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Life Sciences - Environment - 12.02.2019
To tool or not to tool?
To tool or not to tool?
Orangutans make complex economic decisions about tool use depending on the current 'market' situation Flexible tool use is closely associated to higher mental processes such as the ability to plan actions. Now a group of cognitive biologists and comparative psychologists from the University of Vienna, the University of St Andrews and the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna that included Isabelle Laumer and Josep Call, has studied tool related decision-making in a non-human primate species - the orangutan.

Environment - Life Sciences - 23.01.2019
The impacts of invasive species are often difficult to predict
The impacts of invasive species are often difficult to predict
Researchers develop approach to protect biodiversity New Zealand and other islands have experienced invasions of rats, Europe has seen the arrival of the spinycheek crayfish, spreading a deadly disease called crayfish plague: invasive species can put native animal and plant species on the brink of extinction.

Environment - 09.10.2018
Bioethanol in diesel engines: a contribution to sustainability
Bioethanol in diesel engines: a contribution to sustainability
Ethanol can make an important contribution to climate protection: at TU Wien, a diesel engine has been developed that can run on over 70% bioethanol. TU Wien has developed an engine that uses two different types of fuel simultaneously: it uses both bioethanol and diesel, which is used for ignition. A special duel-fuel combustion process has been developed for this purpose, which now enables the use of a large proportion of bioethanol in diesel engines.

Environment - 03.10.2018
A Warmer Spring Leads to Less Plant Growth in Summer
A Warmer Spring Leads to Less Plant Growth in Summer
Plants start growing earlier in the spring but, contrary to popular belief, this results in less CO2 absorption. Climate change influences plant growth, with springtime growth beginning earlier each year. Up to now, it was thought that this phenomenon was slowing climate change, as scientists believed this process led to more carbon being absorbed from the atmosphere for photosynthesis and more biomass production.

Life Sciences - Environment - 28.08.2018
Remote islands harbour higher numbers of non-native species
Remote islands harbour higher numbers of non-native species
The effects of island remoteness from the mainland on the number of species found on islands differs strongly for non-native compared to native species. Numbers of native species on islands decrease with greater remoteness, while numbers of non-native species increase. This surprising finding has been uncovered by an international research team led by Dietmar Moser, Bernd Lenzner and Franz Essl from the Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research of the University of Vienna.

Life Sciences - Environment - 19.06.2018
Is the sky the limit?
Is the sky the limit?
What stops a species adapting to an ever-wider range of conditions, continuously expanding its geographic range? The biomathematician Jitka Polechová, an Elise Richter Fellow at the University of Vienna, has published a paper in PLoS Biology which explains the formation of species' range margins. The theory shows that just two compound parameters, important for both ecology and evolution of species, are fundamental to the stability of their range: the environmental heterogeneity and the size of the local population.

Environment - Life Sciences - 26.02.2018
King penguins may be on the move very soon
King penguins may be on the move very soon
More than 70 percent of the global King penguin population, currently forming colonies in Crozet, Kerguelen and Marion sub-Antarctic islands, may be nothing more than a memory in a matter of decades, as global warming will soon force the birds to move south, or disappear. This is the conclusion of a study published in the current issue of the prestigious and performed by an international team of researchers from France, Monaco, Italy, Norway, South Africa, Austria and US.

Life Sciences - Environment - 18.09.2017
A Cereal survives heat and drought
A Cereal survives heat and drought
Pearl millet genome sequence provides a resource to improve agronomic traits in extreme environments An international consortium under the lead of the non-profit organization "International Crops Res

Environment - Chemistry - 21.06.2017
CO2-neutral hydrogen from biomass
CO2-neutral hydrogen from biomass
Without fossil fuels, there can be no blast furnace process - but hydrogen could play a more important role in the future. An environmentally friendly process is being developed at TU Wien by which biomass can be used to produce a hydrogen-rich gas that can then be employed in various ways in the iron and steel industry.

