Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Integrating science and policy to address the impacts of air pollution

Date:
November 29, 2012
Source:
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Summary:
New research examines how science and policy address air pollution effects on human health and ecosystems, and climate change in Europe.

An article in this week's Science magazine by Dr Stefan Reis of the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UK) and colleagues from six countries examines how science and policy address air pollution effects on human health and ecosystems, and climate change in Europe.

Related Articles


In their Policy Forum commentary entitled "From Acid Rain to Climate Change" Dr Reis and his colleagues discuss how scientists and policy makers working together have developed and implemented policies to improve air quality and reduce the impacts of air pollution on human health and ecosystems over the last decades.

The authors conclude that substantial improvements have been made, for example in reducing deposition of acidifying substances on soils and ecosystems in Europe since the 1970s. However there are still major challenges ahead. For example, emission levels of air pollutants in 2020 will still lead to an average loss of life expectancy by about 4 months, while excessive nitrogen deposition will put more than 40 percent of Europe's nature at risk.

The article highlights several examples where successful collaboration between scientists and policy makers is required to develop cost-effective air pollution policies that address serious environmental issues. Their priority list includes the need to further reduce nitrogen emissions, for example in the form of ammonia from agriculture, which will help to bring down acidification of soils and eutrophication of terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems.

They also discuss the requirement for integrated policies working on the interactions between air pollution and climate change which would help reduce short-term climate forcers such as black carbon and ozone. They suggest that the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's (UNECE) Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP), a multilateral agreement aiming to reduce air pollution across the UNECE region, needs to work in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and conventions covering biodiversity, the marine environment and water.

Dr Reis, an environmental scientist at the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, "The long-term collaboration of scientists and policy makers in the different task forces, working groups and other bodies of the Convention is crucial in forming a robust science-policy interface. Building trust in scientific results and a fostering a better understanding of the policy process ultimately leads to better, more efficient policies."

Co-author Professor Martin Williams from King's College London and Chair of the CLRTAP Executive Body, said, "The key role played by science as an integral part of the policy process in the Convention on LRTAP has been demonstrated again in the revised Gothenburg Protocol. In one of the few international environmental instruments to be agreed in this time of world-wide economic difficulty, science has helped steer a positive path through the problems and by incorporating the latest science at the boundary between air pollution and climate change, has pointed the way forward for the future of the Convention."

Commentary authors include scientists from the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in the United Kingdom, the Swedish Environmental Research Institute, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands, Ecometrics Research and Consulting, the National Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks in France, the Federal Ministry for the Environment in Germany and King's College London.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Reis, P. Grennfelt, Z. Klimont, M. Amann, H. ApSimon, J.- P. Hettelingh, M. Holland, A.- C. LeGall, R. Maas, M. Posch, T. Spranger, M. A. Sutton, M. Williams. From Acid Rain to Climate Change. Science, 2012; 338 (6111): 1153 DOI: 10.1126/science.1226514

Cite This Page:

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. "Integrating science and policy to address the impacts of air pollution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121129143216.htm>.
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. (2012, November 29). Integrating science and policy to address the impacts of air pollution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121129143216.htm
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. "Integrating science and policy to address the impacts of air pollution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121129143216.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

Tesla 'Insane Mode' Gives Unsuspecting Passengers the Ride of Their Life

RightThisMinute (Jan. 29, 2015) If your car has an "Insane Mode" then you know it&apos;s fast. Well, these unsuspecting passengers were in for one insane ride when they hit the button. Tesla cars are awesome. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Now Bill Gates Is 'Concerned' About Artificial Intelligence

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Bill Gates joins the list of tech moguls scared of super-intelligent machines. He says more people should be concerned, but why? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins