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Signals 2015 focuses on climate change: Our climate is changing. Global average temperatures are increasing, sea levels are rising, precipitation patterns are changing, and extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe. In a series of short articles and interviews, Signals 2015 presents an overview of what causes climate change and what climate change means for human health, the environment, and the economy.
Noise pollution is a growing environmental concern. It is caused by a varied number of sources and is widely present not only in the busiest urban environments, it is also pervading once natural environments. The adverse effects can be found in the well-being of exposed human populations, in the health and distribution of wildlife on the land and in the sea, in the abilities of our children to learn properly at school and in the high economic price society must pay because of noise pollution. The European soundscape is under threat and this report sets out to quantify the scale of the problem, assess what actions are being taken and to scope those that may need to be considered in the future, in order to redress the problem.
In 2010, the EEA produced its first assessment of global megatrends as part of its five-yearly assessment of the European environment’s state, trend and prospects (SOER 2010). In preparation for SOER 2015, the EEA updated each of the megatrends, providing a more detailed analysis based on the latest data. This publication is one of the 11 updates being published separately. In mid-2015 the chapters will be consolidated into a single EEA technical report.
Building a resource-efficient and circular economy in Europe: We are extracting and using more resources than our planet can produce in a given time. Current consumption and production levels are not sustainable and risk weakening our planet’s ability to provide for us. We need to reshape our production and consumption systems to enable us to produce the same amount of output with less resource, to re‑use, recover and recycle more, and to reduce the amount of waste we generate.
This report provides a summary of black carbon (BC) definitions as discussed in the air quality monitoring community. Secondly, it provides a summary of the current status of BC-related monitoring in Europe. Information presented in the report includes an overview of available measurement techniques and associated technical issues, monitoring networks and current data reporting practices.
Human health and well‑being are intimately linked to environmental quality. This has been recognised for decades amongst policymakers in Europe, and most recently appears as a cornerstone in the European Commission's proposal for the 7th Environment Action Programme. This report, produced jointly by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), outlines a number of environmental issues with a direct influence on people's health and well-being and is a follow-up and update to the 2005 EEA/JRC report.
Science and the precautionary principle - lessons for preventing harm
The 2013 Late lessons from early warnings report is the second of its type produced by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in collaboration with a broad range of external authors and peer reviewers. The case studies across both volumes of Late lessons from early warnings cover a diverse range of chemical and technological innovations, and highlight a number of systemic problems. The 'Late Lessons Project' illustrates how damaging and costly the misuse or neglect of the precautionary principle can be, using case studies and a synthesis of the lessons to be learned and applied to maximising innovations whilst minimising harms.
This report presents an overview and analysis of the status and trends of air quality in Europe based on concentration measurements in ambient air and data on anthropogenic emissions and trends from 2001 — when mandatory monitoring of ambient air concentrations of selected pollutants first produced reliable air quality information — to 2010.
European Union emission inventory report 1990–2010 under the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP)30 Jul 2012
This document is the annual European Union emission inventory report under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP). The report and its accompanying data are provided as an official submission to the secretariat for the Executive Body of the LRTAP Convention by the European Commission on behalf of the European Union. The report is compiled by the European Environment Agency (EEA).
The impacts of endocrine disrupters on wildlife, people and their environments – The Weybridge+15 (1996–2011) report10 May 2012
Rates of endocrine diseases and disorders, such as some reproductive and developmental harm in human populations, have changed in line with the growth of the chemical industry, leading to concerns that these factors may be linked. For example, the current status of semen quality in the few European countries where studies have been systematically conducted, is very poor: fertility in approximately 40 % of men is impaired. There is also evidence of reproductive and developmental harm linked to impairments in endocrine function in a number of wildlife species, particularly in environments that are contaminated by cocktails of chemicals that are in everyday use. Based on the human and wildlife evidence, many scientists are concerned about chemical pollutants being able to interfere with the normal functioning of hormones, so-called endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), that could play a causative role in these diseases and disorders. If this holds true, then these 'early warnings' signal a failure in environmental protection that should be addressed.
Overview of exceedances of EC ozone threshold values for April–September 2011
Urban green spaces, forests for cooler cities and healthier people
This European Environment Agency (EEA) report assesses the damage costs to health and the environment resulting from pollutants emitted from industrial facilities. It is based on the latest information, namely for 2009, publicly available through the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR, 2011) in line with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Aarhus Convention regarding access to environmental information.
In May 2008, the Council of Europe's Congress of Local and Regional Authorities captured the concerns and desires of urban policy‑makers and citizens in the title of its new European Urban Charter: Manifesto for a new urbanity. Like numerous other international and European charters, conventions and declarations, the manifesto describes with some apprehension the 'unprecedented environmental, democratic, cultural, social and economic challenges' facing urban centres and their inhabitants. Our report on quality of life in Europe's cities and towns reiterates these concerns but also unravels the many apparent paradoxes of urban development and the sometimes perplexing realities of urban Europe today. The report defines a vision for progress towards a more sustainable, well‑designed urban future.
This report presents particulate matter (PM10) and ground‑level ozone concentration maps covering the whole of Europe. The interpolated maps are based on a combination of measurement and regional modelling results. Using measured concentrations as a primary source of information, the report summarizes the methodologies and the methodological choices taken in order to derive such maps.
Overview of exceedances of EC ozone threshold values for April–September 2008
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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