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Research 423: Environmental Transport Noise and Health: Evidence from Ireland (Noise–Health)

Authors: Enda Murphy, Jon-Paul Faulkner, Ciarán Mac Domhnaill, Seán Lyons, Anne Nolan and Owen Douglas, September 2022

Year: 2022

Noise is found everywhere, particularly in urban areas, and is part of daily living and activity. However, noise can be a serious risk to public health and wellbeing. This report outlines key policy and practice recommendations for managing environmental noise in Ireland. It also details how “noise–health” considerations can be better incorporated into Irish policy.

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Climate Research Coordination Group: Fourth Report on Activities: January - December 2021

This report has been prepared by the EPA on behalf of the Climate Research Coordination Group, September 2022

Year: 2022

This fourth report presents a summary of the Climate Research Coordination Group’s activities in 2021.

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Research 422: Soil Organic Carbon and Land Use Mapping (SOLUM)

Authors: Matthew Saunders, Gabriela Mihaela Afrasinei, Jesko Zimmerman, Alina Premrov, Kevin Black and Stuart Green, September 2022

Year: 2022

Soils contain more than twice the amount of carbon held in the atmosphere, but globally approximately 1600 million tonnes of carbon are lost from the soil each year due to cultivation and land use. This research highlights how large geospatial datasets can provide an excellent source of land use information and can detect land use change events at both national and regional scales. The rule-based land use and soil inventory coupled with the soil cluster approach developed in this work could be implemented in current national land use mapping activities to enhance our ability to assess the impacts of land use and land use change on soil carbon stocks.

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Research 421: Assessment of the Extent and Impact of Barriers on Freshwater Hydromorphology and Connectivity in Ireland (Reconnect)

Authors: Mary Kelly-Quinn, Michael Bruen, Jonathan N. Turner, John O’Sullivan, Jens Carlsson, Craig Bullock, Siobhan Atkinson and Colm M. Casserly, September 2022

Year: 2022

The Reconnect project advanced knowledge on the impact of low-head barriers on connectivity in Irish rivers in terms of sediment dynamics and ecology (fish, macroinvertebrates and macrophytes) through studies undertaken from 2016 to 2020 in four core study areas on the Duag, Dalligan and Burren rivers and Browns Beck Brook and at 35 other locations across 12 river/stream systems. The project also developed a methodology for prioritising barriers for modification or removal to improve hydromorphology and connectivity.

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Research 420: Pollen Monitoring and Modelling (POMMEL)

Authors: David O’Connor, Emma Markey, Jose Maria Maya-Manzano, Paul Dowding, Aoife Donnelly and John Sodeau, August 2022

Year: 2022

A reliable pollen forecast and monitoring system is a valuable tool to help allergy sufferers avoid unnecessary exposure to allergenic pollen and to optimise drug treatments by allergists. Ireland does not have a monitoring system in place and the forecast currently used is provided by the University of Worcester (UK). This project seeks to address this by undertaking the required monitoring and developing a forecast model.

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Research 419: Enhancing Integration of Disaster Risk and Climate Change Adaptation into Irish Emergency Planning

Authors: Peter Medway, Dug Cubie and Martin Le Tissier, August 2022

Year: 2022

Climate research tells us that extreme weather events will become more frequent and severe. Climate change adaptation (CCA) focuses on the probable chronic long-term impacts likely to occur across multiple sectors. In contrast, emergency planning and disaster risk reduction (DRR) primarily aims to address acute short-term impacts. The project identifies how existing approaches to disaster risk reduction, disaster risk management (DRM) and CCA in Ireland are juxtaposed and concludes that identifying ways to promote coordination and align incentives, priorities and planning processes will facilitate a more holistic and comprehensive approach to DRM at all levels of government.

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Research 418: Built Environment Climate Resilience and Adaptation

Authors: Mark Scott, Louise Burns, Mick Lennon and Oliver Kinnane, August 2022

Year: 2022

Climate change risks present a clear challenge for Ireland’s built environment. Adaptation is the critical second pillar of climate action alongside mitigation. This needs an urgent whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach. There is significant scope for increasing policy coherency towards adaptation through the planning system, building control, building regulation performance requirements, industry standards and building design specifications.

