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Hiller R.V.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | Bretscher D.,Institute for Sustainability science | Delsontro T.,Eawag - Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology | Delsontro T.,ETH Zurich | And 18 more authors.
Biogeosciences | Year: 2014

We present the first high-resolution (500 m × 500 m) gridded methane (CH4) emission inventory for Switzerland, which integrates 90 % of the national emission totals reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and recent CH4 flux studies conducted by research groups across Switzerland. In addition to anthropogenic emissions, we also include natural and semi-natural CH4 fluxes, i.e., emissions from lakes and reservoirs, wetlands, wild animals as well as uptake by forest soils. National CH4 emissions were disaggregated using detailed geostatistical information on source locations and their spatial extent and process-or area-specific emission factors. In Switzerland, the highest CH4 emissions in 2011 originated from the agricultural sector (150 Gg CH4 yr-1, mainly produced by ruminants and manure management, followed by emissions from waste management (15 Gg CH4 yr-1) mainly from landfills and the energy sector (12 Gg CH 4 yr-1), which was dominated by emissions from natural gas distribution. Compared with the anthropogenic sources, emissions from natural and semi-natural sources were relatively small (6 Gg CH4 yr -1), making up only 3% of the total emissions in Switzerland. CH 4 fluxes from agricultural soils were estimated to be not significantly different from zero (between-1.5 and 0 Gg CH4 yr -1), while forest soils are a CH4 sink (approx.-2.8 Gg CH4 yr-1), partially offsetting other natural emissions. Estimates of uncertainties are provided for the different sources, including an estimate of spatial disaggregation errors deduced from a comparison with a global (EDGAR v4.2) and an European (TNO/MACC) CH4 inventory. This new spatially explicit emission inventory for Switzerland will provide valuable input for regional-scale atmospheric modeling and inverse source estimation.©Author(s) 2014.


Manunta M.,CNR Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment | Calo F.,CNR Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment | Ojha C.,CNR Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment | Ojha C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 22 more authors.
International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS) | Year: 2013

We focused on the joint exploitation of satellite and ground-based technologies in order to understand the kinematic behavior of landslides and subsidence phenomena relevant to different test sites in Europe. In this context, we efficiently exploited C-band and X-band satellite and ground-based SAR data for the investigation of the temporal and spatial pattern of ground deformations caused by natural and human-induced hazards. The present work has been conducted within the FP7-EU DORIS project. © 2013 IEEE.


News Article | November 11, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) lists more than 100 invasive species already posing threats in Switzerland, including the Asian longhorned beetle and other insects such as the box tree moth, the harlequin ladybird, the Asian tiger mosquito, and the Ambrosia and Colorado potato beetles. The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) considers Anoplophora glabripennis to be one of the most dangerous pests affecting broadleaf trees. The adult female beetles chew through the tree's bark to lay their eggs in a small hole, so as soon as the larvae hatch they have a ready source of vascular plant tissue on which to feed. As they mature, the larvae then make tunnels deep into the tree's heartwood, with each larva capable of consuming up to 1'000 cubic cm of wood in its lifetime. The emerging adults will usually produce the next generation on the same host tree, but high-density infestations will eventually kill the tree so they must disperse to find new host trees for their young. It is likely that the first invaders were unknowingly imported as larvae hidden inside wooden packaging materials. New laws requiring such packaging from China to be heat-dried or chemically treated to kill any larvae have helped to limit new invasions, and effective pest inspections and increasing public awareness are proving successful to help prevent any further spread of Asian longhorned beetles in Switzerland. The collaborative research project to sequence, annotate, and explore the Anoplophora glabripennis genome was led by Prof. Duane McKenna from the University of Memphis, with DNA sequencing and genome assembly performed at the Baylor College of Medicine directed by Prof. Stephen Richards as part of the i5K arthropod genome initiative. The team of researchers who analysed this new wealth of genetic and genomic data included experts from the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the University of Geneva Faculty of Medicine, Dr Panagiotis Ioannidis and Dr Robert Waterhouse from the group of Prof. Evgeny Zdobnov. The international team's efforts were made possible through funding from United States agencies including the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and National Institutes of Health, as well as the German Research Foundation and the Swiss National Science Foundation. Their findings from exploring the 710 megabasepair genome and its 22'035 encoded genes are published in a comprehensive manuscript in the journal Genome Biology. Sequencing and annotating the beetle's genome enabled the researchers to perform detailed comparative analyses with other insects and examine the thousands of encoded genes for clues about how they have evolved to successfully feed on tree tissues. Prof. McKenna said "Research in my laboratory has focused on the evolution of beetle-plant interactions and phytophagy, i.e. plant-feeding, so sequencing the whole genome now allows us to identify the full set of genes that facilitate the specialised feeding of this beetle on woody plants." He further explained that "In particular, gene duplication, i.e. the generation of new gene copies in this beetle genome, and their subsequent functional divergence, have been important factors that have led to the expansion and enhancement of its metabolic gene repertoire, in some cases involving genes acquired from fungi and bacteria." As well as encoding many of these enzymes required to degrade plant tissues, the genome also revealed several expanded sets of genes that are known to be important for the detoxification of the chemicals normally produced by plants to defend themselves against attacks by such pests. "This means that the beetle is able to quickly get rid of these toxic plant defence chemicals that would normally deter most insects, and continue to feed on the woody tissues of the host trees", explained Dr Ioannidis. Dr Waterhouse added that "Using our comparative genomics tools including OrthoDB and BUSCO, we were able to classify genes into those shared across many insect species and those that are specific to beetles, especially plant-feeding beetles, to highlight genes that may be particularly important for the biological innovations that have allowed beetles to become such a successful - and in this case dangerous - group of insects." The SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics is an academic not-for-profit organization. Its mission is to lead and coordinate the field of bioinformatics in Switzerland. Its data science experts join forces to advance biological and medical research and enhance health by (i) providing the national and international life science community with a state-of-the-art bioinformatics infrastructure, including resources, expertise and services; (ii) federating world-class researchers and delivering training in bioinformatics. It includes some 65 world-class research and service groups and some 800 scientists in the fields of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, evolution, population genetics, systems biology, structural biology, biophysics and clinical bioinformatics. http://www. Reference: McKenna et al. Genome of the Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis), a globally significant invasive species, reveals key functional and evolutionary innovations at the beetle-plant interface. Genome Biology, 2016. DOI: 10.1186/s13059-016-1088-8


