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Maize in several important south-eastern European production regions is negatively affected by heat waves and scarce precipitation. ©Fotolia, author: saratm

Heat waves affect maize-producing regions in south-eastern Europe

The July issue of the JRC MARS crop monitoring Bulletin for Europe was published yesterday, alongside one of the JRC MARS Bulletin global outlook series: on Kazakhstan.

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From April to June, rainfall in key crop producing areas in North Korea were well below the long-term average. ©Fotolia Mieszko9

North Korea’s crop production has been severely damaged by prolonged dry weather, and food insecurity is expected to worsen, concludes a joint FAO-JRC report.

North Korea’s crop production has been severely damaged by prolonged dry weather, and food insecurity is expected to worsen, concludes a joint FAO-JRC report.

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Narrating expectations for the circular economy: Towards a common and contested European transition

The EU Public Consultation on the second Circular Economy package has been explored through an analysis of the position papers of European stakeholders.

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Developing key indicators of green growth

Greening the economy has been widely discussed as a new strategy for simultaneously reducing environmental pressures, promoting economic growth and enhancing social well-being. Indicators are one tool that can be used to describe the development of...

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The red-eared terrapin turtle is the most common invasive alien species of Union concern across the EU, found in 24 Member States, according to the JRC report. ©credit Fotolia Elitravo

Baseline distribution of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern

The first ever Baseline Distribution of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern has been published by the JRC. The 37 invasive alien species covered by this report have been prioritised as species that need to be addressed at the level of the EU...

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Water excess affects wheat production more than drought in several countries. ©Fotolia GreenOptix

Extreme weather conditions and climate anomalies account for 40% of global wheat production variability

JRC scientists have proposed a new approach for identifying the impacts of climate change and extreme weather on the variability of global and regional wheat production. The study analysed the effect of heat and water anomalies on crop losses over a...

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Winter cereals in several important EU production regions are affected by water stress, reducing yield potentials due to limited photosynthesis and early ripening. ©Fotolia, author: vom

Hot and dry start to summer

The June issue of the JRC MARS crop monitoring Bulletin for Europe was published this week, alongside four Bulletins in the JRC MARS Bulletin global outlook series: on Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and northern Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and...

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Picture: Anna Strandell / SYKE

Finns value urban living

According to the latest “Asukasbarometri” (Residents’ barometer) survey, more and more Finns want to live in an urban environment. Urbanisation is also seen in changes in life style such as the increased popularity of cafés and an increase in...

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Smallholder agroforestry in the East Usambara mountains, Tanzania. Photo: Salla Rantala

Smallholder forest producers in a changing climate

Smallholder forest producers are playing an important role in mitigating climate change, both through innovative practical action and political efforts via their producer organizations. This conclusion was made in a study produced by the Finnish...

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Photo: Riku Lumiaro

Coastal spatial planning forms the basis for sustainable business activities

The planning of coastal spatial management enables account to be taken of the effects of land-sea activities on coastal nature and local business activities. The objective of such planning is to examine all human activities affecting coastal areas...

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Photo: Janne Ulvinen

Public procurements are leverage in circular economy

Municipalities would achieve significant cost savings and increase their material efficiency if new raw materials were to be replaced with recycled and reusable ones or if industrial co-products were used. This is a conclusion of the project funded...

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The study revealed that the western lazy toad (Scutiger occidentalis), found at an altitude of 4,300 m on Pakistans Deosai Plateau, is a separate species that is presumably one of the ancestors of the species inhabiting the central Himalayas. This stands in contradiction to the assumption that the lazy toads had colonized the Himalayas from the east. Photo: Matthias Stöck

An alternative hypothesis on the faunal colonization of the Himalayas?

Until now, the fauna of the Himalayas was considered to be an "immigration fauna", with species that have immigrated primarily from neighbouring regions to the west and east since the geological formation of this mountain range. Using...

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The structure of ecological networks, such as those mapping the ecological interactions between plants and pollinators, can help understand biodiversity. ©Distraction Arts - Fotolia

Identifying realistic species interactions is key to understanding ecological networks

In an article published in Ecology and Evolution on 13 June, Strona and Veech demonstrate how the underlying assumption in ecological network analysis that all species interactions are possible (e.g. all plants can potentially be pollinated by a...

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The main goal of the Marine Directive is to achieve Good Environmental Status of EU marine waters by 2020. ©Fotolia, author: juanjo

Promoting the Good Environmental Status of Marine Waters

On 17 May 2017, the European Commission adopted two legislative instruments designed to help EU Member States to better define the good environmental status of their marine waters and to provide clearer criteria and methodologies as to what should be...

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The carnivorous Mnemiopsis leidyi led to an almost complete collapse of the Black Sea anchovy fisheries in the 1980s-90s. ©Steven G. Johnson

JRC Marine Modelling Toolbox extended to cover the Black Sea

The JRC has recently extended its Marine Modelling Toolbox to cover the Black Sea.

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The Anomaly hot Spots of Agricultural Production (ASAP) system, developed by the JRC, will help detect agricultural production anomaly hotspots for early planning of aid interventions or adaptation of rural development programmes. ©Fotolia, Elena Belozorova

Where will the next food production problem occur? – launch of a new early warning system

A new early warning system detecting agricultural production anomaly hotspots will be launched at the European Development Days on the 8 June 2017 in Brussels.

