Earth & Climate 

For the past 70 years, the Danube has almost never frozen over

Today, only the eldest inhabitants of the Danube Delta recall that, in the past, you could skate on the river practically every winter; since the second half of the 20th century, Europe’s second-largest river has only rarely frozen over. The reason: the rising winter and water temperatures in Central and Eastern Europe, as a German-Romanian research team recently determined. Their analysis has just been published in the online magazine Scientific Reports.

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Top nitrogen researchers imagine world beyond fossil fuels

Freeways choked with traffic, supermarkets laden with fertilizer-grown stock from distance fields and virtually everything we touch derived from petroleum-based plastics. It’s hard to imagine life beyond our fossil-fueled world. Black gold has brought us unprecedented prosperity, but it’s also polluted our environment, perhaps irreparably, and it’s in finite supply. Now what?

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Earth & Climate 

Why bioelectrodes for energy conversion are not stable

Researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have discovered why bioelectrodes containing the photosynthesis protein complex photosystem I are not stable in the long term. Such electrodes could be useful for converting light energy into chemical energy in an environmentally friendly way. However, the proteins, which are stable in nature, are not functional in semi-artificial systems in the long term because reactive molecules are formed that damage the photosystem I.

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