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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

Articles from Science for Environment Policy

A service from the European Commission

Causes of ecological degradation in waterways
Human activities can have a multitude of different effects on rivers and streams, and it is difficult identify those that have the biggest impact on aquatic populations. A newly developed method for assessing ecological degradation in waterways helps deal with this problem and could provide crucial information for water managers charged with tackling the root causes of degradation.
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Long-term exposure to railway noise linked to reduced cognitive performance
Residents living near a busy railway line in Strasbourg were found by researchers to have reduced cognitive function compared to residents in quieter areas, which may be the result of long-term exposure to night-time noise. Psychological tests suggested that they had not adapted to the noise over the years, and they did not become less affected with time.
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Increased concerns over fluvial carbon losses from deforested tropical peatlands
Over 20% more carbon could be being released by tropical peatlands than previously estimated, a new study suggests. The research highlights the large quantities of carbon lost to rivers from deforested and degraded peatlands in Indonesia, in addition to carbon released as CO2 gas.
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A bleak future for Mediterranean coral as oceans become more acidic
Mediterranean red coral (Corallium rubrum), already endangered due to over-harvesting, is likely to suffer still further under increasing ocean acidification as a result of rising CO2 emissions. Research has shown that under more acidic conditions the structural development of red coral skeletons is abnormal and growth rate is reduced.
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A de-material world: receiving the benefits of materials while using less
An overview of `material efficiency´ is provided in a recent study, which assesses a range of technical and sociological approaches to material efficiency. The need for drastic efficiency improvements is highlighted by the researchers, as well as cuts in the total amount of materials used.
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Plastics can concentrate toxic pollutants, endangering marine ecosystems
Plastic debris is a serious environmental concern, as a physical pollutant as well as a chemical pollutant when it breaks down in the marine environment. A new study has now shown that plastics can also concentrate other pollutants, with significantly higher concentrations of toxic pollutants adhering to soft, rubbery plastics, rather than hard, glassy plastics.
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