The proposed construction of a European Arctic Flagship ‘AURORA BOREALIS’, the 250 Million Euro joint European Research Icebreaker with a deep drilling capability would result in a considerable commitment of the participating nations to coordinate and expand their Polar Research Programmes. Recent results from drilling of the Deep Arctic Ocean within the Arctic Coring Expedition (Acex) have revealed dramatic changes of climate in the Arctic region during the last 55 million years. European science would substantially benefit from a dedicated jointly owned research Icebreaker to investigate the deep Arctic Ocean. European Nations have a particular interest in understanding the Arctic environment with its potential for change because highly industrialized countries extend into high northern latitudes, and Europe is under the steady influence of and in exchange with the Arctic environment.
The AURORA BOREALIS will be globally the most advanced research platform with state-of-the-art technology for polar research. With its all-season capability it will provide a platform for tackling major scientific challenges, which hitherto has not been possible. It would be a floating European university in Polar Sciences. It would promote the idea of the European Research Area and it would result in substantial competitive advantages. In addition, it would help in the collection of data to advance the definition of the continental margins and increase safety in Arctic operations. The forthcoming international Polar Year in 2007-2008 provides an opportunity to launch such a groundbreaking European research facility.
A long-term science perspective document recommending the construction of such as infrastructure has been developed by The European Polar Board (European Science Foundation) written by scientists and from 10 nations throughout Europe. It highlights the major scientific challenges in the Arctic Ocean over the next 10 years. The AURORA BOREALIS project is an element of the European Polar Board’s Strategic Framework EUROPOLAR a concept which enables strengthening, expansion and commitment to the organization and implementation of European Polar Research. The Commitment of a group of European nations to this project will result in the enhancement of Political cooperation in the Arctic Region as a Whole.
Dr. Paul Egerton | alfa
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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