This is the first time since 1977 that the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting has been hosted by the UK. The two-week meeting at Edinburgh International Conference Centre addresses the future environmental, policy and legal challenges facing the continent that was designated for peace and science in 1961. Issues for discussion include enhanced scientific collaboration during the forthcoming International Polar Year, sustainable tourism, biological prospecting, and management of the effects of climate change on the Antarctic environment.
The meeting will be opened officially by HRH the Princess Royal. In a keynote address Lord Triesman, Minister for Overseas Territories, says,
‘The importance of Antarctica as a platform for science cannot be underestimated. As the effects of climate change become more evident, it will be to the Antarctic that we must continue to turn for possible answers – both to examine the pre-history of our planet locked up in Antarctic ice, and to monitor the very stability of that ice-sheet. For sea-level rise, when it comes, will partly have its origins in the southern continent.’
British Antarctic Survey (BAS) undertakes as world-class programme of scientific research and plays an influential leadership role in Antarctic affairs. Professor Chris Rapley, Director of British Antarctic Survey, says,
‘The Polar Regions are crucial to the stability of the planet. But while the Antarctic Treaty System ensures scientific cooperation and collaboration in Antarctica, and seeks to protect its environment, it will increasingly have to confront the impacts on the Antarctic of change outside its jurisdiction, raising new issues of global international negotiation. The forthcoming International Polar Year will provide the sound scientific underpinning for such policies and treaties’
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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