Two months from now comes a landmark day in planetary history: the Kyoto Protocol finally comes into legal force on 16 February 2005. However Kyoto was intended only as an initial step in mitigating climate change: a 6000-strong Buenos Aires gathering due to conclude today has spent a fortnight discussing follow-up strategies, with ESA among them.
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change aims to lessen the effects of climate change by setting targets for industrialised countries to reduce emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide. Fossil fuel burning and land use change since the start of the Industrial Revolution has led to the highest level of atmospheric carbon dioxide for 160 000 years. The fact that human-induced change in the make-up of the air is leading inexorably to higher global temperatures is a settled matter of scientific fact. What remains to be settled is the likely future extent of climate change, and what collective strategy should be undertaken to follow Kyoto.
Since 6 December delegates from almost 200 countries have been gathered in the Argentinean capital to discuss this problem: how to mitigate climate change, and how to adapt. This event is the latest in a sequence of annual gatherings, known as the Tenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 10). With Kyoto on the verge of becoming effective, countries that have ratified the Protocol - and therefore having committed themselves to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases - have been discussing and negotiating the details of what information should be required to report to show compliance.
Mariangela D’Acunto | 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
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
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...
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25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy