Earth & Space
Biodiversity – a double-edged sword for ecological stability?
Ecosystems are characterized by a remarkable ability to withstand changes in the environment. Your favorite meadow may look different in hot and dry year, compared to one with abundant rain, because the most common species in each year may be very different. However, you will... click to read more
The first interstellar immigrant of the solar system
Our solar system did not form in isolation from the rest of the Galaxy. It was part of a star cluster where each member has its own planets and asteroids. The close proximity of the cluster members favored strong gravitational interactions that pulled asteroids and... click to read more
When did land appear over water (and why does it matter)?
When Yuri Gagarin first saw the earth from the space in 1961 it looked as a blue-yellow planet with white clouds, a fragile view that was reinforced by the American astronauts who saw the Earth from the moon. The blue aquaplanet, completely covered with water... click to read more
Steady decline of coral reefs in the Anthropocene
Tropical coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse, socially, ecologically and economically valuable, and environmentally sensitive ecosystems of the planet. The engineers of this ecosystem are reef-building corals, close relatives of jellyfish that live in an intimate, mutually-benefitting relationship (symbiosis) with single-celled algae... click to read more
Past ice, future ice
In order to predict the impacts of Global Warming, scientists develop climate models that attempt to represent our real, complicated climate as closely as possible. Climate is the intertwined system of the Earth's atmosphere, ocean, and ice. If we can understand how these variables interacted... click to read more