Environmental Policy

Fifty years ago, a historic balloon launch that changed the way we see the ozone layer
May 1, 2017 08:22 AM - NOAA

From atop this grassy mesa in 1967, scientists with the federal Environmental Science Services Agency carefully launched a weather balloon carrying a new instrument that could measure ozone levels from the ground to the very edge of outer space -- and radio the data back to a ground receiver.

As government delays pollution plan, study shows how killer nanoparticles cause heart disease
April 26, 2017 10:00 AM - Oliver Tickell, Ecologist

A new study explains for the first time how nanoparticles like those in diesel exhaust fumes cause heart disease by lodging in inflamed blood vessels, writes Oliver Tickell. The study, published as the UK government is ordered before the High Court to justify its refusal to publish plans to tackle illegal air pollution which afflicts 38 million people, also raises wider fears about 'engineered nanoparticles' in the environment.

As government delays pollution plan, study shows how killer nanoparticles cause heart disease
April 26, 2017 10:00 AM - Oliver Tickell, Ecologist

A new study explains for the first time how nanoparticles like those in diesel exhaust fumes cause heart disease by lodging in inflamed blood vessels, writes Oliver Tickell. The study, published as the UK government is ordered before the High Court to justify its refusal to publish plans to tackle illegal air pollution which afflicts 38 million people, also raises wider fears about 'engineered nanoparticles' in the environment.

Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlements: Where the money went
April 26, 2017 08:06 AM - NOAA

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the Gulf Coast, killing 11 people and injuring 17. So began an 87-day oil spill that spewed 3.19 million barrels, or nearly 134 million gallons, into the Gulf of Mexico. It fouled the coasts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas and launched a six-year long environmental and legal battle.

India's outsized coal plans would wipe out Paris climate goals
April 25, 2017 04:33 PM - University of California - Irvine

India will not be able to meet its Paris climate agreement commitments in the coming years if it carries through with plans to construct nearly 370 coal-fired power plants, according to University of California, Irvine and CoalSwarm researchers.

“India is facing a dilemma of its own making,” said UCI associate professor of Earth system science Steven Davis, co-author of a study published today in the American Geophysical Union journal Earth’s Future. “The country has vowed to curtail its use of fossil fuels in electricity generation, but it has also put itself on a path to building hundreds of coal-burning power plants to feed its growing industrial economy.”

India's outsized coal plans would wipe out Paris climate goals
April 25, 2017 04:33 PM - University of California - Irvine

India will not be able to meet its Paris climate agreement commitments in the coming years if it carries through with plans to construct nearly 370 coal-fired power plants, according to University of California, Irvine and CoalSwarm researchers.

“India is facing a dilemma of its own making,” said UCI associate professor of Earth system science Steven Davis, co-author of a study published today in the American Geophysical Union journal Earth’s Future. “The country has vowed to curtail its use of fossil fuels in electricity generation, but it has also put itself on a path to building hundreds of coal-burning power plants to feed its growing industrial economy.”

Antarctica's biodiversity is under threat from tourism, transnational pollution and more
April 21, 2017 05:38 PM - Concordia University

A unique international study has debunked the popular view that Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are in much better ecological shape than the rest of the world.

The study, published recently in PLOS Biology and involving an interdisciplinary group of 23 researchers, compared Antarctic biodiversity and its management with that of the rest of the world.

Clean power planning
April 21, 2017 04:47 PM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

With a single executive order issued at the end of March, the Trump administration launched a robust effort to roll back Obama-era climate policies designed to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Chief among those policies is the Clean Power Plan, which targets coal and natural gas-fired electric power plants that account for about 40 percent of the nation’s CO2 emissions. Private and public-sector investors may see the executive order as a green light to double down on relatively cheap fossil fuels and reduce holdings in more costly, climate-friendly, non-carbon generation technologies such as wind, solar and nuclear. But they may want to think twice before making such transactions.

Clean power planning
April 21, 2017 04:47 PM - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

With a single executive order issued at the end of March, the Trump administration launched a robust effort to roll back Obama-era climate policies designed to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Chief among those policies is the Clean Power Plan, which targets coal and natural gas-fired electric power plants that account for about 40 percent of the nation’s CO2 emissions. Private and public-sector investors may see the executive order as a green light to double down on relatively cheap fossil fuels and reduce holdings in more costly, climate-friendly, non-carbon generation technologies such as wind, solar and nuclear. But they may want to think twice before making such transactions.

Degradable electronic components created from corn starch
April 19, 2017 03:25 PM - American Chemical Society

As consumers upgrade their gadgets at an increasing pace, the amount of electronic waste we generate continues to mount. To help combat this environmental problem, researchers have modified a degradable bioplastic derived from corn starch or other natural sources for use in more eco-friendly electronic components. They report their development in ACS’ journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.

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