Physical sciences, Earth sciences

The majority of European (and global) biodiversity is made up of insects, but little is known about their distribution, abundance and the threats they face. This lack of knowledge is of particular concern for species involved in pollination, such as bees, butterflies and hoverflies and for the benefits society gains from pollination services.
Thermal hydraulics is recognised as key to the development of next-generation reactor systems. EU-funded researchers have developed new physical models and improved numerical analysis tools as well as their application to address cross-cutting issues.
Thanks to a recent EU-funded study, geological chemists now understand how tectonic plates and convection in the mantle are connected.
Scientists have developed tools for best land management practices and designed strategies to mitigate desertification through research on shrub encroachment on grassland areas.
An EU team examined Europe's drought history to predict the future hazard. Results included a major impact database, pan-European vulnerability and riks maps, as well as options for drought management for different geo-climatic settings.
In-depth studies and modelling scenarios of how land is being exploited have helped further policies that encourage sustainability and safeguard ecosystems across Europe.
Harnessing the sun’s heat is normally achieved with metal-based systems. EU-funded scientists developed polymeric solar thermal concepts to meet building heating needs at significantly reduced cost.
Using light to produce either electricity or hydrogen, dye-sensitised solar cells (DSSCs) are currently the most efficient third-generation solar technology. Increases in their conversion efficiency through better understanding of how light-absorption materials function will make them attractive for large-scale deployment.
Researchers have developed sophisticated computer models that simulate the fate of carbon dioxide (CO2) injected and stored in deep geological formations.
Scientists across Europe are harnessing the power of electrokinetic transport to remove contaminating chemicals from the environment.
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