Pollution

Key to Speeding Up Carbon Sequestration Discovered
July 17, 2017 05:39 PM - California Institute of Technology

Scientists at Caltech and USC have discovered a way to speed up the slow part of the chemical reaction that ultimately helps the earth to safely lock away, or sequester, carbon dioxide into the ocean. Simply adding a common enzyme to the mix, the researchers have found, can make that rate-limiting part of the process go 500 times faster. 

A paper about the work appears online the week of July 17 ahead of publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ozone Pollution Connected to Cardiovascular Health
July 17, 2017 02:09 PM - Duke University

Exposure to ozone, long associated with impaired lung function, is also connected to health changes that can cause cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke, according to a new study of Chinese adults.

These findings, by a team from Duke University, Tsinghua University, Duke Kunshan University and Peking University, appear in the July 17, 2017 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine.

Diesel is now better than gas
July 17, 2017 01:30 PM - University of Montreal

Modern diesel cars emit less pollution generally than cars that run on gasoline, says a new six-nation study published today in Scientific Reports whose groundwork was laid in part by an American chemist now working at Université de Montréal.

And since diesel is so much cleaner than before, environmental regulators should increasingly shift their focus to dirtier gasoline-powered cars and other sources of air pollution, says the UdeM scientist, Patrick Hayes.

Oil Impairs Ability of Coral Reef Fish to Find Homes and Evade Predators
July 17, 2017 12:21 PM - University of Texas At Austin

Just as one too many cocktails can lead a person to make bad choices, a few drops of oil can cause coral reef fish to make poor decisions, according to a paper published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution. A team of fisheries biologists led by Jacob Johansen and Andrew Esbaugh of The University of Texas Marine Science Institute have discovered that oil impacts the higher-order thinking of coral reef fish in a way that could prove dangerous for them—and for the coral reefs where they make their home.

Treated Fracking Wastewater Contaminated Watershed with Radium and Endocrine Disrupters, Study Finds
July 17, 2017 12:06 PM - Yale Environment 360

A study in the Marcellus Shale region of western Pennsylvania has shown that even after being treated, wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations left significant contamination in a waterway downstream of treatment plants. 

Researchers from Penn State University, Colorado State University, and Dartmouth College studied sediments from Conemaugh River Lake — a dammed reservoir east of Pittsburgh — and found that they were contaminated with endocrine-disrupting chemicals called nonylphenol ethoxylates; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are carcinogens; and elevated levels of radium. 

New model projects an increase in dust storms in the US
July 17, 2017 08:46 AM - Princeton University

Could the storms that once engulfed the Great Plains in clouds of black dust in the 1930’s once again wreak havoc in the U.S.? A new statistical model developed by researchers at Princeton University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that climate change will amplify dust activity in parts of the U.S. in the latter half of the 21st century, which may lead to the increased frequency of spectacular dust storms that have far-reaching impacts on public health and infrastructure.

Four Out of 10 Americans Live in ''Double Whammy'' Climate Hot Spots Where Smog and Ragweed Threaten Health
July 14, 2017 03:35 PM - NRDC

Four out of 10 Americans live in “double whammy” counties where unhealthy smog and pollen-producing ragweed– both tied to the growing climate crisis – combine to threaten respiratory health, a Natural Resources Defense Council mapping project released today shows. 

NRDC’s analysis found air quality “hot spots” in states and areas with the greatest percentages of people living in areas with both ragweed and unhealthy ozone days. Ironically, Washington, D.C., -- where climate action is being rolled back — leads the rankings followed by  Connecticut, Rhode Island, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

127 million Americans live in zones where increased carbon dioxide and ozone smog pollution largely from burning fossil fuels, combined with more ragweed pollen, can worsen respiratory allergies and asthma. That can lead to more sick days, higher medical costs, and a rise in the number of heart problems and premature deaths each year.   

Four Out of 10 Americans Live in ''Double Whammy'' Climate Hot Spots Where Smog and Ragweed Threaten Health
July 14, 2017 03:35 PM - NRDC

Four out of 10 Americans live in “double whammy” counties where unhealthy smog and pollen-producing ragweed– both tied to the growing climate crisis – combine to threaten respiratory health, a Natural Resources Defense Council mapping project released today shows. 

NRDC’s analysis found air quality “hot spots” in states and areas with the greatest percentages of people living in areas with both ragweed and unhealthy ozone days. Ironically, Washington, D.C., -- where climate action is being rolled back — leads the rankings followed by  Connecticut, Rhode Island, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

127 million Americans live in zones where increased carbon dioxide and ozone smog pollution largely from burning fossil fuels, combined with more ragweed pollen, can worsen respiratory allergies and asthma. That can lead to more sick days, higher medical costs, and a rise in the number of heart problems and premature deaths each year.   

Chinese lakes less polluted after sanitation clean-up
July 14, 2017 12:38 PM - Norwegian Institute for Water Research

Pollution levels in many Chinese lakes have declined somewhat from high levels in the past decade, helped by billion-dollar investments in urban sewers and waste water treatment.

Study: Mountaintop Coal Mining Causes Appalachian Rivers to Run "Consistently Saltier"
July 14, 2017 12:33 PM - University of Wyoming

Mountaintop-removal coal mining causes many streams and rivers in Appalachia to run consistently saltier for up to 80 percent of the year, a new study by researchers at the University of Wyoming and Duke University finds.

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