Latest EPA Research 2030 Reports

in: Research EPA Research Reports
Report cover 387

Research 387: GRACE Monitoring of Groundwater over Ireland – A Feasibility Study

Authors: Michael Geever, Eve Daly and Aaron Golden, August 2021

Year: 2021

Changing population trends, growing urbanisation and associated economic development increase pressure on our water resources. This project investigates the feasibility of using space-based observations of gravitational anomalies, obtained by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), to assess groundwater variations at a regional level across the island of Ireland. The report fully documents ways of accessing, processing and visualising GRACE gravitational anomaly data, and outlines a means to integrate data from NASA’s land surface model with data from the EPA’s HydroNet groundwater well network.

Report cover 386

Research 386: The Status of Ireland’s Climate, 2020

Editors and Lead Authors: Walther C.A. Cámaro García and Ned Dwyer, August 2021

Year: 2021

As an island on the western boundary of Europe facing the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland is ideally positioned to measure and assess ongoing climate change. The first Status of Ireland’s Climate report was published in 2013. This second status report provides an update, incorporating new datasets and analyses as well as reporting ongoing climate observations over the last 7 years.

Report cover 385

Research 385: Air Pollution Sources in Ireland

Authors: Jurgita Ovadnevaite, Chunshui Lin, Matteo Rinaldi, Darius Ceburnis, Paul Buckley, LizColeman, Maria Cristina Facchini, John Wenger and Colin O’Dowd, July 2021

Year: 2021

The project successfully established the AEROSOURCE network, comprising three sophisticated aerosol mass spectrometer nodes positioned in strategic locations: Carnsore Point (regional background), Dublin (urban environment) and Mace Head (marine background). It enhanced the National Transboundary Air Pollution Network with near real-time aerosol chemical speciation (including organic matter) and source apportionment capabilities.

Report cover 384

Research 384: ClimAtt: Tools for Climate Change Attribution of Extreme Weather Events

Authors: Paul Leahy, Lucía Hermida Gonzalez, Kieran Hickey, Gerard Kiely, Myles Allen, Parvaneh Nowbakht and Adam Pasik, July 2021

Year: 2021

Extreme weather events, such as heavy or prolonged rainfall events, droughts and heatwaves, have the potential to cause significant social and economic disruption in Ireland. The ClimAtt project has examined the state of the art in climate change attribution of extreme weather events. Met Éireann’s observational records have been used to test and validate several climate model datasets for attribution purposes. The most appropriate datasets and methods to use to investigate the influence of climate change on extreme weather events occurring in Ireland have been recommended.

Report cover CRCG

Climate Research Coordination Group: Third Report on Activities: January - December 2020

This report has been prepared by the EPA on behalf of the Climate Research Coordination Group, July 2021

Year: 2021

This third report presents a summary of the Climate Research Coordination Group’s activities in 2020.

Report cover 383

Research 383: Towards a Good Practice Guide for Implementing CNOSSOS-EU (Common Noise Assessment Methods in Europe) in Ireland

Authors: Jon-Paul Faulkner, Enda Murphy, Henry J. Rice and John Kennedy, June 2021

Year: 2021

This guide addresses noise pollution from transport as a significant environmental pressure and public health concern. The guide is primarily targeted at practitioners charged with implementing the 5-yearly strategic noise mapping requirements of the Environmental Noise Directive (END). The guide also supports relevant authorities by providing robust analysis and instruction on how to implement strategic noise mapping under CNOSSOS-EU.

Report Cover 382

Research 382: Transitioning to Strategic Noise Mapping under CNOSSOS-EU (Noise-Adapt)

Authors: Enda Murphy, Jon-Paul Faulkner, Henry J. Rice and John Kennedy, June 2021

Year: 2021

In the European Union (EU), 113 million people are estimated to be exposed to noise pollution from transport sources and this is detrimental to their health and quality of life. This report addresses noise pollution from transport as a significant environmental pressure and public health concern by providing recommendations that assist with the practical implementation of revisions to the Environmental Noise Directive.

Research_381

Research 381: An Irish Nutrient Platform to Underpin Sustainable Development

Authors: Vincent O’Flaherty, John McGrath, Dermot Hughes, Juan Castilla Archilla, Jose Antonio Pícon, Andrew Bartle, Therese Mahony, Katrina Macintosh and Etain Doherty, June 2021

Year: 2021

The UN Agenda for Sustainable Development consists of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), underpinned by 169 targets, which aim to “end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all”. These SDGs are expected to frame national policy agendas over the next 15 years in the context of both domestic and international policy, with an overarching desire to link environmental sustainability to sustainable economic development and the recognition that the management and protection of the environment are vital to economic wellbeing and a healthy society.

Report cover 380

Research 380: Innovative Water Monitoring

Authors: Kevin Fitzgibbon, William Whelan-Curtin, Chinna Devarapu, Patricia Loren, Colin O’Sullivan and Ian Aherne, June 2021

Year: 2021

The Innovative Water Monitoring project aimed to create an additional innovative sensing system for real-time detection of water quality parameters, to support the existing water quality monitoring policies, programmes and requirements under the Water Framework Directive, the Bathing Water Quality legislation, etc. It has demonstrated the ability to detect two such parameters, nitrates and Escherichia coli (E. coli), using the system.

Research 379

Research 379: Policy Coherence in Adaptation Studies: Selecting and Using Indicators of Climate Resilience

Authors: Stephen Flood, Ned Dwyer and Jeremy Gault, June 2021

Year: 2021

Adaptation action is now urgently needed to reduce the social, economic and environmental impacts of present and future climate change to ensure resilience to both extreme and slow-onset events under a changing climate. This project combines an analysis of international best practice and approaches to the development of climate adaptation indicators, co-designed by key stakeholder representatives from relevant state agencies and regional and national government, to identify a tailored suite of Ireland-relevant climate adaptation indicators. The co-design process identified a suite of 127 recommended indicators – 15 are climatological indicators, 23 are impact indicators, 32 are implementation indicators and 21 are outcome indicators. Ninety-one of these indicators were identified as priority.

