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Mean concentrations of trace metals and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Mean concentrations of trace metals and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
The term trace metal is used here for potentially toxic metals that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate in human and animal tissues, and biomagnify in food chains. Metals and organometallic compounds are commonly included in emission inventories and monitoring networks, specially mercury, cadmium and lead. Urban and industrial wastewaters, atmospheric deposition and run-off from metal contaminated sites constitute the major sources of toxic...
19 Nov 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Concentrations of heavy metals in children's toys Concentrations of heavy metals in children's toys
The study found that of the 569 products tested, 104 (18 per cent) exceeded the limit for lead, 18 (3 per cent) exceeded the limit for mercury, 45 (8 per cent) exceeded the limit for arsenic and 75 products (13 per cent) exceeded the limit for antimony. Seventy-five (13 per cent) of these products contained two or more toxic metals, thereby increasing the likelihood of harmful impacts.
25 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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Percentage of analysed toys that exceeded the Russian regulatory limit for toxic metal content in soil Percentage of analysed toys that exceeded the Russian regulatory limit for toxic metal content in soil
The study found that of the 569 products tested, 104 (18 per cent) exceeded the limit for lead, 18 (3 per cent) exceeded the limit for mercury, 45 (8 per cent) exceeded the limit for arsenic and 75 products (13 per cent) exceeded the limit for antimony. Seventy-five (13 per cent) of these products contained two or more toxic metals, thereby increasing the likelihood of harmful impacts.
25 Oct 2013 - by GRID-Arendal
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World ocean thermohaline circulation (alternative version) World ocean thermohaline circulation (alternative version)
The global conveyor belt thermohaline circulation is driven primarily by the formation and sinking of deep water (from around 1500m to the Antarctic bottom water overlying the bottom of the ocean) in the Norwegian Sea. When the strength of the haline forcing increases due to excess precipitation, runoff, or ice melt the conveyor belt will weaken or even shut down. The variability in the strength of the conveyor belt will lead to climate change in...
01 Jun 2007 - by Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Aridity Zones Aridity Zones
Forty percent of Africa's population lives in arid, semi-arid, and dry subhumid areas. Climate change may lead to an increase in arid zones that are susceptible to drought. This graphic shows the locations of humid, moist subhumid, dry subhumid, semi-arid, arid and hyper-arid areas in Africa.
17 May 2005 - by Delphine Digout, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Rapid retreat of glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru Rapid retreat of glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru
There is now ample evidence of a major retreat of most mountain glaciers during the last 100 years in response to widespread increases in temperature. In recent decades, the rate of glacial recession has increased tremendously. Mountain glaciers supply moisture to mountain forests during thedry and warm seasons. With retreating mountain glaciers, the risk of forest fires increases, with a subsequent reduction of forested areas. Smaller glaciers...
17 May 2005 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Brazilian alcohol transport fleet and regional climate benefits Brazilian alcohol transport fleet and regional climate benefits
In Brazil there are noticeable benefits for using alcohol as a fuel over traditional gasoline. This graphic illustrates the reduction in use of fossil fuels (gasoline) in favor of ethanol/alcohol. This has lead to a reduction in emissions of CO2 emissions, as illustrated by the bottom chart.
17 May 2005 - by UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Ethnic groups in the South Eastern Europe Ethnic groups in the South Eastern Europe
Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, ethnic tension has been a major factor in the development of the political situation in the Balkan Region. The break up of communist Yugoslavia lead to wide spread confict in the 1990-ies and has lead to the formation of new countries.
11 Feb 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Output from copper mines in Serbia 1990-2005, compared to Western Europe Output from copper mines in Serbia 1990-2005, compared to Western Europe
Between 1944 and 1991, the mining, processing, and downstream exploitation of base metals established the Balkans as a major European source of copper, lead, zinc and a global producer of chromite. Mining was one of the flagship industrial sectors, influencing the area more largely than in simply economic terms.
30 Nov 2007 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, Stephane Kluser, Matthias Beilstein, Ieva Rucevska, Cecile Marin, Otto Simonett
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Estimated Loss of Plant Species 2000-2005 Estimated Loss of Plant Species 2000-2005
The present environmental situation – heavily influenced by climate change – could lead to a massive destruction of forests and the extinction of countless species. For example, modelling focusing on the Amazon region has indicated that 43 per cent of 193 representative plant species could become nonviable by the year 2095 due to the fact that changes in climate will have fundamentally altered the composition of species habitats (Miles...
