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Science for Environment Policy

Science for Environment Policy

A service from the European Commission...

New ozone-depleting chemicals found in the atmosphere
Four ozone-depleting gases, previously undetected in the atmosphere, have been found by new research. The work suggests that more than 74 000 tonnes of these human-made substances have been released since 1978, and that two are continuing to accumulate in the atmosphere. However, it is not yet known where they come from.
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Largest Antarctic ice sheet more sensitive to ocean warming than previously thought
The largest ice sheet in the world, the east Antarctic ice sheet, may succumb to climate change faster than thought, according to recent research. Warming ocean currents, triggered by shifting wind patterns, could accelerate melting of the ice sheet, leading to a rise in sea levels, say the researchers.
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Carbon nanotubes could be released by plastic as it degrades
Carbon nanotubes (CNT) could be released into the environment as the plastic they are embedded in degrades, a new study suggests. The research found that general wear combined with exposure to UV light and moderate humidity would expose CNTs, posing a potential threat to human health.
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Green taxes can boost the economy
Green taxes could boost economic growth and reduce the 'cash-in-hand' untaxed shadow economy, according to new research. The study modelled green taxes' effects on Spain's economy and suggests the revenue from these taxes would increase economic activity and employment if it was used to reduce income tax.
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Electric car schemes in Berlin and Paris: sustainable mobility approaches compared
Two shared electric car schemes, in Berlin and Paris, have been examined by a recent study. Although both schemes are progressive, Berlin's takes an 'inter-modal' approach to encouraging sustainable mobility, because it integrates electric cars into the wider public transport system. The scheme in Paris, however, focuses on cars as the main form of transport.
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Water management and spatial planning's resilience to climate change: key proposals
Eight key features for increasing the climate change resilience of water management and spatial planning projects are presented by new Dutch research. These include: focusing on the long term, integrating the projects with other sustainability measures and encouraging stakeholder participation.
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European flooding costs could increase almost five-fold by 2050
Extreme and catastrophic floods in Europe, such as those seen in 2013, currently occur approximately once every 16 years, but this may increase to once every 10 years by 2050, according to new research. The study also suggests that annual average economic losses caused by extreme floods could reach almost five times higher than 2013 values.
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