Pollution

How Far Can Technology Go To Stave Off Climate Change?
January 18, 2017 09:26 AM - Yale University

The U.S. now has two coal-burning power plants that avoid dumping carbon dioxide into the air. Petra Nova in Texas and Kemper in Mississippi use technology to stop CO2 in the smokestack and before combustion, respectively. Unfortunately, that makes two out of more than 400 coal-fired power plants in the U.S., the rest of which collectively pour 1.4 billion metric tons of the colorless, odorless greenhouse gas into the atmosphere each year. Even Kemper and Petra Nova do not capture all of the CO2 from the coal they burn, and the captured CO2 is used to scour more oil out of the ground, which is then burned, adding yet more CO2 to the atmosphere. The carbon conundrum grows more complex — and dangerous — with each passing year. 

China Cancels Plans For 100 New Coal-Fired Power Plants
January 17, 2017 01:53 PM - Yale Environment 360

China has canceled plans for more than 100 new coal-fired power plants, including several that were already under construction, according to news reports. The power stations, with an estimated price tag of $62 billion, would have had an electricity-generating capacity of more than 100 gigawatts, spread across several provinces.

E-Waste in East and South-East Asia Jumps 63% in Five Years
January 15, 2017 03:33 PM - United Nations University

The volume of discarded electronics in East and South-East Asia jumped almost two-thirds between 2010 and 2015, and e-waste generation is growing fast in both total volume and per capita measures, new UNU research shows.

Driven by rising incomes and high demand for new gadgets and appliances, the average increase in e-waste across all 12 countries and areas analysed — Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Province of China, Thailand and Vietnam — was 63% in the five years ending in 2015 and totalled 12.3 million tonnes, a weight 2.4 times that of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Researchers develop environmentally friendly, soy air filter
January 13, 2017 03:32 PM - Washington State University

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have developed a soy-based air filter that can capture toxic chemicals, such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, that current air filters can’t.

Northeast US temperatures are decades ahead of global average
January 13, 2017 03:16 PM - University of Massachusetts Amherst

AMHERST, Mass. – Results of a new study by researchers at the Northeast Climate Science Center (NECSC) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggest that temperatures across the northeastern United States will increase much faster than the global average, so that the 2-degrees Celsius warming target adopted in the recent Paris Agreement on climate change will be reached about 20 years earlier for this part of the U.S. compared to the world as a whole.

Measuring the 'true social cost' of carbon dioxide emissions
January 13, 2017 08:32 AM - University of Oxford

The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has proposed a new framework for US agencies to use to estimate the 'social cost of carbon dioxide' emissions. Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science at the Environmental Change Institute, helped compile the report which will strengthen the scientific basis and provide greater transparency for US climate policy. 

Measuring the 'true social cost' of carbon dioxide emissions
January 13, 2017 08:32 AM - University of Oxford

The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has proposed a new framework for US agencies to use to estimate the 'social cost of carbon dioxide' emissions. Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science at the Environmental Change Institute, helped compile the report which will strengthen the scientific basis and provide greater transparency for US climate policy. 

Measuring the 'true social cost' of carbon dioxide emissions
January 13, 2017 08:32 AM - University of Oxford

The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has proposed a new framework for US agencies to use to estimate the 'social cost of carbon dioxide' emissions. Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science at the Environmental Change Institute, helped compile the report which will strengthen the scientific basis and provide greater transparency for US climate policy. 

Study describes new method to remove nickel from contaminated seawater
January 12, 2017 10:11 AM - Springer

The same deposit that builds up in many tea kettles or water pipes in areas where calcium-rich water is the norm might be just the (cheap) ticket to rid contaminated seawater of toxic metals. This is according to a study by a research group led by Charlotte Carré of the University of New Caledonia in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia and published today in Springer’s journal Environmental Chemistry Letters. The researchers dipped electrodes made from galvanized steel into contaminated seawater and ran a weak current through it. Within seven days, up to 24 percent of the nickel it initially contained was trapped in a calcareous build-up of limestone.

Beijing Creates Anti-Smog Police to Fight Air Pollution
January 12, 2017 09:26 AM - , Care2

Authorities in Beijing are taking new actions to resolve the city’s ongoing and harmful air pollution problem with the creation of an anti-smog police force — but will it help?

Beijing’s acting mayor Cai Qi reportedly announced the initiative on Saturday, January 7. The dedicated branch of regulation enforcement will patrol the streets looking specifically for violations that could harm air quality, including open air barbecues, unlicensed burning of materials and improperly maintained roads.

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