News Article | November 11, 2016
Site: www.sciencedaily.com

The Asian longhorned beetle, Anoplophora glabripennis, also known as the starry sky beetle, is native to eastern Asia but has successfully invaded North America and Europe where it infests maple, birch, willow, elm, and poplar trees. Published in the journal Genome Biology, an international team of scientists report on the sequencing, annotation, and comparative exploration of this beetle's genome in an effort to develop novel tools to combat its spread and better understand the biology of invasive wood-boring pests. The project involved scientists from more than 30 research institutions worldwide, including from the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the University of Geneva (UNIGE). The results begin to help unravel the complex genetic and genomic basis for the invasiveness of the Asian longhorned beetle and the evolutionary success of how beetles exploit plants. The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) lists more than 100 invasive species already posing threats in Switzerland, including the Asian longhorned beetle and other insects such as the box tree moth, the harlequin ladybird, the Asian tiger mosquito, and the Ambrosia and Colorado potato beetles. The Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) considers Anoplophora glabripennis to be one of the most dangerous pests affecting broadleaf trees. The adult female beetles chew through the tree's bark to lay their eggs in a small hole, so as soon as the larvae hatch they have a ready source of vascular plant tissue on which to feed. As they mature, the larvae then make tunnels deep into the tree's heartwood, with each larva capable of consuming up to 1'000 cubic cm of wood in its lifetime. The emerging adults will usually produce the next generation on the same host tree, but high-density infestations will eventually kill the tree so they must disperse to find new host trees for their young. It is likely that the first invaders were unknowingly imported as larvae hidden inside wooden packaging materials. New laws requiring such packaging from China to be heat-dried or chemically treated to kill any larvae have helped to limit new invasions, and effective pest inspections and increasing public awareness are proving successful to help prevent any further spread of Asian longhorned beetles in Switzerland. The collaborative research project to sequence, annotate, and explore the Anoplophora glabripennis genome was led by Prof. Duane McKenna from the University of Memphis, with DNA sequencing and genome assembly performed at the Baylor College of Medicine directed by Prof. Stephen Richards as part of the i5K arthropod genome initiative. The team of researchers who analysed this new wealth of genetic and genomic data included experts from the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the University of Geneva Faculty of Medicine, Dr Panagiotis Ioannidis and Dr Robert Waterhouse from the group of Prof. Evgeny Zdobnov. The international team's efforts were made possible through funding from United States agencies including the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and National Institutes of Health, as well as the German Research Foundation and the Swiss National Science Foundation. Their findings from exploring the 710 megabasepair genome and its 22'035 encoded genes are published in a comprehensive manuscript in the journal Genome Biology. Sequencing and annotating the beetle's genome enabled the researchers to perform detailed comparative analyses with other insects and examine the thousands of encoded genes for clues about how they have evolved to successfully feed on tree tissues. Prof. McKenna said "Research in my laboratory has focused on the evolution of beetle-plant interactions and phytophagy, i.e. plant-feeding, so sequencing the whole genome now allows us to identify the full set of genes that facilitate the specialised feeding of this beetle on woody plants." He further explained that "In particular, gene duplication, i.e. the generation of new gene copies in this beetle genome, and their subsequent functional divergence, have been important factors that have led to the expansion and enhancement of its metabolic gene repertoire, in some cases involving genes acquired from fungi and bacteria." As well as encoding many of these enzymes required to degrade plant tissues, the genome also revealed several expanded sets of genes that are known to be important for the detoxification of the chemicals normally produced by plants to defend themselves against attacks by such pests. "This means that the beetle is able to quickly get rid of these toxic plant defence chemicals that would normally deter most insects, and continue to feed on the woody tissues of the host trees," explained Dr Ioannidis. Dr Waterhouse added that "Using our comparative genomics tools including OrthoDB and BUSCO, we were able to classify genes into those shared across many insect species and those that are specific to beetles, especially plant-feeding beetles, to highlight genes that may be particularly important for the biological innovations that have allowed beetles to become such a successful -- and in this case dangerous -- group of insects."


Harris E.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | Zeyer K.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | Kegel R.,FOEN | Muller B.,FOEN | And 2 more authors.
Waste Management | Year: 2015

Solid waste incineration accounts for a growing proportion of waste disposal in both developed and developing countries, therefore it is important to constrain emissions of greenhouse gases from these facilities. At five Swiss waste incineration facilities with grate firing, emission factors for N2O and CH4 were determined based on measurements of representative flue gas samples, which were collected in Tedlar bags over a one year period (September 2010-August 2011) and analysed with FTIR spectroscopy. All five plants burn a mixture of household and industrial waste, and two of the plants employ NOx removal through selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) while three plants use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for NOx removal.N2O emissions from incineration plants with NOx removal through selective catalytic reduction were 4.3±4.0g N2O tonne-1 waste (wet) (hereafter abbreviated as t-1) (0.4±0.4g N2O GJ-1), ten times lower than from plants with selective non-catalytic reduction (51.5±10.6g N2O t-1; 4.5±0.9g N2O GJ-1). These emission factors, which are much lower than the value of 120g N2O t-1 (10.4g N2O GJ-1) used in the 2013 Swiss national greenhouse gas emission inventory, have been implemented in the most recent Swiss emission inventory. In addition, the isotopic composition of N2O emitted from the two plants with SNCR, which had considerable N2O emissions, was measured using quantum cascade laser spectroscopy. The isotopic site preference of N2O - the enrichment of 14N15NO relative to 15N14NO - was found to be 17.6±0.8‰, with no significant difference between the two plants. Comparison to previous studies suggests SP of 17-19‰ may be characteristic for N2O produced from SNCR. Methane emissions were found to be insignificant, with a maximum emission factor of 2.5±5.6g CH4 t-1 (0.2±0.5g CH4 GJ-1), which is expected due to high incinerator temperatures and efficient combustion. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Czolbe C.,PROSE Ltd | Wunderli J.-M.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | Fischer F.,FOEN
Notes on Numerical Fluid Mechanics and Multidisciplinary Design | Year: 2015

