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The carbon content of permafrost, grape harvest dates help in our understanding of past and present climate, and purifying water with hydrophobic nanofoils

By 3rd September 2019 February 10th, 2020 No Comments

Microbial activity in permafrost produces greenhouse gases by degrading the organic matter it contains and decreasing its carbon stock. Researchers at the LSCE have now found that this organic matter acts as a thermal insulator that moderates the warming of these frozen soils. The decline in the carbon stock of permafrost therefore favours its melting, they say. The research is detailed in Nature Communications.

Meanwhile, a newly published series of dates of grape harvest covering the past 664 years is the latest evidence confirming how unusual the climate of the past 30 years has been. The record shows wine grapes in the Burgundy region of France were picked 13 days earlier on average since 1988 than they were in the previous six centuries. The result, published in the European Geosciences Union (EGU) journal Climate of the Past, points to the region’s hotter and drier climate in recent years.

The study was conducted by Thomas Labbé (Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe, University of Leipzig, Germany and Maison des Sciences de l’Homme de Dijon, University of Burgundy, Dijon, France), Christian Pfister (Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Switzerland), Stefan Brönnimann (Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research & Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland), Daniel Rousseau (Conseil Supérieur de la Météorologie, Paris, France), Jörg Franke (Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research & Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland), and Benjamin Bois (Biogéosciences & Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin, University of Burgundy, Dijon, France).

Finally, you may know that 2D nanofoils are creating flurry of interest for scientists, particularly for water purification by filtration. While current materials swell too often in water, researchers at CNRS, Sorbonne University and the University of Montpellier led by Damien Voiry have now succeeded in chemically modifying molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nanofoils to make them hydrophobic. This work, published in Nature Materials, also shows that this material can filter about 90% of pollutants, micropollutants and salt in water.