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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

13.11.2012
Obecné
Articles from Science for Environment Policy
A service from the European Commission
Environmental impacts of batteries for low carbon technologies compared
A recent study has assessed some of the environmental impacts of the production of batteries used with low carbon systems, such as photovoltaic cells and wind turbines. The results indicate that lithium-based batteries have the most significant impact, in terms of metal depletion and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but more complete data are needed on possible toxic impacts to conduct a full comparison between batteries.
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Synthetic biology: built-in barriers could prevent interactions with natural biology
A recent analysis highlights advances in the field of synthetic biology and efforts to develop approaches that will prevent non-natural organisms from interfering with natural organisms and ecosystems. It suggests that synthetic organisms could be developed with inbuilt `firewalls´ that prevent genetic interactions with other organisms.
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Increased consumer involvement in electricity and water networks
A new study has reviewed the dramatic changes that have taken place over recent decades in `network-bound systems´ of electricity grids, water supply and wastewater management. Focusing on case studies in The Netherlands, the study found that consumers are becoming more active participants in the supply of these resources and services.
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Seagrass decline releasing large quantities of carbon
Grasses growing at the bottom of our oceans lock away large quantities of `blue carbon´, according to a new study. The results suggest that the soil that seagrass grows on is capable of storing more carbon than soils on land and as a result of the current global decline in seagrass, vast stores of carbon may be being released into the ocean and atmosphere.
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Noise exposure estimation methods compared
It is difficult to compare estimates of noise exposure across EU Member States because the methods used to produce the data vary between countries. A new study has investigated five methods of estimating noise exposure and identified some of the reasons for variation in the data they produce.
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EU guidelines on better life cycle assessment produced
The EU Joint Research Centre has produced a new part of the handbook that provides guidelines for developing and using Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), which evaluate the environmental impacts of products, focusing specifically on life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). It recommends that assessments should be comprehensive, accessible and easy to apply in order to make LCA a more mainstream concept in decision-making.
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