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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

21.10.2013
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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

A service from the European Commission...

Past environmental pressures affect current biodiversity loss
The negative effects of human activity on biodiversity may not be fully realised for several decades, or even a century for some species, new research suggests. Conservation efforts may need to be much increased to prevent declines of wildlife populations as a result of environmental pressures that occurred many years ago, say the study´s authors.
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Public health risks of hot Mediterranean summers vary by region
Elderly people are at particular risk from the damaging health effects of hot summers in European Mediterranean cities, such as Athens, Barcelona and Lisbon, but in North African and Middle-Eastern Mediterranean cities, such as Tunis and Tel-Aviv, younger people are more vulnerable, a recent study concludes. This is particularly concerning, the researchers suggest, given the insufficient resources available to deal with this public health problem in some countries.
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Rainforest monitoring network deployed in Amazon
Using open-access software and power saving technologies, researchers have developed an easily deployed, low-cost network for monitoring large areas of the Amazon rainforest. This Peruvian study shows that environmental information, such as soil moisture and rates of photosynthesis, can be recorded and uploaded to the internet without having to make repeated visits to remote areas.
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Ozone levels will vary across Europe under future climate change
Climate change affects air pollution at a regional and local scale. A recent study has reassessed the latest findings and suggests that climate change will increase ozone concentrations by about 3 parts per billion (ppb) in central and western Europe in the year 2050 if emissions from human activities remain at present-day levels. However, if emissions increase, ozone concentrations could increase by 16 ppb for much of Europe.
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Indoor environmental quality of LEED-certified buildings evaluated
Staff in buildings that have been certified as `green´ under the LEED scheme are just as satisfied with their indoor working environment as people working in non-LEED buildings, according to research on commercial buildings. The study suggests that investment in the thermal and acoustic aspects of buildings, however, would further improve occupant satisfaction.
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Monitoring heavy metal contamination in the German Wadden Sea
Human activities, including industrial development along coastal areas, risk polluting the marine environment with heavy metals which can harm human health and aquatic life. A recent study has found elevated levels of metal pollution in the Jade area of the German Wadden Sea, but concludes that metal contamination of the sediments would not be expected to have harmful effects on the marine environment and living organisms here.
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