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Environment - Earth Sciences - 10.06.2021
Chamoli Disaster Could Happen Again
Chamoli Disaster Could Happen Again
Some four months ago, a devastating flood ravaged the Chamoli district in the Indian Himalayas, killing over 200 people. The flood was caused by a massive landslide, which also involved a glacier. Researchers at the University of Zurich, the WSL and ETH Zurich have now analyzed the causes, scope and impact of the disaster as part of an international collaboration.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 09.06.2021
Research efforts to reduce pesticide contamination
Research efforts to reduce pesticide contamination
With the latest analytical methods, potentially toxic substances can be detected even at very low concentrations. However, the aim of research is not merely to document such contamination but also to understand how it occurs in streams and groundwater, and to propose mitigation measures. In agricultural areas, large volumes of water from fields, roads and paths enter streams via manholes or other artificial drainage systems.

History / Archeology - Earth Sciences - 02.06.2021
Early Medieval Egyptian blue in laser light
Early Medieval Egyptian blue in laser light
Research team elucidates complex spectrum of trace compounds in the first artificial pigment of mankind Art technologist Dr. Petra Dariz and analytical chemist Dr. Thomas Schmid (School of Analytical Sciences Adlershof SALSA at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung BAM) identified Egyptian blue on a monochrome blue mural fragment, which was excavated in the church of St. Peter above Gratsch (South Tyrol, Northern Italy) in the 1970s.

Earth Sciences - 31.05.2021
Warm seas when the Earth was still young?
Warm seas when the Earth was still young?
Researchers from the Universities of Göttingen, Cologne and Århus calculate the water temperatures of the first oceans For decades, there has been controversy about the water temperatures of the first oceans on Earth. At that time, radiation from the Sun was much weaker and the oceans could have been very cold, perhaps even frozen.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 31.05.2021
Extreme CO2 greenhouse effect heated up the young Earth
Although sun radiation was relatively low, the temperature on the young Earth was warm. An international team of geoscientists has found important clues that high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere were responsible for these high temperatures. It only got cooler with the beginning of plate tectonics, as the CO2 was gradually captured and stored on the emerging continents.

Earth Sciences - Campus - 31.05.2021
Hidden magma pools pose eruption risks that we can’t yet detect
Scientists' ability to estimate eruption risks is largely reliant on knowing where pools of magma are stored, deep in the Earth's crust. But what happens if the magma can't be spotted? Shane Rooyakkers , a former PhD candidate at McGill University's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and now a postdoctoral scholar at GNS Science in New Zealand, grew up in the shadow of Mount Taranaki on the country's North Island, hiking on the island's many volcanoes.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 27.05.2021
Revenge of the seabed burrowers
Revenge of the seabed burrowers
The ancient burrowers of the seafloor have been getting a bum rap for years. These prehistoric dirt churners - a wide assortment of worms, trilobites, and other animals that lived in Earth's oceans hundreds of millions of years ago - are thought to have played a key role in creating the conditions needed for marine life to flourish.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 25.05.2021
Scientists track veil of toxic metals carried in Kilauea's gas plumes, revealing hidden dangers of volcanic pollution
Scientists track veil of toxic metals carried in Kilauea’s gas plumes, revealing hidden dangers of volcanic pollution
A team of volcanologists who observed the colossal 2018 eruption of Kilauea, Hawai'i, have tracked how potentially toxic metals carried in its gas plumes were transported away from the volcano to be deposited on the landscape.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 25.05.2021
Impact of Coal Burning on Yangtze River is Comparable to Natural Processes
Impact of Coal Burning on Yangtze River is Comparable to Natural Processes
First-of-its-kind study reveals that fossil fuel consumption has outsized impact on river sediment A new study finds that fly ash-particles left over from burning coal-make up between 37 and 72 percent of all particulate organic carbon carried by the Yangtze River in China, or around 200,000 to 400,000 tons of carbon per year.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 24.05.2021
Greenland glacial meltwaters rich in mercury
Greenland glacial meltwaters rich in mercury
New research shows concentrations of the toxic element mercury in rivers and fjords connected to the Greenland Ice Sheet are comparable to rivers in industrial China, an unexpected finding raising questions about the effects of glacial melting in an area that is a major exporter of seafood. "There are surprisingly high levels of mercury in the glacier meltwaters we sampled in southwest Greenland," said lead author Jon Hawkings, a postdoctoral fellow at Florida State University and the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 21.05.2021
Noble gases used to sniff out the pathways of the Emmental's groundwater
Noble gases used to sniff out the pathways of the Emmental’s groundwater
An Eawag researcher has helped to develop a new approach to tracking how river water enters the groundwater. In the test area within the Emmental, the flow time within the aquifer has been shown to be much shorter than previously assumed. This has potential consequences during dry spells. An Eawag researcher has helped to develop a new approach to tracking how river water enters the groundwater.