Research 378 cover

Research 378: Towards the Quantification of Blanket Bog Ecosystem Services to Water

Authors: Raymond Flynn, Francis Mackin and Florence Renou-Wilson, June 2021

Year: 2021

Blanket bogs are common in many areas of Ireland, contributing to our most iconic landscapes. However, although they cover approximately 13% of the country, natural processes sustaining blanket bogs remain poorly understood. This research aimed to better understand blanket bog hydrology through a 3-year programme in which researchers monitored the flow and water quality in streams draining Irish blanket bogs that are relatively intact.

Research 377 cover

Research 377: Impacts of Microplastics in the Irish Freshwater Environment

Authors: Alicia Mateos-Cárdenas, Alexandra R.J. Jansen, John O’Halloran, Frank N.A.M. van Pelt and Marcel A.K. Jansen, June 2021

Year: 2021

Plastics are a key part of modern life, due to their desirable characteristics such as light weight and low cost. However, the extensive production of plastics is resulting in plastic pollution. This study recognises the risk posed by rapid formation of micro- and nanoplastics in the freshwater environment and advocates the rapid development of field-monitoring and impact studies to analyse hazards and risks posed by these plastics.

Report cover 376

Research 376: From Source to Sink: Responses of a Coastal Catchment to Large-scale Changes (Golden Strand Catchment, Achill Island, County Mayo)

Authors: Eugene Farrell, Mary Bourke, Tiernan Henry, Gesche Kindermann, Kevin Lynch, Terry Morley, Barry O’Dwyer, John O’Sullivan and Jonathan Turner, June 2021

Year: 2021

This research is a series of field experiments that measured patterns in the sediment and water pathways in the Golden Strand catchment, Achill Island, County Mayo. The results show that climate changes (storminess, temperature, precipitation) impacts are site specific and require long-term, multi-disciplinary field monitoring programmes (geomorphology; ecology; hydrology) to capture local specificity and environmental variability.

Research 375 cover

Research 375: Development of Quality Standards for Compost and Digestate in Ireland

Authors: Percy Foster and Munoo Prasad, May 2021

Year: 2021

In Ireland, there are no national end-of-waste criteria for compost and digestate derived from source-separated materials. This study developed a quality standard for digestate and an updated standard for compost, it also recommends a strategy on how Ireland should implement national end-of-waste criteria for compost and digestate. It also examined best practice in other countries and options for having end-of-waste criteria.

Research 374 cover

Research 374: Piloting Innovative Approaches in Sustainable Communities towards Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Ireland

Authors: Vincent Carragher and Hugh O’Reilly, May 2021

Year: 2021

This study set out to catalyse the sustainability transition of communities using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework. The research had a branded, public-facing campaign, Spark Change (www.sparkchange.ie), which recruited communities to an SDG challenge, effectively asking and supporting them to progress their sustainability transition and related SDG actions.

Research 373 cover

Research 373: Using an Experimental Governance Lens to Examine Governance of the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018–2021

Authors: Richard Boyle, Joanna O’Riordan, Fergal O’Leary and Laura Shannon, May 2021

Year: 2021

This report examines lessons learned from the water governance arrangements put in place for the River Basin Management Plan (RBMP) 2018–2021 for Ireland through the lens of experimental governance. The study finds that the three-tier governance structure is appropriate and should be continued. However, there is still room for improvement in the area of adapting and improving the operation of the existing arrangements.

Research 372 cover

Research 372: Using the OECD Water Governance Indicator Framework to Review the Implementation of the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018–2021

Authors: Joanna O’Riordan, Richard Boyle, Fergal O’Leary and Laura Shannon, May 2021

Year: 2021

This report assesses water governance in Ireland using the Water Governance Indicator Framework, a tool developed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2018 to assist countries in assessing their progress towards the European Union’s Water Framework Directive.

Research 371 report cover

Research 371: Climate Change and Land Use in Ireland

Author: Eamon Haughey, May 2021

Year: 2021

Land supports a range of ecosystem services including biodiversity and economic outputs in the agriculture and forestry sectors. This report identified pressures in the land system by analysing land use and outputs and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the land system. It identifies knowledge gaps in relation to national land use mapping, which currently limit the potential for regional analyses of land–climate interactions.

Research 370 thumbnail

Research 370: Potential Health Impact of Phthalates: An Irish Perspective

Authors: Catherine Allen, Fiona Regan, Anthony Staines and Jenny Lawler, April 2021

Year: 2021

Phthalates are plasticisers that are ubiquitous in the environment, have the potential to disrupt the endocrine system and are associated with a wide range of adverse health effects. This report identifies that all 11 phthalates studied are currently present in the Irish environment. The levels of human exposure indicate that there is no immediate risk to human health on a population-averaged basis.

Research 369 thumbnail

Research 369: CIViC: Critical Infrastructure Vulnerability to Climate Change

Authors: Páraic C. Ryan, Lara Hawchar, Owen Naughton and Mark G. Stewart, March 2021

Year: 2021

Modern society relies on the effective functioning of critical infrastructure networks to provide public services, enhance quality of life and spur sustainable economic development. Part A of this report presents a framework and analysis aimed at identifying potential risks for the four main critical infrastructure sectors. Part B of the report was applied to part of the energy sector as an illustrative case study.

Pagination