The Baltic Sea is the world’s largest brackish body of water and has many rare and unique ecosystems. It is also one of the worlds busiest shipping lanes, where the oil and cargo traffic of St. Petersburg and western Russia cross paths with dozens of ferries. And it is about to get busier - Russia is building a giant oil terminal and passenger numbers are expected to increase when Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania join the EU.
There have been hundreds of minor oil spills here every year, many of them intentional releases of contaminated bilge water, but environmentalists most fear a disaster like the Prestige oil tanker spill last year that polluted 3,000 kilometres of Spanish coastline, killing 300,000 sea birds and directly affecting the livelihoods of 30,000 people. The Baltic is especially at risk since it is only connected to the North Sea by narrow channels and takes around 30 years for a complete exchange of the sea’s water.
The EU has responded with a number of measures including an immediate ban on single-hulled oil tankers carrying heavy grades of oil from entering the waters of the European Union with only double-hulled tankers allowed to sail into ports from 2015.
Julie Sors | EurekAlert!
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Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
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The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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