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Research 335: Ecosystem Tipping Points: Learning from the Past to Manage for the Future

Authors: Deirdre Brophy, Cóllín Minto, Olga Lyashevska, Róisín Nash, Ian O’Connor, Tom Doyle, Damien Haberlin and Kieran Lyons, August 2020

Year: 2020

Marine ecosystems are undergoing unprecedented change, with natural capital declining to the point that benefits accrued by humans are at risk. This project aimed to collate and integrate datasets describing the Celtic Sea ecosystem, and to use this data to quantify how physical and biological ecosystem components have changed in recent decades and to establish relationships between ecosystem responses and external pressures.

Environmental impacts (positive and negative) flowing from COVID-19 and related measures

Authors: Eileen O’Leary, Safaa Al Tameemi, Sarah Broderick and Colman McCarthy, August 2020

Year: 2020

This report presents the findings from a small-scale research study on the main environment-related impacts arising from the COVID-19 experience in Ireland, both positive and negative. While focused primarily on the environmental effects, related effects such as changes in consumption, which have knock-on environmental impacts are also included.

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Research 334: Sustainable Voluntary Communities: Support for Sustainable Environmental, Social and Economic Development

Authors: Bernadette O’Regan, Richard Moles, Rosemary Byrne and Anne Bennett, August 2020

Year: 2020

The need to involve voluntary communities at local level in the implementation of successful sustainable development programmes to achieve reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is widely recognised. This research identified 36 Irish communities that were, or were actively planning to be, involved in local-scale action to enhance sustainability. Six of the 36 were selected for this research project.

Covid-19 and Sheer Wellbeing 2020 - Access to and Use of Blue/Green Spaces in Ireland during a Pandemic

Authors: Gesche Kindermann, Christine Domegan and Sinead Duane, August 2020

Year: 2020

This Small-Scale Study looked at the access to and use of blue/green spaces in Ireland during a Pandemic. This report builds upon and extends Our Environment, Our Health, Our Wellbeing: Access to Blue/Green Spaces and Water Quality in Ireland (2017-HW-MS-12).

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Research 333: TriREUSE – Trialling the Preparation for Reuse of Consumer Laptops, Tablets and Smartphones

Authors: Damian Coughlan and Colin Fitzpatrick, August 2020

Year: 2020

Information and communication technology (ICT) devices contain critical raw materials. The TriREUSE project aimed to provide an insight into possible reuse rates for WEEE collections that target consumer ICT products with reuse potential. The project involved a series of 10 dedicated collection events that encouraged people to dispose of old or unwanted data-bearing devices, with the incentive of a free data destruction service.

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Research 332: An Investigation of the Optimum Specification for Soil Depressurisation Systems (Active and Passive) That Take Account of Irish Building Practices

Authors: Le Chi Hung, Jamie Goggins, Marta Fuente and Mark Foley, July 2020

Year: 2020

In Ireland, Radon is the second biggest cause of lung cancer and it is estimated that 9% of homes exceed the reference level of Radon. Studies in other countries have indicated that the effectiveness of passive sumps is enhanced by sealing across the base of the building. This project examines the characterisation of the T1 Struc and T2 Perm specified granular fill materials for soil depressurisation systems for buildings.

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Research 331: IMPLiCIt: IMProving inversion modeL Capability in Ireland

Authors: Colin O’Dowd, Damien Martin and Dèlia Arnold, July 2020

Year: 2020

The IMPLiCIt project aims to develop a combined measurement and modelling system to verify methane sources over Ireland and regions affecting the Irish domain, and to improve Irish national capacities to estimate and verify national methane and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventories.

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Research 330: COSAINT: Cattle Exclusion from Watercourses: Environmental and Socio-economic Implications

Authors: Daire Ó hUallacháin, Eleanor Jennings, Patricia Antunes, Stuart Green, Paul Kilgarriff, Suzanne Linnane, Paul O’Callaghan, Matt O’Sullivan, Fiona Regan, Mary Ryan and Mary Kelly-Quinn, July 2020

Year: 2020

Loss of pollutants from grassland systems to water bodies is a significant threat to water quality and represents one of the main environmental problems facing agri-ecosystems in Ireland. This project evaluated existing literature and generated temporal and spatial data on the environmental impact of cattle exclusion measures.

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Research 329: Encouraging Environmentally Friendly Behaviour with Insights from Behavioural Economics

Authors: Leonhard K. Lades, J. Andrew Kelly and J. Peter Clinch, July 2020

Year: 2020

The 2019 Climate Action Plan sets out targets for Ireland in sectors including transport, residential heating and waste. To achieve these targets, infrastructure investments are essential. However, infrastructure investments are not enough, the investments must be paired with broad behavioural change. This report aims to support environmental policymaking in Ireland with the goal of encouraging environmentally friendly behaviour.

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Research 328: Eco-Health: Ecosystem Benefits of Greenspace for Health

Authors: Mark Scott, Mick Lennon, Owen Douglas and Craig Bullock, July 2020

Year: 2020

This project advances the perspective that accessible and well-designed green spaces are essential infrastructure that is fundamental to the health and well-being of thriving and inclusive communities. There is a scientific consensus that green space provides multiple benefits for enhancing health and well-being, and these benefits provided by green space are increasingly recognised in policy at international, national and local levels.

