Ancient bird preen glands uncovered!

The following is a news piece from UCD that features my latest paper on fossil preen (uropygial) glands and associated lipids preserved in a 48-million-year-old Eocene bird. Links to other media coverage are feature below this news piece. Researchers have shown that a well-preserved preen gland in a 48-million-year-old bird fossil contains its original fatContinue reading “Ancient bird preen glands uncovered!”

Humans are causing one of the worst mass extinctions in Earth history

Humans are the root cause of the ‘biological annihilation’ of life on Earth, according to a study published recently in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study – conducted by a team of scientists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and Stanford University – studied population and distribution trends for 27,600Continue reading “Humans are causing one of the worst mass extinctions in Earth history”

Serious dangers of BPA recognised by leading chemical safety agency

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) – responsible for implementing chemical legislation in the EU – has officially recognised the endocrine-disrupting properties of bisphenol A, also known as BPA. The update was made to the ECHA Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC), which contains substances that may have serious effects on human healthContinue reading “Serious dangers of BPA recognised by leading chemical safety agency”

Three years and six goals to meet targets in the Paris Climate Agreement

A grouping of climate change experts has published six goals that must be achieved by 2020 in order to meet the targets set out in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. In a letter published in the journal Nature, the authors and co-signatories – represented by eminent scientists, business leaders, economists and NGO representatives – declared weContinue reading “Three years and six goals to meet targets in the Paris Climate Agreement”

Ireland’s worst environmental offenders named and shamed by EPA

Ireland’s environmental watchdog has warned five industrial sites already under its radar for serious breaches of the environmental law to clean up their act or face further sanctions. The five sites are Arrow Group Limited, Co Kildare; Rosderra Irish Meats Group, Co Offaly; T & J Standish Limited, Co Tipperary; Tipperary Co-operative Creamery Limited, CoContinue reading “Ireland’s worst environmental offenders named and shamed by EPA”

All new Volvo cars to be electric or hybrid from 2019

Volvo will only produce fully electric or hybrid cars from 2019, making it the first mainstream car manufacturer to commit to a total phase out of cars solely powered by internal combustion engines. This may well be a landmark moment and one of the clearest a signs yet that traditional petrol or diesel fueled carsContinue reading “All new Volvo cars to be electric or hybrid from 2019”

New project launched to study links between flooding and waterborne disease outbreaks

A new research project investigating the links between flooding events and the incidence of waterborne infectious disease outbreaks in Ireland was officially launched at UCD Earth Institute today. The multidisciplinary project will involve social scientists, environmental scientists, engineers and public health researchers from UCD, University of Limerick, DIT and Trinity College. Flood damage to infrastructure receives widespreadContinue reading “New project launched to study links between flooding and waterborne disease outbreaks”

Plastic polluting Scotland’s remotest islands and beaches

Marine scientists aboard Greenpeace’s vessel the Beluga II have documented extensive plastic pollution in some of the most remote parts of the UK. The Beluga II  is due to dock in Edinburgh today after a 2-month survey and in-depth analysis will follow in the coming months. Initial findings document extensive plastic pollution in remote locationsContinue reading “Plastic polluting Scotland’s remotest islands and beaches”

Legislation needed to protect European soil, new EU study finds

A new report published by the European Parliament’s committee responsible for scrutinising the European Commission’s agricultural policies has highlighted the threats facing soils across Europe. The report – prepared by academic experts from Wageningen University, Aarhus University and the University of Cordoba – was presented to the European Parliament on 20th June and included a numberContinue reading “Legislation needed to protect European soil, new EU study finds”

Retailers face higher costs without HFC phase-out, says Environmental Investigation Agency

European retailers face severe financial repercussions if they do not transition to hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-free cooling technology, the Environmental Investigation Agency warned today. The EU F-Gas Regulation, brought into law in 2015, legislates for the rapid, stepped phasing out of the use HFCs, which are potent greenhouse gases. From 2018 HFC supplies will be slashed by 48Continue reading “Retailers face higher costs without HFC phase-out, says Environmental Investigation Agency”