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Science for Environment Policy, Issue 386

06.10.2014
Obecné
Science for Environment Policy, Issue 386

A service from the European Commission...

Childhood obesity linked to traffic pollution
Traffic pollution contributes to childhood obesity, a recent study concludes. In the US investigation of over 4 500 children, the researchers estimated that air pollution increased the body mass index (BMI) of 10-year olds in the most polluted areas of study by 0.4 units, compared to those in the least polluted areas. It is thought that pollution may have slowed the children's metabolism.
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Trawling threatens to destroy deep-sea ecosystems
Intensive trawling could turn seafloor ecosystems into 'deserts of the sea', new research warns. The study found that continuous bottom trawling for shrimp in a deep-sea Spanish canyon has damaged the foundations of marine ecosystems by dramatically reducing seafloor biodiversity and nutrients in sediment.
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Biodiversity offsetting cannot compensate for 'old growth' habitat loss
'Biodiversity offset' schemes, which aim to compensate for the loss of unspoilt habitats to development, could lead to an overall loss in biodiversity, a recent study warns. Furthermore, the researchers highlight the considerable time needed, often hundreds of years, to fully recreate an ecosystem.
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Cyclists map Antwerp air pollution with on-bike monitors
Cyclists with pollution monitors and GPS trackers attached to their bicycles have produced detailed maps of Antwerp's air quality, as part of a recent study. Their data show that a gap of just a few metres between cycle lanes and cars significantly reduces cyclists' risk of inhaling high levels of ultrafine particle pollution.
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Farmland biodiversity monitoring costs estimated
Monitoring biodiversity on farms is vital for conservation policies but how much does it cost? In a new pan-European study, researchers develop a standardised monitoring programme and estimate it will cost an average of EUR8 200 per farm to conduct. This cost could be dramatically cut if volunteer 'citizen scientists' or farmers help gather data for the programmes.
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Constructed wetlands help keep farmland soil out of rivers
Small, artificial wetlands can reduce river pollution by trapping soil and nutrients swept off agricultural land by rainfall, a recent study finds. The researchers recommend that they are used as a back-up option to soil management measures also designed to reduce runoff into rivers.
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