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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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Environment - Earth Sciences - 30.06.2022
Life in the earth's interior as productive as in some ocean waters
Life in the earth’s interior as productive as in some ocean waters
Microorganisms in aquifers deep below the earth's surface produce similar amounts of biomass as those in some marine waters. This is the finding of researchers led by the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), both Germany. Applying a unique, ultra-sensitive measurement method using radioactive carbon, they were able to demonstrate for the first time that these biotic communities in absolute darkness do not depend on sunlight.

Earth Sciences - Physics - 24.06.2022
Defects in quartz crystal structure reveal the origin of dust
Defects in quartz crystal structure reveal the origin of dust
Global warming and a progressively drier climate in many parts of the world are causing more dust storms. To predict how these storms are caused, researchers are looking into the past to understand where the dust came from, for how long, and over what distances it was transported. An international research team led by Dr. Aditi K. Dave and Professor Kathryn Fitzsimmons from the Department of Geosciences at the University of Tübingen, along with colleagues from Romania, Brazil, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, have now developed a new method of doing this.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 21.06.2022
Huge pool of heat in the Pacific caused by climate change
Huge pool of heat in the Pacific caused by climate change
A long-term warm water body that continues to warm has now been discovered by a team from the CLICCS Cluster of Excellence at the University of Hamburg. It is three million square kilometers in size, is due to the human-induced increase in greenhouse gases, and favors extreme heat waves in the Northeast Pacific.

Earth Sciences - 27.05.2022
Origins of carbonatite magma revealed
Origins of carbonatite magma revealed
Carbonatite rocks are economically important. The many hundreds of known carbonatite deposits on all continents are important repositories of rare-earth metals such as lanthanum, cerium and neodymium. These are used in many key technologies, including smartphones, plasma and LCD screens, as well as in radiology for medical diagnoses, in generators in wind turbines, and in electric motors.

Earth Sciences - 25.05.2022
Formation of carbonatite magmas decrypted
Formation of carbonatite magmas decrypted
Carbonatite rocks are economically important: The hundreds of known fossil carbonatite deposits on all continents are important storage sites for rare earth metals such as lanthanum, cerium, and neodymium. They are used in many key technologies, including smartphones, plasma and LCD screens, medical diagnostic radiology, wind turbine generators, and electric motors.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 23.05.2022
Corals as climate archives
Unusually well-preserved reef corals from the Geological and Palaeontological Collection at Leip-zig University hold a great secret: they allow us to travel far into the past and reconstruct climatic conditions in our latitudes. Researchers from Leipzig University, the Universities of Bremen and Greifswald, and UniLaSalle in Beauvais have now succeeded in doing just this.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 18.05.2022
Study explores concentrations of microplastics in the Rhine floodplains near Langel in Cologne
Microplastics accumulate in the Rhine meadows at Langel-Merkenich / topography and flooding determine local concentrations of particles in the soil Microplastics can be deposited in river floodplains and transported to deeper soil horizons. Local topography, flood frequency, and soil characteristics are responsible for the amount of plastic particles deposited and their possible transport into deeper soil.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 12.05.2022
Algae reveal clues about climate changes over millions of years
Göttingen scientists identify and investigate algae which register sea water temperatures of the warmest months Organisms adjust their cell walls according to environmental conditions such as temperature. Some adaptations involve changes in lipids which may still be preserved long after the rest of the organisms has been degraded.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 28.04.2022
Graveyard of Earth’s Plates: Ancient Protocrust of Earth Discovered in Depths of Earth’s Mantle
Earth's earliest crust, more than four billion years old, survived deep in the mantle / Traces of ancient Earth's crust still exist today in volcanic rocks at Earth's surface / Publication in PNAS Dr. Jonas Tusch and Carsten Münker, both scientists at the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy at the University of Cologne, along with their colleague Dr. Elis Hoffmann, Freie Universität Berlin, used chemical analyses of magmatic rocks to prove that the remains of the first crust of our planet lie buried at great depths in Earth's mantle.

