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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

03.05.2013
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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

A service from the European Commission...

Microplastic particles in North Sea could harm marine organisms and enter human food chain
Researchers have discovered high levels of plastic particles and fibres, as well as black carbon (BC), which is formed by the incomplete burning of fossil fuels, in the waters of the Jade Bay, an inshore basin off the coast of Germany in the Southern North Sea. The concentration of suspended particles are of concern because they have the potential to be ingested by fish and other marine life, and enter the food chain.
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Together, wild bees and honeybees improve crop pollination
The presence of wild bees alongside honeybees was found to increase almond orchard production in a recent study. The findings demonstrate how increased biodiversity enhances ecosystem services, such as pollination, and provide an opportunity to increase agricultural yields whilst also benefitting wildlife.
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Zero Waste Index proposed for improving city waste management
A new tool to improve the measurement of waste management performance has been presented by a recent study. The researchers applied it to three high consuming cities aspiring to 'zero waste', finding San Francisco to be closer to achieving zero waste than Stockholm and Adelaide, due to its emphasis on reusing solid waste.
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Affluence drives unsustainable consumption of land and sea
The amount of land and ocean that a country uses in order to produce food and other commodities, or its land or ocean 'footprint', increases by over a third for each doubling of income, new research shows. Thus, as nations become richer, and lifestyles become more affluent, pressure on natural resources increases.
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Energy-efficient cooperative housing reduces bills for residents
Relatively simple, low-cost measures, such as insulating walls and installing solar collectors and efficient heaters for hot water can significantly reduce energy consumption in housing developments, according to a recent study from Portugal. Energy-efficient homes not only benefit the environment, but were found to potentially reduce residents' energy bills by over half in an apartment block studied by the researchers.
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Historical water use reflects changes in global socio-economic development
A recent study has revealed how water use has changed across the world over the last 60 years. Growing populations and economic development, particularly in newly-emerging countries, have increased water demand, but technological developments have led to water efficiencies and savings, which moderate these demands.
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