20 Jun 2009 - by Philippe Rekacewicz assisted by Cecile Marin, Agnes Stienne, Guilio Frigieri, Riccardo Pravettoni, Laura Margueritte and Marion Lecoquierre.
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Human Development Index (HDI) in 2002 Human Development Index (HDI) in 2002
Human development is about much more than the rise or fall of national incomes. It is about creating an environment in which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives in accord with their needs and interests. People are the real wealth of nations. Development is thus about expanding the choices people have to lead lives that they value. And it is thus about much more than economic growth, which is only a means — ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Export waste as reported by Australia, in tonnes, 2001 Export waste as reported by Australia, in tonnes, 2001
Australia is not a big player in the waste trade, but a good percentage of its exports are shipped all the way to Europe. In 2000 Australia reported the export of 16 689 tonnes of waste (all classifi ed as hazardous) to New Zealand, Belgium, Great Britain, France and Austria. More than half the waste consisted of used lead acid batteries, which were moved across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand. Most of the rest of the waste (described as lead dro...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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What is in a computer What is in a computer
On average a computer is 23% plastic, 32% ferrous metals, 18% non-ferrous metals (lead, cadmium, antimony, beryllium, chromium and mercury), 12% electronic boards (gold, palladium, silver and platinum) and 15% glass. Only about 50% of the computer can be recycled, the rest is dumped. The toxicity of the waste is mostly due to the lead, mercury and cadmium – non-recyclable components of a single computer may contain almost 2 kilograms of lead. ...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Import of waste as reported by Australia, in tonnes, 2001 Import of waste as reported by Australia, in tonnes, 2001
In 2000 Australia imported 1600 tonnes of waste from New Zealand, Norway, French Antarctic and South Africa. This included mostly copper and lead compounds from New Zealand, selenium from Norway and household waste from the French Antarctic base.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Composition of transboundary waste Composition of transboundary waste
According to the Basel Convention reports, of more than 300 million tonnes of waste (including hazardous and other waste) generated worldwide in 2000, a little less that 2% was exported. However 90% of the exported waste was classifi ed as hazardous. The principal waste export by volume was lead and lead compounds bound for recycling.
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Mining waste rock Mining waste rock
Regardless of the type of raw material, its extraction always comes with an environmental cost. Most mining leaves a lasting and damaging environmental footprint. For example, during the extraction of common metals like copper, lead or zinc from the earth both metal-bearing rock, called ore, and “overburden”, the dirt and rock that covers the ore are removed. At a typical copper mine around 125 tonnes of ore are excavated to produce just one ton...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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World ocean thermohaline circulation World ocean thermohaline circulation
The global conveyor belt thermohaline circulation is driven primarily by the formation and sinking of deep water (from around 1500m to the Antarctic bottom water overlying the bottom of the ocean) in the Norwegian Sea. When the strength of the haline forcing increases due to excess precipitation, runoff, or ice melt the conveyor belt will weaken or even shut down. The variability in the strength of the conveyor belt will lead to climate change in...
17 May 2005 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Sub-Saharan Africa: Mineral resources and political instability Sub-Saharan Africa: Mineral resources and political instability
Africa, south of Sahara, is a region with plenty of valuable mineral resources - metals, oil and diamonds. Foreign investments lead the extraction and exploration in many of these places to supply the world markets. This region is also the site of several open conflicts, recent and trying peace and political instability. Foreign armed forces are present in military bases and peace keeping forces. Copyright Le Monde Diplomatique 2004.
02 Nov 2006 - by Philippe Rekacewicz, Le Monde Diplomatique
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Mining and ore waste Mining and ore waste
Mining waste takes up a great deal of space, blights the landscape and often affects local habitats. By its very nature it can constitute a serious safety hazard. Poor management may allow acidic and metals containing drainage to the environmnent, it can result in contaminated dusts be spread by the wind, and can also pose a physical risk. Indeed, the failure of structures such as dams built to contain mining waste has lead to many accidental sp...
15 Dec 2006 - by Diana Rizzolio
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About the difficulties of classifying waste (and counting it) About the difficulties of classifying waste (and counting it)
A multitude of approaches exists to classify the various categories of waste. Waste can be sorted either by its origin (what activity has created it?), by its composition (what is it made of?), by the level of danger it poses to humans and the environment, or by the way it is managed and treated. Each of these approaches will lead to a list of wastes, and often those definitions are overlapping – yet another fact that complicates the collection ...
15 Dec 2006 - by Emmanuelle Bournay
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