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Science for Environment Policy - Articles

19.05.2014
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Science for Environment Policy - Articles

A service from the European Commission...

Longer droughts and more water shortages in Europe forecast under climate change
Climate change will substantially increase the severity and length of droughts in Europe by the end of the century, according to new research. The study showed that some European countries could experience a reduction in river flow of up to 80% by the 2080s.
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Cities shown to shelter threatened wildlife - but good urban planning is key
Although cities are typically low in biodiversity, they can provide important refuges for native species, new research shows. Urban planning making use of green infrastructure can enhance city habitats and may help reduce the loss of biodiversity that follows urban expansion, the researchers say.
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Offshore renewable energy sites provide new habitat for marine species
Offshore renewable energy sites may provide new 'stepping stone' habitats for marine species, a recent study suggests. They could allow some species to spread beyond their present range and help vulnerable creatures survive in the face of climate change. However, they may also allow harmful invasive species to spread, the researchers warn, and the effects of such projects must be assessed by examining their impacts on the ecosystem as a whole.
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PM2.5 air pollution strongly linked to increased risk of heart attacks
Long-term exposure to particulate matter pollution is strongly linked with heart attacks and angina, a new European study of over 100 000 people has shown. The results indicate that this association exists at levels below current European limits, and that the burden of disease due to particulate matter may have been largely underestimated.
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New guide to help reduce pesticide pollution in aquatic ecosystems
Pollution from agricultural pesticides can present a serious threat to aquatic ecosystems. Researchers have now developed a guide to identify the most appropriate measures to reduce pesticides entering waterways. It focuses on reducing pesticide entry via spray drift or runoff.
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Seafloor trawling's ecological impacts revealed by simple sampling system
Trawling's impacts on marine ecosystems can be assessed using simple metrics which characterise easy-to-obtain samples of fish, new research suggests. The Portuguese study shows that groups of fish become dominated by fewer species as fishing intensity increases, while their total biomass declines. Moreover, in the most fished areas there were other noteworthy changes, such as substantial reductions in the proportion of sharks and rays.
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