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  1. Ocean Colour: Essential climate variables

    Ocean colour remote sensing primarily aims to derive the spectrum of marine surface reflectance from satellite observations. In turn, marine reflectance can be used to determine inherent optical properties (absorption and back-scattering coefficients) and ...

    20 March 2015

  2. Integrated sustainability assessments

    Sustainability science is a solution-oriented discipline that studies the complex relationship between nature and humankind, conciliating the mutually influenced scientific and social reference paradigms, and covering multi-temporal and spatial scales. Th ...

    30 April 2014

  3. Green and circular economy

    In a changing globalised world, better management of resources is essential, as is the need to concentrate efforts to efficiently respond to the main challenges (including jobs and growth, the investment agenda, climate and energy, social agenda and indus ...

    30 April 2014

  4. Impacts of climate change

    The European Commission is working to make the European economy more climate-friendly with both mitigation and adaptation policies.   Mitigation policies aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and so produce benefits in terms of avoided climate damages; a ...

    01 February 2016

  5. Digital Earth

    Digital Earth is a concept of an interactive digital replica of the entire planet that can facilitate a shared understanding of the multiple relationships between the physical and natural environments and society. To do so, it needs to be accessible globa ...

    30 April 2014

  6. Global food security

    According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) by effect of demographic growth and changes in diets and incomes, demand for food is likely to grow by 70% until 2050. The current outlook of increasing global demand is mirrored by considerable unc ...

    30 April 2014

  7. Water governance

    Rivers and seas are a common resource for the countries that share their basins. A key example in Europe is the Danube river which is 2 800 km long, passes through 10 countries and receives water from 19 countries. The JRC’s activities focus on assessing ...

    02 September 2015

  8. Water biodiversity

    Freshwater ecosystems are among the most degraded and threatened ecosystems at the global scale. Given the likelihood that demand for available water resources in Europe and worldwide will increase in the future, water ecosystem services need to be protec ...

    02 September 2015

  9. Sustainable management of natural resources in ACP countries

    According to the United Nations, at least 17% of the Earth’s surface waters and 10% of coastal and marine areas should be protected. The current 13 000 protected areas are insufficient to ensure the survival of the Earth’s biodiversity. EU development pol ...

    02 September 2015

  10. Sustainability of climate policies

    In addition to carrying out cost analyses, the overall environmental effectiveness of climate change policies, including low-carbon and carbon-free energy technologies investments, must be assessed. The JRC contributes to the EC Flagship Initiatives Resou ...

    02 September 2015

  11. Earth observation products

    Earth observation has become an essential element in assessing and addressing global challenges. It can provide synoptic overviews which can be used for situation assessment and change detection. The JRC has longstanding expertise in the use of remote sen ...

    30 April 2014

  12. Soil protection

    Soil provides the main foundation for human activity and housing. It is a limited and fragile resource, that Europe's environment policy seeks to protect. Soil data and information are relevant for a number of EU policy areas: food security, agricult ...

    01 September 2015

  13. Monitoring of climate and climate change

    Coherent greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventories and projections are needed to help improve the effectiveness of climate policy. The JRC supports long-term GHG monitoring, in particular within the European Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) Inf ...

    01 September 2015

  14. Hazards and risks of climate change impacts

    Due to Climate Change, frequencies of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and heat waves are expected to increase in the future. The JRC works on predicting and making impact assessments of such events. Floods To increase preparedness for floo ...

    01 September 2015

  15. Forest adaptation to climate change

    Even if emissions are stabilised relatively soon, climate change and its effects will last many years, and adaptation will be necessary. The need for an Adaptation Clearinghouse was identified in the Commission’s 2009 White Paper “ Adapting to climate cha ...

    01 September 2015

  16. Floods

    The JRC’s research on floods focuses on improving preparedness and response during a flood crisis, mainly through early warning and monitoring systems, but also through the assessment of mitigation and prevention measures. It has developed several systems ...

    01 September 2015

  17. Fires

    Forest fires occur regularly all over Europe and it is very likely that the damage they cause will increase in the future. The JRC monitors European forests to continually assess the risk of fires, provide early alerts and provide information on active fi ...

    01 September 2015

  18. Climate change mitigation

    The EU has a stated objective of limiting global climate change to a temperature increase of 2ºC above preindustrial levels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported in 2007 that reaching that target would require the reduction of glo ...

    30 April 2014

  19. Air quality and greenhouse gases

    Despite continued efforts to reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants, air pollution remains a worldwide concern, including in large areas of Europe. Improving air quality while keeping the climate hospitable is a complex process which requires a thorou ...

    19 May 2015

  20. Desertification and drought

    Drought and desertification are closely related phenomena. Persisting over months or years, drought can affect large areas and may have serious environmental, social and economic impacts. While drought is a natural phenomenon, whose impacts can be exacerb ...

    18 May 2015

  21. Atmospheric dispersion

    Atmospheric dispersion models  are used to estimate or to predict the downwind concentration of air pollutants or harmful substances emitted from sources. They have widespread use in situations such as emergency response, the planning of policies and stra ...

    30 April 2014

  22. Agricultural biodiversity

    Agricultural land covers almost half of Europe’s territory. Technological development, mechanisation, agro-chemicals and genetic research have led to structural modifications in farming practices and put pressure on the environment, leading to soil deplet ...

    04 April 2016

  23. Climate change

    Climate change is expected to have significant impacts on natural resources, the world economy and human health. It will lead to increased temperatures, rising sea levels, altered precipitation patterns and increased frequencies of extreme weather events ...

    19 March 2016

  24. Environmental monitoring

    Environmental monitoring can be described as a programme of recurring, systematic studies that reveals the state of the environment. The specific aspects of the environment to be studied are determined by environmental objectives and environmental legisla ...

    30 April 2014

  25. Natural and man-made hazards

    Natural and man-made hazards include, for instance, droughts, desertification, floods, fires, earthquakes and dispersion of radioactive gases in the atmosphere.  They have significant social, environmental and economic impacts. The JRC carries out extensi ...

    18 May 2015