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Articles from Science for Environment Policy

Articles from Science for Environment Policy

A service from the European Commission...

Aircraft noise at night may lead to long-term health impacts
Exposure to aircraft noise at night for more than 20 years could increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to research conducted around six European airports. Risk also increased for those constantly exposed to road traffic, but this may have been caused by air pollution rather than noise.
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Plastic pollution measured in Mediterranean seabirds
Endangered Mediterranean seabirds are suffering from ingestion of plastic litter, a recent study has shown. Overall, 66% of 171 seabirds studied were found to have plastic fragments in their stomachs and the critically endangered Balearic shearwater was among the worst affected.
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Social marketing to improve community-level green behaviour
A community-level initiative in the UK has successfully used social marketing techniques to encourage participants to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. On average, participants reduced their emissions footprint by 2 tonnes every year. Based on the initiative, the authors of this study propose a framework to guide future community engagement.
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Crayfish plague detection: new techniques tested
Crayfish plague, spread by invasive North American crayfish, is currently devastating native European populations. However, while the disease is commonly diagnosed on the basis of diseased animals, free-living infective spores can contaminate water bodies. In the first study to test detection techniques for this disease in natural waterways, researchers found that invasive signal crayfish release low levels of plague spores, allowing it to spread undetected.
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Waste's environmental impacts measured with new method, but better data needed
Life-cycle indicators to monitor selected waste streams' impacts on the environment have been developed by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). These are presented in a recent study which describes a method for analysing waste's impacts using these indicators. The study also reveals the need for better statistics and more detailed categorisation of waste streams to effectively inform decision making in waste management.
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Plastic litter can pass on pollutants and chemical additives to marine wildlife
New research has provided the first conclusive evidence that microplastics ingested by marine wildlife can transfer toxic pollutants to their tissues. The researchers studied lugworms fed on PVC particles contaminated with either widespread marine pollutants or plastic additives and found that these 'earthworms of the sea' absorbed the chemicals into their gut tissue, which reduced their ability to perform essential functions.
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