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Science for Environment Policy, Issue 384

Science for Environment Policy, Issue 384

A service from the European Commission...

Shale gas: independent planning is key to reducing environmental impacts of fracking
Funding for scientists, planners and inspectors should be available before any shale gas development begins, a new review recommends. As revenue for such staff is often provided by the development itself, planning, which is vital to provide immediate environmental protection as well as monitoring long-term impacts, is neglected. The researchers also advocate the use of 'adaptive management' as a decision-making framework for this complex issue.
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Target the crop not the soil - to reduce fertiliser use
'Feed the crop not the soil' is the message of a new review into sustainable phosphorus use. Currently, phosphorus fertiliser is applied to the soil, and plants then take it up through the roots. However, more precise nutrient management is needed on farms, the researchers say, so that the phosphorus is targeted at the crop just as it needs it.
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Greener car driving is encouraged by feedback, says Dutch study
Motivation to practise fuel-efficient driving may be more influenced by environmental concerns than by financial benefits, research suggests. In promoting fuel efficiency, this survey of Dutch motorists highlights the power of providing feedback to drivers - both environmental and economic - on their behaviour.
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Compacted urban soils improved with composts have long-term benefits for tree growth
Adding compost to compacted urban soils can provide a lasting effect that aids tree growth, new research indicates. Urban soils improved with added organic material are less compacted after five years compared with soils that have not been treated with organic composts, the study suggests.
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How vulnerable to climate change is agriculture in the Black Sea region?
The impacts of climate change in the Black Sea region are likely to affect agriculture in Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, new research suggests. The number of days of plant growth was reduced in these countries as a result of reduced precipitation, increased temperatures and low capacity for irrigation to supplement water needs. A strong legal framework is necessary to deal with conflicting future demands for water, say the researchers.
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