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Almost a third of Europe's city dwellers are exposed to excessive concentrations of airborne particulate matter (PM), one of the most important pollutants in terms of harm to human health as it penetrates sensitive parts of the respiratory system. The EU has made progress over the past decades to reduce the air pollutants which cause acidification, but a new report published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that many parts of Europe have persistent problems with outdoor concentrations of PM and ground level ozone.
The air we breathe may not be the most photogenic subject, but depicting an odourless, colourless gas is the challenge set out by ImaginAIR, a new competition created by the European Environment Agency (EEA) which invites participants to tell a story about Europe's air in three pictures.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published new aggregated information on the production and trade of fluorinated gases – or F-gases – in the EU. Although emitted in relatively small quantities, the emissions of these gases are increasing, and many are several thousand times more powerful greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide (CO2).
High summer temperatures combined with air pollution can cause ground-level ozone to form, which has serious effects on health, especially for older people or children, or those with asthma and other breathing problems. The European Environment Agency (EEA) presents some useful information on protecting your health from ground-level ozone this summer.
Emissions of most air pollutants have fallen over the last two decades in Europe. But many Member States have exceeded internationally-agreed pollutant limits set to protect human health and the environment, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). Road transport, households, power plants, agricultural activities and certain industry sectors continue to emit significant amounts of air pollution.
Human activities are the main cause of poor air quality, but natural sources of air pollution also play a role. A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) considers how particulate matter from these natural sources affects the air we breathe.
Air pollution emitted from sources such as traffic, industry and households is still above internationally agreed limits in many European countries, according to data published today. The accompanying report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) confirms an initial assessment published earlier this year, showing 12 EU Member States exceeded limits under the National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive in 2010.
Ground level ozone causes health problems, decreases crop yields and damages the environment. Ozone levels exceeding certain targets in Europe were less frequent in summer 2011 than in any year since monitoring started in 1997. However, the long-term objective was exceeded in all EU Member States and it is likely many of them will not meet the target value, applicable as of 2010.
Twelve Member States exceeded one or more of the emission limits set by the EU National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive, according to recent official data for 2010 reported to the European Environment Agency (EEA). In some instances the limits were exceeded by significant amounts.
Air pollution from the 10,000 largest polluting facilities in Europe cost citizens between € 102 and 169 billion in 2009. This was one of the findings of a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) which analysed the costs of harm to health and the environment caused by air pollution. Half of the total damage cost (between € 51 and 85 billion) was caused by just 191 facilities.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) involves capturing carbon dioxide released by power stations and other industrial sources, and burying it deep underground. But in addition to keeping an important greenhouse gas (GHG) out of the atmosphere, this technology will lead to benefits and trade-offs for air pollution. A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) describes the effects that CCS may have on emissions of some key air pollutants.
Air quality in Europe has improved between 1990 and 2009, as emissions of most pollutants have fallen, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). But there is still a lot of room for improvement, as many EU countries are expected to exceed the emissions ceilings in 2010 for at least one pollutant. In addition, concentration levels of ground-level ozone and particulate matter have remained stable over recent years despite efforts to improve air quality.
Emissions of many pollutants from transport fell in 2009. But this reduction may only be a temporary effect of the economic downturn, according to the latest annual report on transport emissions from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) explores the environmental impact of transport. For the first time, the report considers a comprehensive set of quantitative targets proposed by the European Commission’s 2011 roadmap on transport.
Computer models are increasingly used for estimating air quality or forecasting changes in pollution levels. Various different models are currently used across Europe. The new FAIRMODE reference guide aims to make these models comparable, well documented and validated in order to achieve reliable results.
Emissions of almost all main air pollutants fell across the EU-27 in 2009, according to the latest annual European Union air pollutant emission inventory report compiled by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Some pollutants decreased significantly compared to the previous year, with analysis showing economic recession to be an important factor in this reduction. The drop was most evident for sulphur oxides (SOx), with emissions falling by 21 % between 2008 and 2009.
Ground-level ozone is one of the most harmful air pollutants in Europe today. A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that despite efforts to reduce ozone pollution, in 2010 levels continued to exceed the long-term objective established in EU legislation to protect human health. EU Member States will also face difficulties in meeting the target value, applicable as of 2010.
The EU-27 and its Member States must meet legally binding limits for four air pollutants set by the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC Directive) to protect human health and the environment. The annual status report released today by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that while EU-27 emissions for three air pollutants are projected to meet the ceilings, nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions for the EU-27 as a whole will exceed its ceiling by 17 %. Ten Member States expect to miss their respective NOx ceilings.
New online maps published today by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency, in close cooperation with the Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) of the Joint Research Centre, allow citizens to pinpoint the main diffuse sources of air pollution, such as transport and aviation. The new set of 32 maps shows where certain pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter are released. It complements existing data on emissions from individual industrial plants from the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR). The Europe-wide register aims to help Europeans actively engage in decisions affecting the environment.
Following the massive earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, a number of explosions and fires took place at the reactor buildings of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Japan declared a state of alert and reported leaks of radioactive material. Given the magnitude and the global dimension of the disaster, Japanese authorities and the international community are following the situation very closely. A series of sources provide the public with up-to-date information on the accident's possible impacts on Europe's environment as well as radiation measurements across Europe.
In recent decades, the EU has introduced a range of policies to improve air quality by controlling pollutant emissions. A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) evaluates three key instruments and finds that they have significantly improved Europe's air quality and reduced pollution-induced health effects. There is scope for even more progress, however, if countries achieve all their binding commitments to reduce emissions.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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