Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

News Archive

Climate action improves air quality and helping us grow more food A new EU Joint Research Centre study finds that the air quality improvements stemming from currently pledged energy and climate policies can prevent more than 71,000 premature deaths annually by 2030 and significantly increase agricultural crop yields.
Thursday 22 November 2018
Spatial modelling of participatory scenarios advances landscape stakeholder discussions on shared pathways supporting SDGs Spatially explicit modelling tools can support participatory scenario development with stakeholders. This can be concluded from a set of casestudies in three different countries. The combined approach demonstrated the potential to achieve progress on multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) simultaneously. It proved to be a catalyst for building landscape partnerships and can be a foundation for landscape action planning and inspire the development of landscape wide investment portfolios.
Wednesday 21 November 2018
Building dams and reservoirs leads to more water use and shortage Building reservoirs leads to increases in long-term water use, resulting in prolonged periods of droughts and water shortages in downstream regions. This is concluded by a multidisciplinary team of ten drought scientists, including scientists from Utrecht University, in an article in Nature Sustainability. They recommend to put more effort into water conservation measures rather than in increased water supply.
Tuesday 13 November 2018
Feeding 10 billion people by 2050 within planetary limits may be achievable If we all start eating more healthy and plant-based foods, halve our food loss, recycle more waste and improve our agricultural practices, then by around 2050 we can feed around 10 billion people sustainably. "But it has to be a combination, because with just one of these measures we will not make it without exceeding environmental boundaries," says SENSE professor Wim de Vries of Wageningen University.
Tuesday 16 October 2018
What if the sea level should rise with ten metres? "The sea level kept rising. With higher dikes and big pumps the situation had been mastered for long. But with a 10-meter rise this was no longer possible."
SENSE professor Jeroen Aerts (VU) and SENSE alumnus Marjolijn Haasnoot (Deltares) contributed to an article with a "what if" scenario about this topic in NRC Handelsblad of 11 October 2018. (in Dutch)
Tuesday 16 October 2018
Four SENSE professors in Trouw Sustainable 100 ranking 2018 Four SENSE scientists are on Trouw’s 2018 annual list of the 100 most influential Dutch people in the area of sustainability.
Thursday 11 October 2018
Detlef van Vuuren (UU) wins Huibregtsen Prize for climate forecasting model Professor Detlef van Vuuren of Utrecht University and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) has received the 2018 Huibregtsen Prize for his research project IMAGE - scenarios for mapping climate change and options to explore climate policy at the 19th Evening of Science & Society held on 8 October 2018.
Wednesday 10 October 2018
Arjen Hoekstra in Environmental Research Letters with: "The control versus resilience rationale for managing systems under uncertainty" We compare two rationales for the management of social-ecological systems under uncertainty: control and resilience. The first focuses at system performance, the second at system capacity to cope with change. The two schools of thought promote their own legitimacy, but undertake little effort to transcend their own perspective. Though, different scholars have pointed at the necessity of combining control and resilience for managing a system.
Tuesday 9 October 2018
UT researchers develop framework to assess water sustainability in investors'decision-making How do large investors rate when it comes to water sustainability? Researchers of the University of Twente have developed and applied a framework to assess policies of investors regarding their incorporation of water sustainability criteria. A Dutch case study shows there’s still a long way to go. Findings of the research have been published in the Journal of Cleaner Production* recently.
Tuesday 9 October 2018
Publication of "The Anthropocene Debate and Political Science" Anthropocene has become an environmental buzzword. It denotes a new geological epoch that is human‐dominated. As mounting scientific evidence reveals, humankind has fundamentally altered atmospheric, geological, hydrological, biospheric, and other Earth system processes to an extent that the risk of an irreversible system change emerges. Human societies must therefore change direction and navigate away from critical tipping points in the various ecosystems of our planet. This hypothesis has kicked off a debate not only on the geoscientific definition of the Anthropocene era, but increasingly also in the social sciences.
Monday 1 October 2018