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Research 417: Assessment of the Environmental and Health Impacts Arising from Mercury-free Dental Restorative Materials

Authors: Máiréad Harding, Timothy Sullivan, Hannah Binner, Naghmeh Kamali and Martina Hayes, July 2022

Year: 2022

The United Nations Minamata Convention on Mercury is an international regulatory framework that aims to protect human health and the global environment from the harmful effects of mercury. This research identified that very little literature exists on the environmental and health impacts of mercury-free dental restorative materials. It identified small particles from the mercury-free dental restorative materials in dental wastewater (DWW) and says it is essential to consider enhanced capture of small particles from DWW as a priority.

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Research 416: Development and Application of Monte Carlo Models for High-purity Germanium Gamma Spectrometry

Authors: Luis León Vintró and Niall Murphy, July 2022

Year: 2022

The aim of this research project was to develop and implement suitable Monte Carlo calibration methods for the assay of natural and artificial radionuclides using HPGe gamma spectrometers. A software application was developed as part of this project. The application makes use of a set of nominal input parameters describing an HPGe detector, together with experimentally determined full-energy peak efficiencies for a range of radionuclides in a variety of counting geometries, to produce an optimised model of the detector by applying suitable optimisation algorithms without any further user intervention.

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Research 415: A Roadmap for Local Deliberative Engagements on Transitions to Net Zero Carbon and Climate Resilience

Authors: Gerard Mullally, Alexandra Revez, Clodagh Harris, Niall Dunphy, Fionn Rogan, Edmond Byrne, Connor McGookin, Brian Ó Gallachóir, Paul Bolger, Barry O’Dwyer, Stephen Flood, Evan Boyle, James Glynn, John Barry and Geraint Ellis , July 2022

Year: 2022

Ireland faces considerable challenges in transitioning to a net-zero carbon and climate resilient future. This research focused on the challenge of engaging citizens and communities in climate action while also recognising that new and novel approaches are required to enable the transition to climate resilience. The co-creation of the Deliberative Futures Toolkit together with local, scientific and policy communities, provides a resource that can be used by communities and policymakers.

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Research 414: Managing Invasive Alien Plants in Ireland

Authors: Vasiliki Balogianni, Bruce Osborne, Margherita Gioria and Dario Fornara, July 2022

Year: 2022

The presence of invasive alien plant species across Ireland and Europe has increased significantly in the past few decades. The impacts of these invasions vary but they can lead to major modifications in ecosystem functioning. This research project has broadened our understanding of the ecological traits, strategies and impacts of invasive species. This information can be used in the management of invasive plants and help to inform legislation that might need to be introduced or strengthened.

Kelp res infographic

Kelp forest infographic designed for KelpRes outreach.

Illustration by Luczo Illustrative Designs, July 2022

Year: 2022

Invoice Template

Invoice template to be used by Evaluators, Reviewers and Steering Committee Members when claiming per-diem rates and/or travel and accommodation reimbursements., July 2022

Year: 2022

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Research 413: The Diversity and Resilience of Kelp Ecosystems in Ireland

Authors: Kathryn Schoenrock, Stacy Krueger-Hadfield, Kenan Chan, Rory O’Callaghan, Tony O’Callaghan, Aaron Golden and Anne Marie Power, July 2022

Year: 2022

In Ireland, Kelp forests can be found along rocky shorelines and dominates rocky substrata along the Irish coastline (approximately 3010 km out of the 7524 km of national shoreline). The report makes recommendations concerning monitoring and preserving kelp ecosystems nationwide. A range of resilience metrics was assessed for subtidal kelp forests in Ireland to better understand how to monitor, manage and simply understand these systems and their potential responses to climate shifts in nearshore ecosystems.

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Research 412: Emissions from and Fuel Consumption Associated with Off-road Vehicles and Other Machinery

Authors: Rita Hagan, Emma Markey, Jerry Clancy, Mark Keating, Aoife Donnelly, David O’Connor, Liam Morrison and Eoin McGillicuddy, July 2022

Year: 2022

Non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) is a large category that until recently had not been widely researched in terms of its contribution of exhaust emissions to overall air pollution. The emissions from NRMM contribute significantly to air pollution. To lower emissions from NRMM and improve air quality, it is recommended that more data are collected from sectors such as rail, construction, and aviation, and from Transport Infrastructure Ireland. This research used the bottom-up approach of contacting NRMM owners and data holders to request data about their NRMM fleet and its fuel use.