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Environment - 25.04.2019
EPFL helps revitalize Sarine River habitats downstream of Rossens dam
EPFL helps revitalize Sarine River habitats downstream of Rossens dam
Researchers at EPFL conducted a large-scale experiment downstream of Rossens arch dam, employing a laboratory-developed method to successfully preserve wildlife habitats.  The absence of natural flood events means that, downstream of dams, rivers always flow at the same rate. The channel bed silts up as time passes, and the lack of sediment replenishment degrades fish and invertebrate habitats and causes species diversity to decline.  Until recently, this very fate had befallen the Sarine River downstream of the Rossens arch dam in Fribourg Canton.

Environment - Business / Economics - 24.04.2019
Renewable energy mandates reduce carbon dioxide emissions-but at a cost
As states take the lead in confronting climate change, their flagship policy is a program that requires that a certain percentage of the state's electricity come from renewable sources. But a new working paper co-authored by University of Chicago scholars found that these popular programs-enacted in 29 states and the District of Columbia-are inefficient in reducing carbon emissions and come at a high cost to consumers.

Environment - Business / Economics - 22.04.2019
Will ocean seafood farming sink or swim? UCLA study evaluates its potential
Will ocean seafood farming sink or swim? UCLA study evaluates its potential
Research on 144 countries reveals opportunities and pitfalls of this fast-growing sector David Colgan Seafood farming in the ocean — or marine aquaculture — is the fastest growing sector of the global food system, and it shows no sign of slowing. Open-ocean farms have vast space for expansion, and consumer demand continues to rise.

Environment - Business / Economics - 22.04.2019
Climate change has worsened global economic inequality
Climate change has worsened global economic inequality
The map on the left shows countries where per capita GDP increased or decreased as a result of global warming between 1961 and 2010. The map on the right shows the same information from 1991, after economic data became available for more countries. (Image credit: Noah Diffenbaugh and Marshall Burke) The gap between the economic output of the world's richest and poorest countries is 25 percent larger today than it would have been without global warming, according to new research from Stanford University.

Environment - Physics - 22.04.2019
Scientists climb UChicago buildings to study air quality and pollution
The bell tower of Rockefeller Memorial Chapel is normally populated by tourists and the University's carillonneur. But scientists recently scaled its 271 stone steps to the highest point on campus in order to study air quality and pollution across Chicago. At Rockefeller, researchers from UChicago and Harvard University ran a long tube down the stone tower to a humming machine, which analyzed air for methane as it blew past the tower.

Life Sciences - Environment - 18.04.2019
Usurp the Burp
How seaweed could help curb cow burps—one of California's greatest sources of methane emissions Marine ecologist Jennifer Smith has been cultivating Asparagopsis taxiformis seaweed in her lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Researchers have found that adding small amounts of this seaweed to cattle feed can dramatically reduce methane-laden cow burps.

Environment - Life Sciences - 17.04.2019
Remarkable biodiversity in Swiss rivers
Remarkable biodiversity in Swiss rivers
Switzerland's rivers harbour a unique biodiversity. From 2013 to 2018 - in order to assess this diversity in more detail for the first time - scientists from the Fish Ecology & Evolution department systematically collected fish samples (in September and October in each case) from hundreds of rivers and streams.

Environment - Chemistry - 16.04.2019
Antwerp researchers make anticancer medicines from wood
New process makes the production of pharmaceuticals more efficient and sustainable. In the near future, fossil raw materials can be replaced in the production of two important anticancer drugs. An interuniversity team with researchers from UAntwerp and KU Leuven developed a process that starts from … wood.

Environment - 15.04.2019
Back from Antarctica on a sailing ship: a successful expedition!
Back from Antarctica on a sailing ship: a successful expedition!
A team of Belgian and French researchers is back from a 6-week mission studying Antarctica on a sailing ship. Key conclusions include: the benefits of this type of ship, an abundance of biodiversity, and a troubling increase in tourism. They made it back in Belgium a few days ago, after several weeks exploring the coasts of the Antarctic.

Environment - 15.04.2019
Employing 3D coral reef remote sensing to predict fish biomass
Coral reefs offer many tropical fish a vibrantly encrusted locale of refuge - a respite from the intense pressures of the sea - providing an opportunity for protection, nutrition and even reproduction. At the mercy of a warming ocean due to climate change, reefs are experiencing more frequent and damaging coral bleaching events, leaving fish (and other ocean dwellers) with barren accommodations in areas once ripe with life.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 15.04.2019
Historic logging site shows first human-caused bedrock erosion along an entire river
Historic logging site shows first human-caused bedrock erosion along an entire river
Geologic time is supposed to be slow, and the most solid object should be bedrock. But new University of Washington research upends both concepts: Effects of logging show that human activity can significantly erode bedrock, causing geology to fast forward. The study, published April 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , focuses on the Teanaway River, a picturesque river in central Washington state.

Innovation / Technology - Environment - 15.04.2019
Seeking innovative ideas: space for the oceans
Seeking innovative ideas: space for the oceans
15 April 2019 ESA seeks your ideas for applying space technology to Earth-based problems. Through the Open Space Innovation Platform , a new challenge-based website, the Agency is hunting out bright ideas to monitor plastic waste polluting the oceans, and to improve the self-steering abilities of ships.

Materials Science - Environment - 15.04.2019
The wood magician
The new head of Empa's Cellulose & Wood Materials lab, Gustav Nyström, has taken everyone by surprise by setting unconventional goals. However, paper batteries and nanocellulose sensors have one main objective: to help solve fundamental, socially relevant questions. When Gustav Nyström sees a tree, he sees more than just a biological marvel.

Life Sciences - Environment - 15.04.2019
Necrophagy: a means of survival in the Dead Sea
Necrophagy: a means of survival in the Dead Sea
UNIGE researchers have found that bacteria can survive in the sediments of the Dead Sea at a depth of over 400 metres in spite of extreme conditions. Studying organic matter in sediments helps shed light on the distant past. What was the climate like? What organisms populated the Earth? What conditions did they live in? Researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, and the University of Lyon, France, have examined the sediments in the Dead Sea, where the salinity is without compare, making it one of the most hostile environments on the planet.

Environment - 15.04.2019
Algorithms to enhance forest inventories
An EPFL doctoral student has come up with methods to map out forests more effectively using aerial remote sensing, in support of on-the-ground forest inventories. Forests are an essential component of the world's ecosystems and a key indicator of our planet's health. They provide valuable resources - like wood for construction and heating - and they filter rainwater, protect against erosion and avalanches, and can be used for numerous leisure pursuits.

Environment - Mechanical Engineering - 12.04.2019
Taking a cue from spider webs, UCLA researchers snag fresh water with vapor capture system
Taking a cue from spider webs, UCLA researchers snag fresh water with vapor capture system
Inspired by how dew drops form on spider webs, UCLA engineers and mathematicians have designed a unique and effective water vapor capture system that could be used to produce clean, fresh water, or to recycle industrial water that would otherwise be wasted. Their system is a dense array of parallel cotton threads strung vertically, with a steady stream of water droplets flowing down the strings.

Business / Economics - Environment - 12.04.2019
No more Hoover dams: Hydropowered countries suffer higher levels of poverty, corruption and debt
No more Hoover dams: Hydropowered countries suffer higher levels of poverty, corruption and debt
Countries relying on the world's biggest and most established source of renewable electricity have seen their poverty, corruption and debt levels rise and their economy slow at significantly greater rates than nations which use other energy resources over the last three decades, a major new study has found.

Environment - 11.04.2019
Time for a new global protected area target
The world needs a new international protected area target based on scientific evidence, according to a team including University of Queensland scientists. UQ researcher Professor James Watson , who is also with the Wildlife Conservation Society, said protected areas were critically important for safeguarding biodiversity.

Environment - 11.04.2019
Interplay of Pollinators and Pests Influences Plant Evolution
Interplay of Pollinators and Pests Influences Plant Evolution
Brassica rapa plants pollinated by bumblebees evolve more attractive flowers. But this evolution is compromised if caterpillars attack the plant at the same time. With the bees pollinating them less effectively, the plants increasingly self-pollinate. In a greenhouse evolution experiment, scientists at the University of Zurich have shown just how much the effects of pollinators and pests influence each other.

Environment - 11.04.2019
Researchers serve up climate change solution
An international team of researchers has discovered a cost-effective way to generate electricity without producing greenhouse gas emissions - while also reducing air pollution. University of Queensland PhD candidate Liang Cao was part of a team that analysed the impacts of combining crop residue such as sugar cane mulch with coal in a chemical engineering process known as gasification, to generate electricity.
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