The ozone layer is thinning and we do not yet know to what extent future ozone losses will be affected by climate change, or what impact this will have on human health.
For this reason, the European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin today welcomed the start of the first phase of the VINTERSOL (Validation of International Satellites and Study of Ozone Loss) campaign, composed of national and EU projects. VINTERSOL will be closely co-ordinated with the SAGE III Ozone Loss and Validation Experiment (SOLVE II), a US NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) sponsored campaign. The kick-off meeting takes place in Brussels today. The joint initiative will involve 350 scientists from the European Union, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Norway, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and the United States. Aircraft, large and small balloons, ground-based instruments and satellites will be used to measure ozone and other atmospheric gases and particles. The project aims to improve understanding of Arctic ozone depletion, and at upgrading satellite observation of the ozone layer.
"This joint project is in the spirit of the 1998 European Union-United States Science and Technology Co-operation Agreement, which fosters joint scientific endeavours," said Commissioner Philippe Busquin. "It brings together researchers from around the world and aids better understanding of what happens in the ozone layer over the Arctic region, and therefore addresses global climate change and the effects on human health of overexposure to sun radiation. It will help us to meet the requirements of the Montreal Protocol on ozone-depleting substances, fine-tune our policies with sound scientific evidence and upgrade Europes role in the international scientific arena. This is a concrete illustration of the EUs intention to build a European GMES capacity (Global Monitoring for the Environment and Security)."
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy