a Stanford sociologist has determined that the negative effects of gentrification are felt disproportionately by minority communities, whose residents have fewer options of neighborhoods they can move to compared to their white counterparts.

Life Sciences - Environment - 30.11.2020
New aggressive alga threatening the health of Caribbean coral reefs
New aggressive alga threatening the health of Caribbean coral reefs
Hurricanes, pollution, disease, bleaching and the effects of an increasingly warmer planet are all negatively impacting the health of coral reefs around the world. However, those in the Caribbean are facing a new threat - an aggressive, golden-brown, crust-like alga that is rapidly overgrowing shallow reefs.

Electroengineering - Environment - 30.11.2020
Combining light and sound to see underwater
Combining light and sound to see underwater
The experimental Photoacoustic Airborne Sonar System setup in the lab (left). A Stanford "S" submerged beneath the water (middle) is reconstructed in 3D using reflected ultrasound waves (right). (Image credit: Aidan Fitzpatrick) The "Photoacoustic Airborne Sonar System" could be installed beneath drones to enable aerial underwater surveys and high-resolution mapping of the deep ocean.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 27.11.2020
How Stable is the Antarctic Ice Sheet?
How Stable is the Antarctic Ice Sheet?
Scientists from Heidelberg University investigate which factors determine the stability of ice masses in East Antarctica As temperatures rise due to climate change, the melting of polar ice sheets is accelerating. An international team of researchers led by geoscientist Dr Kim Jakob from Heidelberg University has now examined the dynamics of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet more closely.

Environment - 26.11.2020
Which factors trigger leaf die-off in autumn?
Which factors trigger leaf die-off in autumn?
Researchers at ETH Zurich have identified a self-regulating mechanism in European deciduous trees that limits their growing-season length: Trees that photosynthesise more in spring and summer lose their leaves earlier in autumn. Leaves of temperate deciduous trees glow in all their yellow and red glory just before falling, signalling that autumn has come.

Environment - Life Sciences - 26.11.2020
Natural sewage treatment plants float on the Zambezi River
Natural sewage treatment plants float on the Zambezi River
Sprawling carpets of floating plants are the result of too many nutrients. However, they could become part of solution strategies, Eawag researchers show. They are a beautiful sight to behold: carpets of floating plants such as the water hyacinth ( Eichhornia crassipes ) in the Zambezi catchment. However, they are also an indicator of inadequate wastewater management in urban and industrial regions of tropical developing countries.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 26.11.2020
The Swiss Alps continue to rise
The Swiss Alps continue to rise
An international team of geologists, headed by members of the University of Bern, has shown for the first time that the Swiss Alps are being lifted faster than they are being lowered through erosion - and are thus growing even higher. To do this, the researchers quantified the erosion of the Alps with the help of isotopes measured in the sand of more than 350 rivers throughout the European Alps.

Environment - Innovation - 25.11.2020
Scottish scientists join call for decade-long deep sea study
The deep seas - vast expanses of water and seabed hidden more than 200 metres below the ocean surface to depths up to 11,000 metres - are recognised globally as an important frontier of science and discovery. But despite the fact they account for around 60% of Earth's surface area, large areas remain completely unexplored, yet the habitats they support impact on the health of the entire planet.

Environment - Materials Science - 25.11.2020
Scientists invent ultrafast way to make solar modules greener
Scientists invent ultrafast way to make solar modules greener
High-speed manufacturing could advance the commercialization of perovskite modules, a green alternative to conventional solar panels made of silicon. Most solar cells today are made with refined silicon that turns sunlight into clean electricity. Unfortunately, the process of refining silicon is far from clean, requiring vast amounts of energy from carbon-emitting power plants.

Environment - 25.11.2020
Adaptive structures cut down the carbon footprint of buildings
Scientists at EPFL have developed new methods to design and control civil structures that are able to automatically adapt to loading. The aim is to reduce the environmental impact of the construction sector. In order to address current environmental challenges, the construction industry must find new ways of building.

