01.04.2023, 2:30 PM | Comet C/2022 E3 approaching
Attention sky watchers: C / 2022 E3 is approaching Earth! The comet is best seen in the night sky from mid-January. With a little luck, you can even see it with the naked eye. The comet is first an object in the morning sky, then stays high in the sky near Polaris all night and says goodbye in the evening sky in early March,
C/2022 E3 Released March 2, 2022 by “Zwicky Transit Facilitydiscovered, which is why it also bears the facility abbreviation in its full name: c / 2022 E3 (ZTF). ZFT scans the entire northern sky with its camera every two days and has already detected thousands of supernovae and hundreds of asteroids and comets.
01/04/2023, 12:45 PM | Another step forward: solar fuel from the air
Photoelectrochemical cells (PEC) can artificial photosynthesis It generates hydrogen as a fuel from liquid water and sunlight. Researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne have adapted this PEC technology to extract moisture from the air and developed a new gas diffusion electrode. Electrochemical cells such as fuel cells have been shown to work with gases rather than liquid, but the gas diffusion electrodes used to date are opaque and not compatible with PEC technology. On the other hand, the newly developed gas diffusion electrode is made of a 3D mesh of sintered glass fibers.
The electrodes are porous to maximize contact with water in the air and translucent to maximize solar radiation on the light-collecting semiconductor coating. The prototype device produces hydrogen gas when exposed to sunlight in humid conditions. The prototype efficiencies are modest and currently still below those achievable in liquid-based PEC cells. However, the researchers were able to show that the concept of a transparent gas diffusion electrode for solar powered hydrogen gas production is feasible.
01/04/2023, 11:20 AM | Germany CO2 emissions Not reduced by coal power in 2022
Germany was barely able to cut its carbon dioxide emissions last year, and so it missed its climate targets. This is what was shown by a study conducted by the Agora Energiewende research center. Accordingly, the total energy consumption decreased by about five percent. The increased use of coal and oil again wiped out the savings. According to preliminary figures from Agora, Germany produced a total of 761 million tons of greenhouse gases – almost as much as was produced in 2021. Thus, carbon dioxide emissions have stagnated at a high level despite low energy consumption, relatively warm weather and favorable conditions for wind systems. and solar energy.
01/04/2023, 10:15 AM | Climate change: more general among pollinators
A team of researchers from central Germany compared historical data on insects with current data. They note that the network of plants and pollinators has changed dramatically.
Plants and their pollinators are intertwined in a sophisticated web. Without these visitors, many wild plants could reproduce poorly or not at all, so that ecosystems would not function in their current form. Historical data from Finland now provide insights into changes within the plant pollinator network.
Between 1895 and 1900, about 120 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, forester Frans Celine systematically recorded which insects visited flowers and how often. Researchers from the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) evaluated this data and in 2018 and 2019.
Only seven percent of the floral visits observed involved the same types of insects and plants as now. In general, there are fewer insects that specialize on specific flowers, but more generalists who are often more robust in the face of environmental changes. They may provide a less effective pollination service because they carry all types of pollen and not necessarily what plants need to reproduce. So far, the flies in the area seem to be adapting to the warming temperatures. There is still no evidence that plants there reproduce worse. Further north in the High Arctic, another study has already documented a massive loss of flies.
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