Computer Science - Earth Sciences - 20.04.2022
Artificial Intelligence Decodes Causes of Mass Extinction in the Permian
Artificial Intelligence Decodes Causes of Mass Extinction in the Permian
Volcanic eruptions in Siberia caused massive climate change 252 million years ago. Approximately 75 percent of all land organisms and 90 percent of all ocean organisms perished. The paleontologist Dr. William Foster at the Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN) has now decoded the causes of this mass extinction in the oceans.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 19.04.2022
No glacial fertilization effect in the Antarctic Ocean
No glacial fertilization effect in the Antarctic Ocean
International study led by the University of Bonn records 1.5 million years of climate in the drill core Can iron-rich dust fertilize the ocean, stimulate algae growth there, and thereby capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere? An international research team led by the University of Bonn used deep-sea sediment cores from the Scotia Sea to investigate whether this hypothetical greenhouse gas sink had an effect during ice ages.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 06.04.2022
Streaming water on farmland lowers pollutants in water
Streaming water on farmland lowers pollutants in water
Ditches and small streams at the edge of agricultural land contribute significantly to reducing agricultural pollutants in the water cycle. They promote nitrate reduction by microorganisms and thus have an important influence on nitrogen fluxes towards larger rivers and lakes. A research team led by Tillmann Lüders of the University of Bayreuth has now demonstrated this for the first time.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 18.03.2022
Dramatic warming in the Arctic - HALO-(AC)3 field campaign investigates an alarming phenomenon
In mid-March 2022, the large-scale international HALO-(AC) 3 research campaign will begin investigating transformations of air masses in the Arctic. Three German aircraft will be deployed, scientists from the UK and France will also be involved during joint flights with two further aircraft. The team of researchers will be focusing particularly on northwards-flowing warm air reaching into the central Arctic, which are often called warm air intrusions.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 16.03.2022
In search of pure quartz
In search of pure quartz
A small heap of very fine white quartz sand glistens in the palm of Prof. Ralf Hetzel's hand. The grains of sand allow him to look deep into the past. To be precise, the cosmogenic nuclide Beryllium-10 (10Be) does. Such nuclides are produced by cosmic radiation in solid rock.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 09.03.2022
Stalagmites trace climate history and impact from volcanic eruptions
Stalagmites trace climate history and impact from volcanic eruptions
Research team including Göttingen University studies volcanic impact on ecosystems in Patagonia The soils and vegetation of Patagonia's fjord regions form a unique and highly sensitive ecosystem that is closely linked to marine ecosystems, sediment deposition and carbon storage in the ocean. A research team, including the University of Göttingen, has been working on reconstructing the climate history of this region in this extremely wet, rainy and inaccessible fjord and island zone of the Patagonian Andes in southern Chile.

Earth Sciences - Life Sciences - 23.02.2022
Microbes living under extreme conditions
Microbes living under extreme conditions
At the mouth of the Rio Tinto in southwestern Spain, acidic river water - polluted with heavy metals from ore mining and mineral weathering - mixes with the salt water of the Atlantic Ocean. Here, microorganisms that love such extreme conditions form a unique community. They live in water as acidic as vinegar, are resistant to high salinity, and some also cope very well with high levels of toxic metals.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 15.02.2022
How Climate Change is Destroying Arctic Coasts
How Climate Change is Destroying Arctic Coasts
Global warming is causing permafrost in the Arctic to thaw and sea ice to melt. As a result, coasts are less protected and are being eroded, while carbon stored in the soil and carbon dioxide are being released into the ocean and atmosphere. In a first, researchers at Universität Hamburg have now calculated the future scale of these processes for the entire Arctic.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 14.02.2022
Satellite data to be used for making cities climate-proof
Satellite data to be used for making cities climate-proof
The consortium "CoKlimax" is developing tools for utilizing Copernicus data for urban planning Whether heat waves or heavy rain: Cities with their high population and building densities are particularly hard hit by the impacts of climate change.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 07.02.2022
Understanding tomorrow’s Arctic
Hundreds of international researchers are currently analysing observations from the year-long MOSAiC expedition, during which hundreds of environmental parameters were recorded with unprecedented accuracy and frequency over a full annual cycle in the central Arctic Ocean. Three review articles on the MOSAiC programmes for atmosphere, snow and sea ice, and ocean have now been published in the journal Elementa, highlighting the importance of looking at all components of the climate system together.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 20.01.2022
Mount Etna's exceptional CO2 emissions are triggered by deep carbon dioxide reservoirs
Mount Etna’s exceptional CO2 emissions are triggered by deep carbon dioxide reservoirs
The transport of carbon dioxide stored in the Earth's lithospheric mantle beneath the Hyblean Plateau in southern Italy at a depth of approximately 50 to 150 kilometres is responsible for the exceptionally large CO2 emission of Mount Etna. That is the result of research conducted by an international team of geologists, including researchers from the Universities of Florence (Italy) and Cologne , and from the Istituto di Geologia Ambientale e Geoingegneria of the Italian National Research Council (CNR).
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