EU Science Hub

Science updates

Soil erosion by water has a huge impact on soil productivity
May 23 2019

A recent JRC study finds that soil erosion by water costs the world economy about US$8,000,000,000 (eight billion US dollars) a year.

This lost soil reduces global agri-food production by 33.7 million tonnes, leading to increases of up to 3.5% in world food prices, and widens the competitive gap on world agri-food markets.

Life cycle assessment can help monitor the environmental performance of bio-based products and systems
May 22 2019

A new brief prepared by the JRC explains how Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) can be used to monitor, evaluate and forecast potential environmental impacts of bioeconomy sectors and the use of bio-based commodities in order to ensure that the bioeconomy operates within safe ecological limits.

Different modelling principles are used to develop approaches suitable for a broad range of contexts and scales, from evaluating the environmental impacts of single bio-based commodities to those of strategic policy decisions.

Southeast Asia's forests are important reserves for tropical biodiversity and carbon storage
May 21 2019

A recent Nature article warns of the urgent need for informed and joined-up thinking in making decisions about the future of Southeast Asia’s forests in order to mitigate global warming and biodiversity loss.

The article compares the impact of socioeconomic scenarios of plausible futures on Southeast Asia’s forests, one of the world’s major deforestation hotspots.

The yield outlook for winter cereals in the EU has slightly improved, thanks to favourable weather conditions in southern regions.
May 20 2019

The May issue of the JRC MARS Bulletin - Crop monitoring in Europe - was published today, alongside the Turkey edition of the JRC MARS Bulletin global outlook series.

According to the crop monitoring Bulletin for Europe, above-average rainfall in Italy, south-eastern Europe and south-eastern parts of the Iberian Peninsula instigated the replenishment of soil moisture reserves, which in several regions had been critically low, with substantial benefits for winter crops and the early development of spring- and summer crops.

The European Network of Laboratories for the Validation of Alternative Methods (EU-NETVAL)
The European Network of Laboratories for the Validation of Alternative Methods (EU-NETVAL)
May 17 2019

The JRC hosted the 5th meeting of the EU Network of Laboratories for the Validation of Alternative Methods (EU-NETVAL) where international experts shared their knowledge on advancing in vitro methods to improve safety assessment and avoid animal testing.

Ectomycorrhizal fungi feed trees nitrogen directly from organic matter such as decaying leaves
May 15 2019

A scientific article published in Nature today shows how the world’s forests are built on symbiotic partnerships between trees and microbes, and how these could be affected by a warming climate.

Led by Stanford University, a team of over 200 scientists from around the world collected data from over 70 countries, 1.1 million forest plots and 28,000 tree species to map patterns of where trees form symbioses with fungi and bacteria in the soil, exchanging nutrients for carbon.

A physically active life is recommended for better health
May 14 2019

The JRC publishes an overview on physical activity related to health in the European Commission's Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Knowledge Gateway. This coincides with the first European Public Health Week.

Physical inactivity is among the leading risk factors for non-communicable diseases and premature mortality.

The Knowledge Gateway, developed by the European Commission, provides decision makers and EU citizens with up-to-date and independent information on many health promotion areas.

The 2019 Refinement gives updated methodological guidance on energy, industry, agriculture, land use and waste emission inventories
May 13 2019

A plenary session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Kyoto, Japan, today released the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, which was co-authored and reviewed by the JRC.

This report updates the methodologies to be used by governments to estimate and report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as required under the Paris Agreement.

Dams and reservoirs are drastically reducing the benefits that healthy rivers provide to people and nature worldwide
May 12 2019

A recent Nature article that maps the world’s free-flowing rivers shows that the flow of most of the world’s longest rivers has been impeded by man-made constructions such as dams and reservoirs, leading to the rapid decline of some of the most diverse, complex and dynamic ecosystems on the planet.

May 10 2019

JRC scientists – in close collaboration with European and US researchers– have reviewed and developed robust methods and procedures for measuring the accurate size of nanoparticles enabled medicinal products in complex biological environments.

It is important to improve effectiveness and reduce costs to bring nano-technology based medicinal products on the market.