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Science for
Environment Policy

News Alert

The fortnightly News Alert forms the cornerstone of the Science for Environment Policy service.

Full details of the research paper that each article is based on are provided, along with contact details for the lead author of the original study, should subscribers wish to find out more.

Latest Alert

Issue 566


Policy-induced reductions in methane emissions have permanent impact

Do short-term reductions in methane emissions have a lasting impact on longer-term emission trends? A study seeks to answer this question by analysing emissions in 36 OECD countries from 1750 to 2014. The researchers conclude that actions do lead to permanent change, and that policies to improve emissions from agriculture, energy generation and waste can have long-lasting effects.

Measuring biodiversity loss in threatened Mediterranean coastal sand-dune habitats, Italy

Threatened Mediterranean coastal sand-dune habitats have outstanding conservation value — home to rare flora, rich in fauna and offering protection against storms. Yet there is a lack of recent comprehensive studies that survey long-term changes in these habitats. This re-surveying study quantifies functional and taxonomic changes over the last 10–15 years in a 75-kilometre (km) stretch of Italian coastal dunes. The researchers find that approximately 23% of threatened sand-dune habitats have disappeared from the surveyed area.

Ranking the potential health risks of engineered nanoparticles in Europe

Developments in nanotechnology mean that engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) are found in increasingly large quantities on the European market. To manage any potential human health hazards, comprehensive risk-assessment tools and protocols are required. A novel model for the human health assessment of ENPs has been developed that ranks ENPs by risk, enabling the prioritisation of the most potentially hazardous ENPs in Europe.