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Blue-green algae bloom near shore. Photo: Niina Yliknuussi

Significant blue-green algae blooms possible in Finnish marine areas during 2017 summer

The risk for vast blue-green algae blooms in the Gulf of Finland is greater than during previous years. The exceptional nutritional conditions are caused partially by major Baltic inflows from the North Sea in 2014 and 2016, which allowed the...

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Most of the larger fish species in Europe, particularly sharks and rays, are threatened with extinction. ©Fotolia Nikolai Sorokin

Big fish in big trouble in Europe

A new study by an international team of scientists, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution, warns that many large fish species, including many of the sharks and rays of Europe, are threatened with extinction. Confirming the findings of previous...

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Accelerated greening is having a warming effect in the cold climates of boreal regions and an opposite cooling effect in warm climates of semi-arid regions. ©Fotolia, author: Smileus

Increased worldwide greening found to mitigate regional temperature differences

A JRC-led article recently published in 'Science' finds that the increase in global vegetation density has had substantial climate impacts in recent decades, with a warming effect in cold areas, and a cooling effect in warm areas. The findings...

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Each month, Elsevier's Atlas Award showcases research that could significantly impact people's lives around the world or has already done so. ©Elsevier

Environmental heritage paper honoured with international award

An international study warning of how World Heritage Sites are being damaged by human activities, of which the JRC was a co-author, has won a prestigious international award for scientific publishing.

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Wheat and barley in some of Europe's most important production regions are affected by water stress. ©Fotolia; author: afishman64

Dry and cold weather affects yield outlook

Yield forecasts for winter crops – published today in the May issue of the JRC MARS crop monitoring Bulletin for Europe - were revised downwards by 2-3% at EU level compared to the April Bulletin. The yield forecast for spring barley and rapeseed is...

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Jaguars, the largest felines in America, are under serious pressure from habitat loss and land use intensification. ©EU; author: Gregoire Dubois

Corridors that can save jaguars

A new study has assessed and provided management recommendations for the main corridors linking the few remaining jaguar populations in northern Argentina, in the southernmost part of the range of this emblematic species in America. The study was led...

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Photo: Milla Popova

The science, policy and practice of nature-based solutions

A scientific paper on so-called Nature-Based Solutions has been produced in the ALTER-Net (Europe's Ecosystem Research Network). Such solutions to societal problems are currently being actively pursued e.g. by the European Commission, but the concept...

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Photo: Markus Sirkka

How Essential Biodiversity Variables and remote sensing can help national biodiversity monitoring

Essential Biodiversity Variables (EBVs) have been suggested to harmonize biodiversity monitoring worldwide. Vihervaara, P. et al. studied how well Finland’s current biodiversity state indicators correspond with EBVs, and how national biodiversity...

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Agriculture is responsible for much of the nitrous oxides emitted into the atmosphere, largely through fertilisation. ©Fotolia, author: Ludmila Smite

Integrating nitrous oxide emissions to inform climate-smart agriculture

In a recently published article, JRC scientists describe a new model framework that extends a large-scale soil survey to include nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, in order to provide an independent instrument in support to policies oriented towards...

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Probabilistic Evaluation of Ecological and Economic Objectives of River Basin Management Reveals a Potential Flaw in the Goal Setting of the EU Water Framework Directive

The biological status of European lakes has not improved as expected despite up-to-date legislation and ecological standards. As a result, the realism of objectives and the attainment of related ecological standards are under doubt.

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In the course of the LINA mother-child cohort study, UFZ scientists investigated the lifestyle and environmental factors of pregnant women and their influence on the allergy risk of infants. Photo: UFZ / André Künzelmann

Phthalates increase the risk of allergies among children

Phthalates, which are used as plasticizers in plastics, can considerably increase the risk of allergies among children. This was demonstrated by UFZ researchers in conjunction with scientists from the University of Leipzig and the German Cancer...

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This new sourcebook aims to guide biodiversity monitoring in tropical forests using remote sensing to inform national and sub-national policy and decisions, convention commitments and targets. ©GOFC-GOLD and GEO-BON

Sourcebook of Methods and Procedures for Monitoring Essential Biodiversity Variables in Tropical Forests with Remote Sensing

A recently published Global Observations of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD) sourcebook aims to support the efforts of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to halt biodiversity loss by providing information on data and...

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Urban Water Atlas for Europe offers 360° view on water management in cities. ©EU 2017

Urban Water Atlas for Europe - 360° view on water management in cities

On 27 April 2017, the European Commission published the Urban Water Atlas for Europe. The publication – the first of its kind – shows how different water management choices, as well as other factors such as waste management, climate change and even...

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Adonis vernalis disappeared from Halle in the 19th century. This species depends on nitrogen-poor soil. It is currently classified as endangered in Germany. Photo: UFZ / André Künzelmann

Urbanisation costs billion years of evolutionary history

All over the globe, the urbanisation of landscapes is increasing. 60% of the land surface which is expected to be urban by 2030 is currently not built on at all. How this will impact on biological diversity will only be apparent in retrospect....

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