European scientists confirmed that Arctic high atmosphere is reaching the lowest ever temperatures this winter, warning that destruction of the protective ozone layer is substantially increased under very cold conditions. First signs of ozone loss have already been detected. The ozone layer is located in the so called stratosphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere, at an altitude of about 8 km in the Poles, and its function is to protect the earth’s surface from harmful solar UV radiation. More than 170 countries have ratified the Montreal Protocol, an environmental treaty established in 1987 to protect the ozone layer. Should further cooling of the Arctic stratosphere occur, increasing ozone losses can be expected for the next couple of decades. A hole in the ozone layer can lead to intensified UV harmful radiation affecting inhabited Polar regions and Scandinavia, possibly down to central Europe. This could have consequences for human health (increased cases of skin cancer) as well as for biodiversity.
“The Arctic has experienced an extremely harsh winter. The first signs of ozone loss have now been observed, and large ozone losses are expected to occur if the cold conditions persist”, says European Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potonik.
European scientists observe changes in the thickness of the ozone layer in the Arctic on a daily basis, as part of the European research initiative SCOUT-03, a very useful tool to predict future development of the ozone layer in global climate models, involving 59 institutions and over 200 scientists from 19 countries.
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More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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