Ten Environmental Reports

September 2021

IPCC, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis

The IPCC has finalized the first part of the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. It was finalized on 6 August 2021 during the 14th Session of Working Group I and 54th Session of the IPCC.  www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-i/

For a summary of the Sixth Assessment Report on the Physical Science, see:  IPCC, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis – Summary for Policymakers  www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGI_SPM.pdf


Climate Status Report for Ireland 2020.  The study was conducted by University College Cork academics for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Met Éireann and the Marine Institute.   Editors and Lead Authors: Walther C.A. Cámaro García, Ned Dwyer and Jeremy Gault.  bit.ly/3Bk0kQn

The study shows that Ireland is getting hotter and wetter, and it outlines a shift in the condition of the atmosphere, weather, temperatures and sea levels.

See, also, Ciara O‘Loughlin, “We don’t have the luxury of taking a breather’ – climate report paints stark view for Ireland,” Irish Independent (12 August 2021).  bit.ly/3mfjeTV


Devi Lockwood, “What Does It Mean for a Whole Nation to Become Uninhabitable?” The New York Times (13 August 2021).  nyti.ms/3iT8oB8

Compelling stories across the globe about changes people are already seeing to their local water and climate

Launch of the EMTER report:  The European Maritime Transport Environmental Report (EMTER), prepared jointly by the European Maritime Safety Agency and the European Environment Agency, will be officially launched on 1 September.  www.emsa.europa.eu/emter.html

The report, the first of its kind, gives an overview of the environmental impact of the maritime transport sector in the EU.   Iin the EU, maritime transport carries 77% of external trade and 35% of intra-EU trade. While the sector brings substantial economic and social benefits to the EU, it also has an impact on the environment and on the health of EU citizens.

The EMTER report provides a factual analysis of the environmental pressures exerted by the maritime transport sector, presents up-to-date information on the relevant EU and international environmental standards, and describes current and future actions to reduce the impact on our environment. The report will be presented jointly by the Executive Directors of EMSA and the European Environment Agency.


Marques Mendes, N. Golden, R. Bermejo, L. Morrison, “Distribution and abundance of microplastics in coastal sediments depends on grain size and distance from sources,” Marine Pollution Bulletin (November 2021).  bit.ly/2VWL7FT

This study examines microplastics in intertidal and subtidal sediments at 87 locations in habitats designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) on the coastline of Ireland.

Of 87 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs), 79 were found to have the man-made materials buried in sediments, the vast majority coming from clothing and fishing equipment.

See, also, “Microplastics found in 90% of protected Irish marine environments – study”  bit.ly/3iYtUVi via @IrishTimes

Lynne Kelleher, “Why feeding cows on a little daily seaweed could save the earth:  A dash of seaweed in cattle feed could slash the amount of harmful methane gas they emit, say scientists,” Irish Independent (15 August 2021).  bit.ly/3yXSUBm

Marine biologist Dr Julie Maguire has been carrying out experiments in her oceanside laboratory at the Bantry Marine Research Station to show how a certain strand of Irish seaweed — Asparagopsis armata — could cut methane emissions in cows by between 40pc and 98pc.


Scott Clark, Graham Mills, Timothy Brown,  Sarah Harris and John T. Abatzoglou, “Downscaled GCM climate projections of fire weather over Victoria, Australia. Part 2*: a multi-model ensemble of 21st century trends,” International Journal of Wildland Fire (3 June 2021).  doi.org/10.1071/WF20175

A very technical, model-driven, study indicating that mean and extreme fire danger are expected to increase in Victoria, Australia.  At five geographically and climatologically different locations, there is a 50-200% increase in the number of days per year exceeding the threshold for the Victorian Very High or higher fire danger rating by the end of the century compared with the start.  The high-end warming (RCP8.5) scenario shows increased temperature to be the main driver of heightened fire danger.

See, also, CFA-led study shows climate change causing longer bushfire season bit.ly/2XGNBJ3 via @guardian


EEA, The contribution of national advisory bodies to climate policy in Europe bit.ly/3z6RHrs

See Commentary section of September issue of irish environment for Briefing document on this longer report


UNICEF, The Climate Crisis is a Child Rights Crisis: Introducing the Children’s Climate Risk Index (August 2021).  uni.cf/3j7Aadi

The report presents the Children’s Climate Risk Index (CCRI), which uses data to generate new global evidence on how many children are currently exposed to climate and environmental hazards, shocks and stresses. A composite index, the CCRI brings together geographical data by analyzing 1.) exposure to climate and environmental hazards, shocks and stresses; and 2.) child vulnerability. The CCRI helps to understand and measure the likelihood of climate and environmental shocks or stresses leading to the erosion of development progress, the deepening of deprivation and/or humanitarian situations affecting children or vulnerable households and groups.

See, also, Damian Carrington, “A billion children at ‘extreme risk’ from climate impacts – Unicef,” The Guardian (20 August 2021).  bit.ly/3j7zowU


World Weather Attribution, Rapid attribution of heavy rainfall events leading to the severe flooding in Western Europe during July 2021. bit.ly/3gtu9pF

While the recent flooding in Germany and Belgiuim was an extremely rare event — a 400-year event — it was made more likely by climate change, as shown by a recent climate attribution research study.

See, also Henry Fountain, “Climate Change Contributed to Europe’s Deadly Floods, Scientists Find,”  The New York Times (24 August 2021).  nyti.ms/3DhYktq



EDITORS NOTE (August 2021)

In August 2021, we revised the Reports section of the magazine.   In the past we used the Reports section to provide digests of generally long, complex and usually technical discussions of environmental issues or developments.  The authors of these reports were typically environmental agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs), or academics.  The intent was to make these reports more accessible to a wide, general audience so readers could get a sense of what the reports covered and what they concluded. Readers then could connect to the link for the reports and delve further into the details and findings.

Over the past dozen years publications of technical reports have included executive summaries, often written in simpler language than the reports themselves.  At the same time there has been a rapid growth in environmental studies across the globe and just finding relevant or interesting reports through the internet is a challenge.

So we have converted the Reports section to a list of ten of the most interesting, long form examples of writing on key environmental issues and developments.  We will include the information necessary to find the writing — authors, title and link to publication — and we will add a short subheading to provide more clues about what is covered in the writing, much like a subheading expands on the headline for a newspaper article.  We interpret the term “reports” liberally to include almost any format that provides us with data, information, and opinion on environmental matters.  For instance, in the first of these new reports, we included a website, The Geography of Future Water Challenges, derived from a written report by the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency with the same name and found at bit.ly/3fgSK0n

On one level this list of reports will do for long-form writing what our News section does for newspaper articles.

With the explosion of information across the internet, just finding what’s out there can be difficult.  We hope this new version of the Reports is helpful.

As with the other material in the irish environment magazine, the focus is on environmental matters on the island of Ireland, and that necessarily requires coverage of developments in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.  We will also continue to include material from across the globe as developments everywhere can inform developments anywhere.


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