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News from GFZ

16.06.2017 | Personalia | Friedrich-Robert-Helmert Prize awarded

The Verein der Freunde und Förderer des GFZ (FFGFZ) awards the best GFZ dissertation of a year with the Friedrich-Robert-Helmert Prize. Following the member conference the prize was awarded last Thursday to Sofia-Katerina Kufner and Benedikt Soja.

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15.06.2017 | Personalia | The fastest woman at the GFZ

Jennifer Weigt, section Geomicrobiology, is the fastest woman at the GFZ. The technical assistant of working group „Microbial GeoEngineering“ headed by Hilke Würdemann finished in first place of individual women score at yesterday’s DAK corporate run in Potsdam. She also enabled first place for the GFZ all women team as well as the mixed team, and, rather unusual, fourth place for the GFZ all men team…

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14.06.2017 | Report | Forecasting droughts

Tadesse Tujuba Kenea has one goal: he would like to be able to predict droughts in Ethiopia. The holder of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH) scholarship is currently researching on this topic at the GFZ section Hydrology. To-date there is no system available that is capable of monitoring or even predicting droughts in this country at the African Horn. Ethiopia is a country of great contrasts. Mountains as high as four thousand meters and valleys reaching down to even below the sea level determine the landscape. Rivers – also from the snow-capped mountains – flow through the country and heavy rains lead to devastating flooding.  And still the country is repeatedly hit by droughts.  Such intense variations in rainfall distribution endanger agriculture which largely depends on rain for irrigation. The lack of or low precipitation causes the soil to dry out and this, in turn, leads to a reduction in agricultural yields.

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12.06.2017 | Tracing ocean warming by electromagnetic signals

The Ocean works as a gigantic heat sink and thereby is an important factor in mitigating global warming. Since warming water expands, warming oceans cause a rise in sea-level. This poses a significant risk to coastal areas. Existing methods of global temperature monitoring only detected changes in surface temperatures. Changes in the Ocean’s interior remain widely hidden. GFZ scientists from section Earth System Modelling now developed a method that allows for monitoring temperature changes in the Ocean’s interior. Their study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, was now distinguished as a “research spotlight” by the news platform EOS of the American Geophysical Union AGU. Like this, EOS honors “the best accepted articles” that were published in an AGU journal.

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09.06.2017 | OASIS data hub launched, offering flood data for the Danube river catchment

How can a community be enabled to protect against future floods or insurers calculate flood losses? Data sets are needed. These data are now provided by the OASIS community with the OASIS data hub. With the participation of the GFZ section Hydrology the data hub was officially launched last Monday in London.

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08.06.2017 | The mysterious bend in the Hawaiian-Emperor chain

The volcanic islands of Hawaii represent the youngest end of a 80 million years old and roughly 6,000 kilometres long mountain chain on the ground of the Pacific Ocean. The so-called Hawaiian-Emperor chain consisting of dozens of volcanoes is well known for its peculiar 60 degrees bend. The cause for this bend has been heavily debated for decades. One explanation is an abrupt change in the motion of the Pacific tectonic plate, the opposite model states southward drift of the mantle plume that has sourced the chain since its beginning 80 million years ago. Apparently both processes play an important role, shows a new study in Nature Communications, published by a group of scientists from the University of Oslo, German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ Potsdam, and Utrecht University.

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07.06.2017 | Standpunkt | Daniel Acksel: Keine Energiewende ohne Wärmewende. Das Potenzial ist global!

„In den Städten der Zukunft ist die Nutzung von Erdwärme unverzichtbar.“ So lautet eine der Thesen, die wir als Zwanzig20-Forum Wärmewende nun in der Broschüre „Wärmewende am Beispiel Quartier – Ein Beitrag zur Energiewende“ veröffentlicht haben. Wir sagen: Energiewende ist Daseinsvorsorge und eine erfolgreiche Energiewende benötigt eine Wärmewende! Das „Zwanzig20-Forum Wärmewende“ entwickelt Strategien für den zukünftigen Einsatz von innovativen Technologien zur Realisierung der Wärmewende. Demonstration und gesellschaftliche Akzeptanz spielen dabei eine Schlüsselrolle.

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