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Research 327: Developing the Potential of Community Energy Action Groups in the Transition to a Low-carbon Society

Authors: Susan Byrne and Bernadette O’Regan, July 2020

Year: 2020

In Ireland, approximately 38% of the population live in rural regions. Rural populations contribute significantly more to carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in the transport and residential energy sectors than their urban counterparts. In relation to community sustainability, this report evaluates the opportunities for rural communities in low-carbon transition in relation to energy, waste, transport and other contributing factors.

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Research 326: The Role of Energy Technology in Climate Mitigation in Ireland: Irish TIMES Phase 3

Authors: Brian Ó Gallachóir, Paul Deane, James Glynn, Fionn Rogan, July 2020

Year: 2020

The continued rise in transport activity, energy consumption and emissions can be attributed to economic, technological and societal factors. A range of technoeconomic and socioeconomic analytical tools and models were developed and employed in this project to generate an evidence base that can inform decarbonisation-focused transport sector decision-taking and policymaking.

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Research 325: Sourcing and Assessing Agricultural Activity Data for Modelling and National Estimates of Greenhouse Gases and Air Pollutants

Author: Mohammad Ibrahim Khalil, July 2020

Year: 2020

This project aimed to inform efforts at combating climate change as a core national priority in the pursuit of a sustainable, low carbon economy in compliance with international obligations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and air pollutants and increase soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration.

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Research 324: Emission Factors from Domestic-scale Solid-fuel Appliances (EFDOSOF)

Authors: W.J. Smith and C. Quinn, July 2020

Year: 2020

The Emission Factors from Domestic-scale Solid-fuel Appliances (EFDOSOF) study set out to establish representative, real-world emission factors (EFs) for the range of solid fuels used for residential combustion in Ireland. The improved EFs developed during this study will inform and improve Ireland’s response to the UNECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and to the EU National Emission Ceilings Directive.

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Research 323: Critical Loads and Soil-Vegetation Modelling

Authors: Julian Aherne, Kayla Wilkins and Hazel Cathcart, July 2020

Year: 2020

This report presents results from the research project “Critical Loads and Soil-Vegetation Modelling”. The principal objectives of this project were to update critical loads of acidity and eutrophication for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in Ireland, to evaluate the potential impacts of nitrogen deposition on plant species diversity.

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Research 322: Irish Natural Capital Accounting for Sustainable Environments: Stage 1 Feasibility Report

Authors: Catherine A. Farrell and Jane C. Stout, July 2020

Year: 2020

The INCASE (Irish Natural Capital Accounting for Sustainable Environments) research project aims to apply Natural Capital Accounting at a pilot (catchment) scale in Ireland. This Interim Report reviews natural capital accounting approaches, data requirements for the project, catchment selection, potential applications and feasibility.

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Research 321: Opportunities to Decarbonise the Irish Transport Sector

Authors: Eamonn Mulholland, Fionn Rogan, Tomás Mac Uidhir and Brian Ó Gallachóir, July 2020

Year: 2020

In 2017, the energy sector was responsible for 60% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The largest contributor to Ireland’s energy-related GHG emissions, at 33%, is the transport sector. A range of technoeconomic and socioeconomic analytical tools and models were developed and employed in this project to generate an evidence base that can inform decarbonisation focused transport sector decision-taking and policymaking.

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Research 320: Assessing Vulnerability to Climate Change: An Approach Illustrated through Large Urban Scale Adaptation (Urb-ADAPT)

Authors: Roberta Paranunzio, Barry O’Dwyer, Paul J. Alexander, Marco Guerrini, Ned Dwyer and Jeremy Gault, July 2020

Year: 2020

Globally, climate change will have wide-ranging effects on all aspects of society, the environment and the economy. This is particularly the case for urban areas, which represent only a small fraction of the Earth’s surface (less than 3%) but are where more than half of the global population resides and concentrations of assets and economic activities are found.

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Research 319: Remote Sensing of Aerosols, Clouds and Wind at Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station

Authors: Jana Preißler and Colin O’Dowd, July 2020

Year: 2020

The power of remote sensing lies in its ability to automatically and continuously characterise parts of the atmosphere that can be far away from the sensor, e.g. at high altitudes from the ground in the case of this study. This fellowship focused on continuous high-resolution (vertical and temporal) profiling of the atmosphere over Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station using active and passive ground-based remote sensing techniques.

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Research 318: Source Apportionment of Particulate Matter in Urban and Rural Residential Areas of Ireland (SAPPHIRE)

In this research project, the contribution of residential solid fuel burning to ambient levels of wintertime PM2.5 was determined in the towns of Killarney, Enniscorthy and Birr. The results show that the burning of peat, coal and wood for home heating is by far the largest source of PM2.5 air pollution in these locations., June 2020

Year: 2020

In this research project, the contribution of residential solid fuel burning to ambient levels of wintertime PM2.5 was determined in the towns of Killarney, Enniscorthy and Birr. The results show that the burning of peat, coal and wood for home heating is by far the largest source of PM2.5 air pollution in these locations.