Environment - Life Sciences - 24.11.2020
Microbes help unlock phosphorus for plant growth
Microbes help unlock phosphorus for plant growth
Phosphorus is a necessary nutrient for plants to grow. But when it's applied to plants as part of a chemical fertilizer, phosphorus can react strongly with minerals in the soil, forming complexes with iron, aluminum and calcium. This locks up the phosphorus, preventing plants from being able to access this crucial nutrient.

Life Sciences - Environment - 24.11.2020
Plant extinction is more common than previously realized
Plant extinction is more common than previously realized
A new study reveals that 65 plant species have gone extinct in the continental United States and Canada since European settlement, more extinctions than any previous scientific study has ever documented. Led by Wesley Knapp of the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, a group of 16 experts from across the United States - including Richard Olmstead , a University of Washington professor of biology and curator of the UW's Burke Museum Herbarium - collaborated on this first-of-its-kind project to document the extinct plants of the continental United States and Canada.

Health - Environment - 24.11.2020
COVID-19: Air quality influences the pandemic
COVID-19: Air quality influences the pandemic
Temperature inversions or Saharan dust intrusions can favor the presence of fine particles in the air. Their high concentration can aggravate the consequences of COVID-19. The correlation between the high concentration of fine particles and the severity of influenza waves is well known to epidemiologists.

Environment - 24.11.2020
Study measures Switzerland's potential geothermal heating capacity
An EPFL PhD candidate has calculated the maximum amount of geothermal energy that could theoretically be extracted using ground-source heat pumps in the Cantons of Vaud and Geneva. In a study combining data on the area available for such systems with computer modeling techniques, she found stark differences between geothermal energy's potential in urban versus rural areas.

Physics - Environment - 24.11.2020
Scientists Design New Framework for Clean Water
Scientists Design New Framework for Clean Water
Nature-inspired material designed by Berkeley Lab removes copper from wastewater with atomic precision W e rely on water to quench our thirst and to irrigate bountiful farmland. But what do you do when that once pristine water is polluted with wastewater from abandoned copper mines ? A promising solution relies on materials that capture heavy metal atoms, such as copper ions, from wastewater through a separation process called adsorption.

Health - Environment - 23.11.2020
Big cats and small dogs: solving the mystery of canine distemper in wild tigers
If you think getting your cat to the veterinarian is tricky, a new study - led by Cornell Wildlife Health Center, the University of Glasgow and the Wildlife Conservation Society; and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences - has revealed that vaccination of endangered Amur (Siberian) tigers is the only practical strategy to protect them from a dangerous disease in their natural habitat in the Russian Far East.

Environment - 20.11.2020
Wildfires should be considered a top threat to survival of species
A new study by 27 prominent scientists from around the world — including UCLA's Morgan Tingley — emphasizes the need to include fire among the list of potential threats to the survival of plant and animal species. Traditionally, fires have been viewed as a standard part of ecological cycles, necessary for species to survive and breed.

Life Sciences - Environment - 20.11.2020
Firth of Clyde a 'key source' of juvenile whiting, supplying the wider Scottish west coast and Irish Sea fisheries
Firth of Clyde a ’key source’ of juvenile whiting, supplying the wider Scottish west coast and Irish Sea fisheries
Scientists have discovered that the Firth of Clyde is an important source of juvenile whiting to the wider Scottish west coast waters, in new research likely to be important for fisheries management. In a new joint study, between the University of Glasgow and Marine Scotland Science published today in Communications Biology, researchers found that as juvenile whiting grow to become adults some cross the fish stock boundary between the Irish Sea and waters to the west of Scotland.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 19.11.2020
Too much nitrogen and phosphorus damages forests and water bodies
Too much nitrogen and phosphorus damages forests and water bodies
A factsheet from the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) shows: Too much nitrogen and phosphorus is released into the Swiss environment. There they damage biodiversity, forests and water bodies, exacerbate climate change and affect human health. Actually the causes are known. With the help of Eawag researchers, the Swiss Academy of Sciences have collected facts on the problem of excessive nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the environment.
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