With a quarter of the Earths land surface affected, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification regards desertification as a worldwide problem. Delegates from the 170-plus signatories to the Convention currently gathered in Nairobi have been briefed by ESA representatives and national partners on how satellites are being used to track desertification in Europe.
The Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 7) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) began in Kenyas capital on 17 October and is due to conclude 28 October. The COP is the main decision making group of the UNCCD, which meets regularly to further the Conventions objectives.
The UNCCD was established in 1994, in the wake of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro which recognised desertification as a major social and environmental problem. Desertification does not so much as refer to the spread of existing deserts as the creation of new ones, through the reduction of productivity of vulnerable dryland areas by soil deterioration and erosion as well as the long-term loss of natural vegetation.
Mariangela D’Acunto | alfa
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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