Biodegradable plastic

The mission: biodegradable plastics

Life as we live it would be impossible without plastics. But with their persistence, plastics are an enormous burden on the environment. Helmholtz researchers are working to resolve this conflict by searching for enzymes that break down plastic waste. A further goal is to bid farewell to oil by developing biodegradable plastics.

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Serverschrank mit Glasfaserkabeln, die an den Switch-Ports auf der Vorderseite angeschlossen sind

Calculating the carbon footprint of publications

Jens Eisert is not only an award-winning theoretical physicist. Together with his team, he recently published a proposal for making the greenhouse gas emissions of publications visible. This would raise awareness of the fact that research is not climate neutral.

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Nahaufnahme eines Haufens gepresster Kunststoffabfälle in einer Abfallverwertungsanlage

Plastic-eating bacteria

Researchers are looking for bacteria that can digest plastics, and for ways to exploit this capability. Could that solve our plastic problem?

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Permafrost Abfall

Poisonous permafrost legacy

Not only is Arctic permafrost a carbon sink, it also stores pollutants from industrial activity. Researchers warn that such pollutants can be released when the permafrost thaws, threatening people and ecosystems.

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Ocean swirl

How do ocean eddies affect the weather?

Global ocean currents have a significant influence on our global weather and the climate. In particular medium-sized ocean eddies – so-called mesoscale eddies of up to 40 kilometers length – appear to have a significant influence on ocean circulation and thus on our temperatures. Climate scientists led by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) therefore developed a method to better estimate the influe

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Ein Langstock auf taktilem Bodenleitsystem

Why climate change is especially hard on people with disabilities

May 5 is a European day of protest for the equality of people with disabilities, an issue that is also relevant in the context of climate change. Although they are particularly hard-hit by the effects of climate change, people with disabilities are systematically ignored in climate policy, whereas they really ought to be included more and protected better. The situation could be improved with acce

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A cycle for plastics

Pollution and mountains of garbage: Plastic trash is a severe problem. But since it is hard to imagine life without plastics, researchers are looking for ways to deal with them more sustainably.

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Eine Gruppe von vier Pinguinen geht über eine mit eisbedeckte Landschaft.

Prospects for penguins in times of climate change

Penguin populations have been decreasing for years because of environmental and marine pollution and climate change. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), five of the world’s 18 penguin species are endangered. The populations of 12 species have been decreasing for decades, in some cases by 50 to 80 percent.

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