Environment - Innovation / Technology - 10.05.2017
Natural gas facilities with no CO2 emissions
Natural gas facilities with no CO2 emissions
How can we burn natural gas without releasing CO2 into the air? This feat is achieved using a special combustion method that TU Wien has been researching for years: chemical looping combustion (CLC). In this process, CO2 can be isolated during combustion without having to use any additional energy, which means it can then go on to be stored.

Environment - Administration - 04.05.2017
Austrian research institutions launch major initiative to assess the effects of extreme climatic events on the environment
Austrian research institutions launch major initiative to assess the effects of extreme climatic events on the environment
Under the leadership of the Environmental Sciences Research Network of the University of Vienna, the key national actors in long-term ecological research (LTER) join forces to establish a new infrastructure for the collection of environmental data. Funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), the project aims to collect data on the effects of extreme climatic events on the carbon, water and nitrogen cycle in ecosystems by establishing six cutting-edge measurement sites.

Mathematics - Environment - 23.08.2016
The demise of the Maya civilisation: water shortage can destroy cultures
The demise of the Maya civilisation: water shortage can destroy cultures
Mathematical models analysing the interplay between society and hydrological effects have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna).

Life Sciences - Environment - 17.05.2016
How do trees go to sleep?
How do trees go to sleep?
Scientists from Austria, Finland and Hungary are using laser scanners to study the day-night rhythm of trees. As it turns out, trees go to sleep too. Most living organisms adapt their behavior to the rhythm of day and night. Plants are no exception: flowers open in the morning, some tree leaves close during the night.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 18.08.2014
Human Contribution to Glacier Mass Loss on the Increase
By combining climate and glacier models, scientists headed by Ben Marzeion from the University of Innsbruck have found unambiguous evidence for anthropogenic glacier mass loss in recent decades. In a paper published in Science, the researchers report that about one quarter of the global glacier mass loss during the period of 1851 to 2010 is attributable to anthropogenic causes.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.07.2014
Flower development in 3D: Timing is the key
Developmental processes in all living organisms are controlled by genes. At the same time there is a continuous metabolism taking place. Wolfram Weckwerth, head of the Department of Ecogenomics and Systems Biology at University of Vienna, and his team have analyzed this interaction between metabolism and developmental processes in flowering plants (angiosperms).

Environment - Physics - 04.07.2014
Austria’s new green super computer
Several universities have come together to construct Austria's most powerful mainframe computer. Phase VSC-3 (Vienna Scientific Cluster 3) offers not only impressive computing power, but also serious energy efficiency. Austria's scientific community has a new super computer. Comprising more than 32,000 individual processor cores, the VSC-3 cluster is now being put into operation in the Science Center at Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien).

Innovation / Technology - Environment - 24.06.2014
Sweet Sweet Straw
The calorie free sweetener erythritol is widely used in Asia; it is also gaining popularity in Europe and America.

Life Sciences - Environment - 18.03.2014
Sea anemone is genetically half animal, half plant
Sea anemone shows a genomic landscape surprisingly similar to human genome, but also displays regulatory mechanisms similar to plants The team led by evolutionary and developmental biologist Ulrich Technau at the University of Vienna discovered that sea anemones display a genomic landscape with a complexity of regulatory elements similar to that of fruit flies or other animal model systems.

Business / Economics - Environment - 06.02.2014
Storm surges threaten coastal regions
Storm surges threaten coastal regions
As an international team of researchers including Benjamin Marzeion from the Universitiy of Innsbruck reports, climate change and sea-level rise may cause trillions in damage to world's coasts. Coastal regions have to adapt to sea-level rise soon. Prompt action is needed most in Asia and Africa. Coastal regions may face massive increases in damages from storm surge flooding over the course of the 21st century.

Environment - 16.08.2013
Extreme weather events fuel climate change
Extreme weather events fuel climate change
As an international team of researchers under major cooperation of the Universitiy of Innsbruck reports, extreme weather events play an important part in the global carbon balance. Their They resume a self-reinforcing effect between extreme weather events and climate change. Photo: Michael Bahn and his research group carry out field experiments in the Tyrolean Stubaital: They simulate drought periods on defined areas.

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