The sonRAIL web tool represents a public application using the Swiss method of railway noise emission calculation for vehicles and track sections. It is intended to be used by engineers, planners and administrators for the evaluation of specific situations or noise mitigation measures as well as for exchange and enlargement of knowledge about railway noise in the community. The sonRAIL method is the property of the Federal Office of Environment of Switzerland (FOEN) and is hosted at https://sonrail.empa.ch. Access to the web tool can be requested at sonrail@empa.ch. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015.


Hincapie I.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | Caballero-Guzman A.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology | Hiltbrunner D.,FOEN | Nowack B.,Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
Waste Management | Year: 2015

One sector where the use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) is supposed to offer novel or improved functionalities is the construction industry. During the renovation or demolition of buildings, ENMs contained in former construction materials will enter recycling systems or become construction waste. Currently, information about ENM flows in these processes is insufficient. The potential for the release of ENMs from this waste into the environment is unknown, as are the environmental impacts. To evaluate whether there is currently any nano-relevant construction and demolition waste (C&DW) originating from buildings, we evaluated the sources and flows of ENMs in C&DW and identified their potential exposure pathways. A survey of business representatives of Swiss companies in this sector found that ENMs are mainly used in paints and cement. The most frequently used ENMs in the Swiss housing construction industry are nano-TiO2, nano-SiO2, nano-ZnO, and nano-Ag. Using a bottom-up, semi-quantitative approach, we estimated the flows of ENMs contained in paints along the product's life cycle from buildings to recycling and landfill. The flows of ENMs are determined by their associated flows of building materials. We estimated an annual amount of ENMs used in paints of 14t of TiO2, 12t of SiO2, 5t of ZnO, and 0.2t of Ag. The majority of ENMs contained in paints in Switzerland enter recycling systems (23t/y), a smaller amount is disposed directly in landfills (7t/y), and a tiny fraction of ENM waste is incinerated (0.01t/y). Our results allow a qualitative determination of the potential release of ENMs into technical or environmental compartments, with the highest potential release expected during recycling. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | FOEN and Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
Type: | Journal: Waste management (New York, N.Y.) | Year: 2014

Solid waste incineration accounts for a growing proportion of waste disposal in both developed and developing countries, therefore it is important to constrain emissions of greenhouse gases from these facilities. At five Swiss waste incineration facilities with grate firing, emission factors for N2O and CH4 were determined based on measurements of representative flue gas samples, which were collected in Tedlar bags over a one year period (September 2010-August 2011) and analysed with FTIR spectroscopy. All five plants burn a mixture of household and industrial waste, and two of the plants employ NOx removal through selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) while three plants use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) for NOx removal. N2O emissions from incineration plants with NOx removal through selective catalytic reduction were 4.3 4.0g N2O tonne(-1) waste (wet) (hereafter abbreviated as t(-1)) (0.4 0.4 g N2O GJ(-1)), ten times lower than from plants with selective non-catalytic reduction (51.5 10.6g N2O t(-1); 4.5 0.9g N2O GJ(-1)). These emission factors, which are much lower than the value of 120g N2O t(-1) (10.4g N2O GJ(-1)) used in the 2013 Swiss national greenhouse gas emission inventory, have been implemented in the most recent Swiss emission inventory. In addition, the isotopic composition of N2O emitted from the two plants with SNCR, which had considerable N2O emissions, was measured using quantum cascade laser spectroscopy. The isotopic site preference of N2O - the enrichment of (14)N(15)NO relative to (15)N(14)NO - was found to be 17.6 0.8, with no significant difference between the two plants. Comparison to previous studies suggests SP of 17-19 may be characteristic for N2O produced from SNCR. Methane emissions were found to be insignificant, with a maximum emission factor of 2.5 5.6g CH4 t(-1) (0.2 0.5g CH4 GJ(-1)), which is expected due to high incinerator temperatures and efficient combustion.

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