Pollution

TOXIC TAX Motorists face rush-hour bans and pollution taxes as part of the Government's war on 'dirty' roads
July 25, 2017 04:55 PM - Steve Hawkes

MOTORISTS face rush-hour bans and pollution taxes in up to 17 towns and cities across the UK as the Government vows to clean up the ‘dirtiest roads’ in Britain.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove will pave the way for local authorities to slap yet more tax on drivers as part of his radical blueprint.

His plans reveal that air pollution needs to be addressed on 81 roads – 33 of which are outside London such as the A360 in Sheffield or A35 in Southampton.

Nitrogen dioxide emissions along each of them breach the legal limit.

Mr Gove will insist that councils first exhaust all other possible options to improve air quality, such as tackling chronic congestion.

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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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