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News from the Lab (news.myScience.ch)

  • News from the Lab’ is a selection of scientific works that are significant or interesting for a broad readership. 
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Earth Sciences



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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.

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 - 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.

Earth Sciences - 06.05.2021
New indicator for oxygen levels in early oceans developed
New indicator for oxygen levels in early oceans developed
A geoscientific research team led by scientists from the University of Cologne has come a decisive step closer to determining the oxygen levels in the early Earth's history by analysing the composition of tungsten isotopes / publication in PNAS Oxygen is essential for the development of higher life.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 28.04.2021
Seasonal Water Resource on the Upper Indus
Seasonal Water Resource on the Upper Indus
Heidelberg geographers draw up full inventory of barely researched aufeis (icing) fields Seasonally occurring fields of aufeis (icing) constitute an important resource for the water supply of the local population in the Upper Indus Basin. However, little research has been done on them so far. Geographers at the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University have now examined the spreading of aufeis and, for the first time, created a full inventory of these aufeis fields.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 22.04.2021
Plant provenance influences pollinators
Plant provenance influences pollinators
Insect decline is one of the greatest challenges facing our society. As a result of the destruction of many natural habitats, bees, bumblebees, butterflies, beetles and the like find less and less food. As a consequence, they are barely able to fulfil their role as pollinators of wild and cultivated plants.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 07.04.2021
Asteroid crater on Earth provides clues about Martian craters
Asteroid crater on Earth provides clues about Martian craters
Research team led by the University of Göttingen discovers crater floor sagging from bowl-shaped volcanic ash layer The almost 15-million-year-old Nördlinger Ries is an asteroid impact crater filled with lake sediments. Its structure is comparable to the craters currently being explored on Mars. In addition to various other deposits on the rim of the basin, the crater fill is mainly formed by stratified clay deposits.

Earth Sciences - 01.04.2021
When a Stream of Cosmic Debris Struck the Earth
A research team including members of Freie Universität Berlin has found traces of an ancient meteor explosion above the Antarctic / Re-assessment of asteroid threat No 058/2021 from Apr 01, 2021 An international research team has discovered that a huge meteor exploded over the Antarctic ice plateau around 430,000 years ago.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 23.03.2021
The same sea level for everyone
The same sea level for everyone
The Earth's gravity field as the basis for an International Height Reference System Maps generally indicate elevation in meters above sea level. But sea level is not the same everywhere. A group of experts headed by the Technical University of Munich (TUM), has developed an International Height Reference System (IHRS) that will unify geodetic measurements worldwide.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 01.03.2021
Understanding the Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Landscape Dynamics
Heidelberg geoinformation scientists develop new computer-based method to analyse topographic changes The Earth's surface is subject to continual changes that dynamically shape natural landscapes. Global phenomena like climate change play a role, as do short-term, local events of natural or human origin.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 19.02.2021
Getting to the Bottom of Life on Mars
Researchers at Freie Universität Berlin are involved in developing an interactive map of Mars No 030/2021 from Feb 19, 2021 People who are interested in discovering the mysteries of the galaxy can now see what Mars looks like up close thanks to an interactive map developed by researchers from the Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing group at Freie Universität Berlin.

Earth Sciences - Social Sciences - 17.02.2021
Global Mapping Projects aid Humanitarian Organisations
Global Mapping Projects aid Humanitarian Organisations
In recent years, free digital world maps like OpenStreetMap (OSM) have become a vital instrument to support humanitarian missions over the entire world. In disaster management as well as the implementation of the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs), geodata compiled by the volunteer mapper community open up new possibilities to coordinate aid interventions and carry out sustainability projects.

Earth Sciences - Materials Science - 26.01.2021
Geologic history written in garnet sand
Geologic history written in garnet sand
Research team with participation from Göttingen University use secrets trapped in grains of sand to reveal rock journey and formation On a remote island in Papua New Guinea, an international research team including the University of Göttingen has made an important geological discovery from a garnet-rich sand.

Earth Sciences - History / Archeology - 20.01.2021
New Data about the structure of the Pyramid of Cheops
New Data about the structure of the Pyramid of Cheops
An interview with Prof. Christian Große about his pyramid research Measuring a height of 139 meters (455 ft.), the largest of the three pyramids of Giza is one of the oldest edifices in the world. Yet, even after 4,500 years, this architectural masterpiece still leaves some questions unanswered.

Earth Sciences - 22.12.2020
Slow start of plate tectonics despite a hot early Earth
Slow start of plate tectonics despite a hot early Earth
Writing in PNAS, scientists from Cologne university present important new constraints showing that plate tectonics started relatively slow, although the early Earth's interior was much hotter than today. In an international collaboration earth scientists at the University of Cologne discovered that during Earth's early history mantle convection on, i.e. the internal mixing of our planet, was surprisingly slow and spatially restricted.

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.

Earth Sciences - Physics - 15.07.2020
Wind farms are to become quieter
Wind farms are to become quieter
Noise from wind turbines is a constant source of annoyance, despite compliance with emission control standards. But while some people feel heavily burdened by the noises, others hardly notice them. The Inter-Wind research project (Interdisciplinary Analysis and Mitigation Approaches - Residents' Experience of Acoustic and Seismic Wind Turbine Emissions), in which the University of Stuttgart is also involved, is investigating which factors interact in the noise pollution caused by wind turbines and which approaches for mitigation can be considered.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 25.06.2020
No Space for Climate Change
No Space for Climate Change
How do rising temperatures and more hot days affect cities, especially the heat stress on public squares? And what needs to be done in response to climate change? A team of Heidelberg University geographers led by Dr Kathrin Foshag investigated these questions using locations in the Heidelberg urban area.

Earth Sciences - 11.06.2020
Forces in the Earth's crust determine the height of mountain ranges
Forces in the Earth’s crust determine the height of mountain ranges
Geoscientists show that it is not erosion but an equilibrium of forces in the Earth's crust that controls the "growth" of mountains / Study in "Nature" Which forces and mechanisms determine the height of mountains? Researchers at the University of Münster and the German Research Centre for Geoscience (GFZ) in Potsdam have now found a surprising answer: It is not erosion and weathering of rocks that determine the upper limit of mountain belts, but rather an equilibrium of forces in the Earth's crust.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 17.04.2020
Asteroid Triggered Mass Extinction at End of Cretaceous Period
Asteroid Triggered Mass Extinction at End of Cretaceous Period
Sixty-six million years ago - at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary - nearly three-quarters of all animal species died out, including the dinosaurs. The cause for this has fuelled controversy among scientists for decades. The latest research from an international research team indicates that an asteroid strike was the sole driver of the mass extinction and that volcanic activity did not play a role, even though it certainly had an impact on the climate and the biosphere.
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