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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

Articles from Science for Environment Policy

DG Environment News Alert Service

New ozone hole discovered over the Arctic
For the first time, scientists have identified an 'ozone hole' over the Arctic, in addition to the well-known ozone hole over the Antarctic. Unusually persistent low temperatures over the Arctic in early 2011 caused an unprecedented amount of chemical destruction of stratospheric ozone there. The authors warn that this is likely to happen again, although it is presently difficult to predict when this might be.
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Understanding the integration of sustainability policy in the EU
New research has investigated how successfully two recently implemented EU directives embracing sustainability principles have been integrated into policies. Findings indicate that practices vary a great deal between Member States with trade-offs between different aspects of sustainability, and that no single type of governance guarantees an optimum level of integration.
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Air pollution increases DNA damage associated with disease
A study in the Czech Republic has found a link between exposure to certain air pollutants and an increase in DNA damage for people exposed to high levels of the pollution. They found that breathing small quantities of a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH), called benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), caused an increase in the number of certain 'biomarkers' in DNA associated with a higher risk of diseases, including cancer.
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Checklist devised to diagnose seafloor health
Scientists have produced a list of seafloor characteristics to determine the health status of the ecosystem it supports. These indicators could improve the quality and consistency of marine conservation efforts across Europe, particularly where the impact of human activities is high.
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Light-duty vehicles exceed EU emissions limits during on-road driving
The nitrogen dioxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of some light-duty petrol and diesel vehicles are higher during on-road driving than during standard laboratory tests, according to a new study. This means that in normal on-road driving, light-duty vehicles, which include passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, may exceed European emissions limits and could be having a greater impact on urban air quality than previously thought.
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Leaked hydrogen fuel could have small negative effects on atmosphere
Using hydrogen as an energy carrier can help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with fossil fuels, according to recent research. However, if used on a large-scale, it is important that hydrogen does not leak significantly into the atmosphere as it might have some negative environmental effects, such as increasing the lifetime of methane, increasing climate effects and causing some depletion of the ozone layer.
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Fragmented forests and grasslands: plant sensitivity to habitat loss
A new study exploring the sensitivity of grassland and forest plants to decreasing habitat size and isolation in north-central Europe concludes that an irreversible shift in the most dominant plant species may already be underway in forests and grassland, where forests are more vulnerable than grasslands.
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