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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

29.03.2013
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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

A service from the European Commission...

Benefits of reduced mercury emissions could be felt several years to decades after cuts
A recent study suggests that mercury deposited from the atmosphere is the main source of mercury pollution in the open oceans. Curbing mercury emissions will slowly lead to a decrease in contaminated fish, as eaten by humans, within a few years to decades after the cuts have been made, the researchers suggest.
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Policy timing is the most influential aspect in reaching climate change target
The social, political, technological and geophysical factors that affect the control of climate change have been assessed in a recent study. The results suggest that political factors, in terms of delaying the implementation of mitigation strategies, have the biggest effect on limiting global warming to below 2°C.
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Recognising connections between ecosystem services in decision-making
A recent study suggests that a shift to more sustainable development, based on ecosystem services, is needed to support human health and wellbeing. Focusing on ecosystem services provided by river catchments, this study recommends that more needs to be done on a practical level to support decision-makers, in a way that recognises the relationships between different types of ecosystem services.
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CO2 and ozone affect wheat's nutritional quality
Predicting the effects of changing levels of atmospheric gases on agricultural crops is vital to ensuring food security under global environmental change. As well as yield, impacts on the nutritional value of crops must be considered. A new study has now shown that increased ozone decreases yields and increases the proportion of protein in the grain. Conversly, elevated levels of CO2 boosts wheat yields, but it also reduces protein proportion in two different ways.
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Cuts in mercury pollution could bring major economic benefits through higher IQ
Cutting mercury pollution could save Europe EUR8-9 billion per year by protecting children's brain development, suggests a recent study. A third of babies in Europe are estimated to be exposed to unsafe levels of mercury before they are born, when in the womb, which may reduce their IQ and, in turn, restrict their educational and working achievements over their lifetime. This has long-term implications for society and the economy.
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Polluted urban soil damages lime trees
The impact of polluted urban soil on trees is highlighted in a recent study from Latvia. The researchers found that high salt levels from de-icing chemicals and nutrient imbalance in soil damaged lime trees growing in the city of Riga.
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