Installing wind turbines in deeper waters is an interesting proposition as wind speeds tend to be higher and more consistent further out to sea. An EU-funded project has built a new type of foundation for turbines that overcomes most of the technical challenges and reduces the cost of offshore installation.
Every year, millions of tonnes of litter make their way to our beaches, seas and ocean. It is estimated that 80% of this litter comes from land-based sources like beach littering, land-fills and street litter carried to the sea by untreated municipal sewage, rivers and flood water. It is thus no surprise that the top three litter items found on our beaches are drink bottles and caps, cigarette butts and cotton bud sticks. The map of the week shows the average number of cigarette related litter items along 100 metre segments of the European beaches.
The EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council will convene in Luxembourg on 14 and 15 October, chaired by Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä. The ministers will discuss catch limits and fishing quotas, with particular focus on the Baltic Sea, as well as forest issues.
BioHorizon is a project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme. Its purpose is to align and enhance the services that National Contact Points (NCPs) for “Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research and the bioeconomy” (Societal Challenge 2), as well as for the Key Enabling Technology (KET)-Biotechnology provide to potential beneficiaries of European funding in those areas across Europe and worldwide.
Natura 2000 is a transnational network of sites for threatened species and habitats which covers almost a fifth of the EU’s landmass and seas. At such scale, it needs to be managed at national level. Large integrated projects from LIFE are powerful tools to deliver the necessary funding and coordination.
Rare earth elements (REEs) are used increasingly often in innovative technologies, causing these elements to enter the natural environment. They can be sourced via deep-sea mining, raising concerns about marine exposure to mining processes and waste products. This study examined how two REEs, lanthanum and yttrium, affected and stressed marine ecosystems, using young marine mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) as indicators of water quality. The researchers determine a parameter known as the ‘predicted no effect concentration’ (PNEC) for La and Y — the maximum environmental level of each of the two elements at which no effect is seen on the most sensitive organisms and which is, therefore, deemed safe for the environment.
Dr Fatih Birol, the International Energy Agency’s Executive Director, delivered a speech at a meeting today in which high-level participants – including Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Dan Jørgensen, the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Utilities – discussed the role of renewable power in decarbonising the energy sector.
As we pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the world is warming at an alarming rate, with devastating consequences. While our vast oceans are helping to take the heat out of climate change, new research shows that they are absorbing a lot more atmospheric carbon dioxide than previously thought – but these positives may be outweighed by the downsides.
Ahead of the next UN climate conference (COP25) to be held in Santiago de Chile on 2-13 December 2019, Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete will take part in a ministerial dialogue on climate change known as ‘pre-COP’ in Costa Rica on 8-10 October.
In recent years, the Arctic has increasingly become a geopolitical hotbed and a window on amplified effects of climate change. Amidst this rapidly evolving context, on 3-4 October the European Commission (DG MARE) organised the EU Arctic Forum, jointly with the EU’s External Action Service (EEAS) and the Swedish Government, to debate the wider strategic agenda facing the Arctic and EU’s approach to the region.