Pollution

Scientists calculate total amount of plastics ever produced
July 20, 2017 10:45 AM - James Hataway, University of Georgia

Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment according to a study published today in the journal Science Advances.

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Scientists Uncover Biogeochemical Controls on Occurrence and Distribution of PACs in Coals
July 21, 2017 09:56 AM - University of Science and Technology of China

The organic matter in coal contains polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs) of varying quantities in diverse soluble and insoluble forms. PACs in coal are of special interest for organic geochemical studies as they have been successfully used as biological marker compounds (biomarkers) and indicators of thermal maturity.

However, challenges exist when applying PACs in understanding the organic geochemistry of coal. For example, what are the sources of PACs in coals? How do they transform during the long-term coal-formation history? Is there any regular relationship between the PAC and macro-molecular structural changes? 

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SPOTLIGHT

Birds sing shorter songs in response to traffic noise

Taylor & Francis Group via EurekAlert!

Birds sing differently in response to traffic noise, which potentially affects their ability to attract mates and defend their territory, according to research published in Bioacoustics. The study found that a species of North American flycatcher sings shorter songs at a lower range of frequencies in response to traffic noise levels. The researchers suggest traffic noise reduction, for example through road closures, is a viable option for mitigating this effect.

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