Campus - Earth Sciences - 21.05.2021
Clues from soured milk reveal how gold veins form
For decades scientists have been puzzled by the formation of rare hyper-enriched gold deposits in places like Ballarat in Australia, Serra Palada in Brazil, and Red Lake in Ontario. While such deposits typically form over tens to hundreds of thousands of years, these "ultrahigh-grade" deposits can form in years, month, or even days.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 20.05.2021
Airborne radar reveals groundwater beneath glacier
Airborne radar reveals groundwater beneath glacier
Researchers have detected groundwater beneath a glacier in Greenland for the first time using airborne radar data. If applicable to other glaciers and ice sheets, the technique could allow for more accurate predictions of future sea-level rise. Melting glaciers and polar ice sheets are among the dominant sources of sea-level rise, yet until now, the water beneath them has remained hidden from airborne ice-penetrating radar.

Earth Sciences - 18.05.2021
Colonisation of the Antilles by South American fauna: giant sunken islands as a passageway?
Colonisation of the Antilles by South American fauna: giant sunken islands as a passageway?
Fossils of land animals from South America have been found in the Antilles. The appearance/disappearance of archipelagos is due to tectonic plate movements and glacial-interglacial cycles. Archipelagos have emerged and sunk in a cyclic manner for millions of years, favouring the displacement of the Antilles.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 18.05.2021
Imaging technique could help identify where landslides are likely
Each year, landslides kill thousands of people around the world and cause catastrophic property damage. But scientists are still trying to better understand the circumstances that cause them. Doing so would go a long way toward helping people predict where landslides could occur and how severe they might be.

Earth Sciences - 18.05.2021
Colonisation of the Antilles by South American fauna: giant sunken islands as a passageway?
Communication from CNRS on May 18, 2021. Publication of LGL-TPE in the June 2021 issue of Earth-Science Reviews. Fossils of land animals from South America have been found in the Antilles. The appearance/disappearance of archipelagos is due to tectonic plate movements and glacial-interglacial cycles.

Earth Sciences - Physics - 14.05.2021
Fibre-optics help create most detailed picture of Greenland Ice Sheet
Fibre-optics help create most detailed picture of Greenland Ice Sheet
Scientists have used a fibre-optic sensor passed deep into a borehole to obtain the most detailed measurements of ice properties ever taken on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Their findings will be used to make more accurate models of the future movement of the world’s second-largest ice sheet, as the effects of climate change continue to accelerate.

Earth Sciences - 14.05.2021
Solar Wind From the Centre of the Earth
Model for the Earth's core: Heidelberg researchers verify presence of solar noble gases in metal of an iron meteorite High-precision noble gas analyses indicate that solar wind particles from our primordial Sun were encased in the Earth's core over 4.5 billion years ago. Researchers from the Institute of Earth Sciences at Heidelberg University have concluded that the particles made their way into the overlying rock mantle over millions of years.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 12.05.2021
Genetic structure of the snail 'Xerocrassa montserratensis', an endemic species to Catalonia
Genetic structure of the snail ’Xerocrassa montserratensis’, an endemic species to Catalonia
A study published in the journal Scientific Reports reveals the genetic structure of the land snail Xerocrassa montserratensis and it provides new scientific tools for the improvement of the conservation of this endemic and threatened species in Catalonia. This land mollusc, identified in the late 19th century in the Montserrat mountain, has a reduced geographical distribution limited to the province of Barcelona, and it is a protected species in the area of the natural parks of Montserrat and Sant Llorenç del Munt i l'Obac.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 12.05.2021
Is Climate Sensitivity Higher Than Believed?
Is Climate Sensitivity Higher Than Believed?
Meta-study on noble gas concentrations in ground water reconstructs climate in the last Ice Age The last Ice Age about 20,000 years ago may have been colder than previous reconstructions of the period's global temperature have led us to believe. An international meta-study to which Werner Aeschbach of the Institute of Environmental Physics at Heidelberg University contributed suggests this may have been the case.