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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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Paleontology - Earth Sciences - 11.10.2021
Oldest footprints of pre-humans identified in Crete
Oldest footprints of pre-humans identified in Crete
The oldest known footprints of pre-humans were found on the Mediterranean island of Crete and are at least six million years old, says an international team of researchers from Germany, Sweden, Greece, Egypt and England, led by Tübingen scientists Uwe Kirscher and Madelaine Böhme of the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment at the University of Tübingen.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 30.09.2021
Bombardment of Planets in the Early Solar System
Studies of the asteroid Vesta provide new findings on the formation of Earth-like planets The largest asteroid in our Solar System - Vesta - was exposed to an extensive series of impacts by large rocky bodies much earlier than previously assumed. Researchers of an international collaboration, including earth scientists from Heidelberg University and Freie Universität Berlin, reached this conclusion based on analyses of Vesta meteorites, numerical simulations, and observations carried out with the space probe Dawn in 2011 and 2012.

Earth Sciences - Astronomy / Space Science - 11.08.2021
Virtual experiments: Münster University geophysicists research the Earth's origins on the computer
Virtual experiments: Münster University geophysicists research the Earth’s origins on the computer
Although Dr. Christian Maas does his research only on the computer, it's sometimes as if he were standing in a laboratory. "I do experiments," he says. By means of his virtual experiments, geophysicist Maas is investigating a question that couldn't be answered in any lab in the world: the question of the how the Earth came into being.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 04.08.2021
51,000-year-old Engraved Giant Deer Bone Discovered in the Harz Mountains
Artifacts found in the Einhornhöhle cave in northern Germany are the subject of a research project involving experts from Freie Universität Berlin and shine a light on the cognitive abilities of our Neanderthal ancestors No 150/2021 from Aug 04, 2021 A discovery made by a research team in a cave in Lower Saxony, northern Germany, suggests that Neanderthals were not merely a primitive subspecies of archaic humans - a commonplace belief ever since their first fossil remains were found in the nineteenth century.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 13.07.2021
How climate change and fires are shaping the forests of the future
How climate change and fires are shaping the forests of the future
Tracking future forest fires with AI As temperatures rise, the risk of devastating forest fires is increasing. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are using artificial intelligence to estimate the long-term impact that an increased number of forest fires will have on forest ecosystems.

Earth Sciences - 05.07.2021
The inner beauty of hailstones
The inner beauty of hailstones
The Tübingen region has recently seen hailstorms that brought back memories of the devastating storm of 2013. At that time, billions of dollars in damage were caused, and the damage from the most recent storms is still being assessed. Despite all the trouble hailstones cause, they also possess a previously unknown inner beauty.

Earth Sciences - 24.06.2021
Continuous activity of small earthquakes makes mountains grow
Continuous activity of small earthquakes makes mountains grow
From a human perspective, earthquakes are natural disasters - in the past hundred years, they have caused more than 200,000 deaths and enormous economic damage. Mega-earthquakes with a magnitude of nine or higher on the Richter scale are considered a particular threat. Yet the inconceivable energy released in these events doesn't seem to affect the uplift of mountains, according to a new study by geoscientists at the University of Tübingen.

Earth Sciences - 17.06.2021
Long-term Himalayan Glacier Study
Heidelberg University geographers combine historical images and maps with current data The glaciers of Nanga Parbat - one of the highest mountains in the world - have been shrinking slightly but continually since the 1930s. This loss in surface area is evidenced by a long-term study conducted by researchers from the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 14.06.2021
Climate conditions during the migration of Homo sapiens out of Africa reconstructed
Climate reconstruction of the last 200,000 years from East Africa illustrates the living conditions of Homo sapiens when they migrated out of Africa / Homo sapiens was mobile across regions during wet phases and retreated to high altitudes during dry phases An international research team led by Professor Dr Frank Schäbitz has published a climate reconstruction of the last 200,000 years for Ethiopia.

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 - 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.

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.

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.
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