Earth

Pilot plant for the removal of extreme gas charges from deep waters installed

Pilot plant for the removal of extreme gas charges from deep waters installed

This news release is available in German.

Choreography of an electron pair

Choreography of an electron pair

This news release is available in German.

Spider's web weaves way to advanced networks and displays

Spider's web weaves way to advanced networks and displays

CHESTNUT HILL, MA (Dec. 17, 2014) - The next generation of light-manipulating networks may take their lead from designs inspired by spiders and leaves, according to a new report from two Boston College physicists and colleagues at South China Normal University.

New conversion process turns biomass 'waste' into lucrative chemical products

New conversion process turns biomass 'waste' into lucrative chemical products

A new catalytic process is able to convert what was once considered biomass waste into lucrative chemical products that can be used in fragrances, flavorings or to create high-octane fuel for racecars and jets.

A team of researchers from Purdue University's Center for Direct Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels, or C3Bio, has developed a process that uses a chemical catalyst and heat to spur reactions that convert lignin into valuable chemical commodities. Lignin is a tough and highly complex molecule that gives the plant cell wall its rigid structure.

Stunning zinc fireworks when egg meets sperm

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Sparks literally fly when a sperm and an egg hit it off. The fertilized mammalian egg releases from its surface billions of zinc atoms in "zinc sparks," one wave after another, found a Northwestern University-led interdisciplinary research team that includes experts from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.

Improving forecasts for rain-on-snow flooding

Many of the worst West Coast winter floods pack a double punch. Heavy rains and melting snow wash down the mountains together to breach riverbanks, wash out roads and flood buildings.

These events are unpredictable and difficult to forecast. Yet they will become more common as the planet warms and more winter precipitation falls as rain rather than snow.

University of Washington mountain hydrology experts are using the physics behind these events to better predict the risks.

Report: Clearing rainforests distorts wind and water, packs climate wallop beyond carbon

LONDON, UK (18 December 2014)--A new study released today presents powerful evidence that clearing trees not only spews carbon into the atmosphere, but also triggers major shifts in rainfall and increased temperatures worldwide that are just as potent as those caused by current carbon pollution. Further, the study finds that future agricultural productivity across the globe is at risk from deforestation-induced warming and altered rainfall patterns.

Electron spin could be the key to high-temperature superconductivity

Cuprates are materials with great promise for achieving superconductivity at higher temperatures (-120oC). This could mean low-cost electricity without energy loss. Intense research has focused on understanding the physics of cuprates in the hope that we can develop room-temperature superconductors. EPFL scientists have now used a cutting-edge technique to uncover the way cuprates become superconductors. Their work is published in Nature Communications.

Ultrafast imaging of complex systems in 3-D at near atomic resolution nears

ARGONNE, Ill. - It is becoming possible to image complex systems in 3-D with near-atomic resolution on ultrafast timescales using extremely intense X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) pulses.

One important step toward ultrafast imaging of samples with a single X-ray shot is understanding the interaction of extremely brilliant and intense X-ray pulses with the sample, including ionization rates.

Australia's coastal observation network may aid in understanding of extreme ocean events

A network of nine reference sites off the Australian coast is providing the latest physical, chemical, and biological information to help scientists better understand Australia's coastal seas, according to a study published December 17, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Tim Lynch from CSIRO, Australia and colleagues.