Better air quality has led to a significant reduction of premature deaths over the past decade in Europe. However, the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) latest official data show that almost all Europeans still suffer from air pollution, leading to about 400,000 premature deaths across the continent.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide and remains in the atmosphere for more than 100 years. A growing use of nitrogen fertilizers in food production is increasing concentrations of N2O in the atmosphere. If left unabated, it will require far larger reductions in CO2 emissions than otherwise in order to be on track for limiting global warming to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
In 2018, Europe experienced one of the worst droughts of the 21st century. An exceptionally long period of high temperatures and little precipitation resulted in an unprecedented browning of vegetation. It also meant that Europe’s vegetation did not take up any CO2 from the atmosphere in that year.
Crumb rubber granulate (CRG) produced from used car tires, also called end of life tires (ELTs), is commonly applied to artificial turf pitches, including football fields, playgrounds and walkways in Norway. In addition to the rubber itself, tires also containa cocktail of chemicals as fillers, stabilizers, pigments, oils, resins and a range of other organic compounds and heavy metal additives that can leache to the environment.
A new study, recently published in Nature Communications, describes how microplastics from road traffic are transported to the oceans – and to remote regions such as the Arctic.
The NordicPATH project aims to find new ways to include citizens in planning their cities for better air, more inclusive urban areas and a better climate.
June 23rd, 2020: The Research Council of Norway has appointed three NILU scientists as members of various national reference groups in Horizon Europe. Horizon Europe is the EU’s ninth framework program for research and innovation, starting in 2021.
So far, COVID-19 lockdowns have caused an estimated decrease in human carbon dioxide emissions of around 17%. While the overall impact will depend on the duration of the lockdowns, the current estimate is for an annual decrease of 4-7% assuming the COVID-19 lockdowns end in mid-June 2020.
The environmental contaminants known as siloxanes are in your shampoo, your lotions and your deodorant. Siloxanes are odourless, invisible, and they can be toxic to aquatic animals. They are also heavily restricted in wash-off hygiene products, and further regulations are under consideration. But, how can we know that the regulations work?
From the NILU Annual Report 2019: The ClairCity project aims to increase awareness about air pollution and carbon emissions in cities by looking at how people’s behaviour contributes to the problems. Unlike many other projects, ClairCity focuses on involving citizens in deciding on the best solutions, since citizens are among those ultimately affected by poor air quality and climate change.
From the NILU annual report 2019: With its “European Green Deal”, the new European Commission has initiated hectic activity to translate political visions into a climate-neutral Europe that ensures good lives for its citizens. This means that pan-European environmental and climate cooperation will play an increasingly important role.
From the NILU Annual Report 2019: Road dust and wood burning are well-known sources of particulate matter in Norwegian cities, but industry and construction sites are also where workers may at times be exposed to high levels of particulate matter in their daily lives. In a new project, NILU has developed services that can provide more detailed information on real-time pollution levels in industrial workplaces.
From the NILU Annual Report 2019: All EU countries must monitor and report air quality data to the European Environment Agency (EEA) in accordance with EU directives and standards. Every year, data on air quality zones, monitoring regimes, monitoring methods and “near real-time data” are reported, as well as environmental goals, plans and measures to comply with the limit values.
New report from NILU et.al: Measurements of black carbon (BC) in ambient air are important for quantifying atmospheric transport and effects of black carbon.
Plastic production has increased twentyfold during the last 50 years, is expected to double again by 2035 – and quadruple by 2050. A lot of this plastic contains toxic chemicals and cannot be recycled into new products.
Polar bears that hunt mainly in the sea have higher pollutant levels in their bodies than those staying on land during the sea ice free periods — but why? A new study in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology reports the likely reasons.
Most of us know nitrous oxide as “laughing gas”, used for its anaesthetic effects. But nitrous oxide is also one of the main stratospheric ozone depleting substances – and we are releasing more of it into the atmosphere than previously thought.
On a scaffold high above the heads of the pedestrians at Pilestredet 47c and 48 in Oslo, sophisticated measuring instruments spent a few weeks characterising air currents and measuring various types of air pollution. The instruments were part of a project run by NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research, to obtain data on air flow patterns and how air pollution is distributed vertically.
RENO, Nev. (June 28, 2019) – How did events like the Black Death plague impact the economy of Medieval Europe? Particles of lead trapped deep in Arctic ice can tell us.
Scientists propose new framework to reduce harmful chemicals like PFAS added to consumer goods, and to phase out non-essentials
The most important greenhouse gases monitored by NILU – The Norwegian Institute for Air Research continued to rise in 2017. Levels have now reached new records both at Svalbard and in Aust-Agder in Norway. Both CO2, methane and nitrous oxide continue to increase in both Southern Norway and Svalbard, and there is no sign of reduction or flattening in this trend.
The feature documentary ICE ON FIRE focuses on the research behind today’s climate science. Scientists from NILU and CAGE appear in the film, which is produced and narrated by Oscar®-winner Leonardo DiCaprio.
Over a period of 4 months, NILU has measured the concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air in the Chilean municipalities of Quintero-Puchuncaví and Concón in the Valparaíso region. The measurements were carried out on behalf of the Chilean Ministry of the Environment. So far, the measurement results show no sign that VOC emissions from the industrial area affect the air quality in neighbouring residential areas.
NILU ha realizado mediciones de compuestos orgánicos volátiles (COVs) durante un periodo de cuatro meses en los municipios de Quintero-Puchuncaví y Concón, ambos en la región de Valparaíso. Estas mediciones fueron comisionadas por el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente de Chile. Los resultados obtenidos hasta el momento no indican que las emisiones de COVs de la zona industrial afecten la calidad del aire en las áreas residenciales cercanas.