Pollution

In Mussels Across the Globe, Evidence of the Spread of Plastic Pollution
December 27, 2017 09:39 AM - Yale Environment 360

Scientists have discovered tiny bits of plastic in mussels in oceans across the globe, from supposedly pristine Arctic waters near Norway to the coasts of China, Chile, Canada, Britain, and Belgium, Reuters reported. The findings from several recent surveys are the latest evidence that plastic pollution isn’t just ending up in marine environments, but also in the food we eat. 

In Mussels Across the Globe, Evidence of the Spread of Plastic Pollution
December 27, 2017 09:39 AM - Yale Environment 360

Scientists have discovered tiny bits of plastic in mussels in oceans across the globe, from supposedly pristine Arctic waters near Norway to the coasts of China, Chile, Canada, Britain, and Belgium, Reuters reported. The findings from several recent surveys are the latest evidence that plastic pollution isn’t just ending up in marine environments, but also in the food we eat. 

Mixing State of Black Carbon from Biomass Burning Differs Evidently in Different Combustion Phase
December 21, 2017 03:49 PM - Institute of Atmospheric Physics Chinese Academy of Sciences

As a short-lived climate forcer, black carbon aerosols in the atmosphere play a vital role in climate change by absorbing solar radiation and altering the formation, lifespan and albedo of clouds. It also provides "seed" for haze formation in urban/regional scale. In northern China, open biomass burning (OBB), such as straw burning after harvesting, is one of important sources of refractory black carbon (rBC). OBB emits both soot particles and substantial amount of semi-volatile organic matters, both of which will undergo a very complicated mixing and evolution processes in the atmosphere to change their ability to form cloud condensation nuclei.

Pesticides and Poor Nutrition Damage Animal Health
December 20, 2017 11:32 AM - Mario Aguilera, University of California - San Diego

The combined effects of pesticides and a lack of nutrition form a deadly one-two punch, new research from biologists at the University of California San Diego has shown for the first time.

Polluted woods: leaves contaminate soil with hydrocarbon
December 20, 2017 11:20 AM - Ca Foscari University of Venice

In the Autumn leaves fall and apparently contaminate soil. It happens in the Italian woods where remediation is required by law for heavy hydrocarbon concentration greater than 50 milligrams per kilo.

Healthier Air due to the Low Emission Zone
December 20, 2017 11:11 AM - Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research

The Low Emission Zone in Leipzig was established in March 2011, allowing only access of Diesel vehicles of Euro4 and higher with few exceptions. The ban of older vehicles and subsequent modernization of the car fleet resulted in slightly reduced PM10 and PM2.5 mass concentrations. However, the mass concentration of black carbon (soot particles) emitted mainly from Diesel vehicles decreased by 60% at the street site. These particles are believed to be most dangerous due to their carcinogenic trace compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Furthermore, also the number concentration of ultrafine particles, which can penetrate deep into the lungs, decreased by approximately 70%. Despite modernized Diesel vehicles, nitrogen oxides concentrations did not follow these trends and remained nearly constant. The main achievement of the Low Emission Zone was the improvement of air quality by the reduction of the most dangerous particles.

Probing Air Pollution with Laser Sensors
December 19, 2017 02:22 PM - Sharon Adarlo

Mark Zondlo, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University and its Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, develops tools to measure air pollution in more sophisticated and nimble ways than previously possible.

His specially engineered laser sensors and drones help reveal the impact of greenhouse gases and air pollutants on the climate, where pollutants come from, and how clouds of air pollution — such as smog — form. The ultimate goal is to inform policy that will clear the air and our lungs and slash air pollution’s staggering impact on human mortality. Severe air pollution causes the premature death worldwide of more than 5.5 million people per year, according to news reports based on data compiled for the Global Burden of Disease project.

Probing Air Pollution with Laser Sensors
December 19, 2017 02:22 PM - Sharon Adarlo

Mark Zondlo, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University and its Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, develops tools to measure air pollution in more sophisticated and nimble ways than previously possible.

His specially engineered laser sensors and drones help reveal the impact of greenhouse gases and air pollutants on the climate, where pollutants come from, and how clouds of air pollution — such as smog — form. The ultimate goal is to inform policy that will clear the air and our lungs and slash air pollution’s staggering impact on human mortality. Severe air pollution causes the premature death worldwide of more than 5.5 million people per year, according to news reports based on data compiled for the Global Burden of Disease project.

Carbon Loophole: Why Is Wood Burning Counted as Green Energy?
December 19, 2017 09:51 AM - Yale Environment 360

It was once one of Europe’s largest coal-burning power stations. Now, after replacing coal in its boilers with wood pellets shipped from the U.S. South, the Drax Power Station in Britain claims to be the largest carbon-saving project in Europe. About 23 million tons of carbon dioxide goes up its stacks each year. But because new trees will be planted in the cut forests, the company says the Drax plant is carbon-neutral.

Mapping frog genome is huge leap in identifying environmental contaminant effects on thyroid system
December 19, 2017 08:42 AM - University of Victoria

A University of Victoria molecular biologist has gained new insights into how environmental contaminants may disrupt thyroid systems, discovered while assembling the genome of the North American bullfrog.

Caren Helbing’s findings could help explain the mechanisms of early development and metamorphosis, as well as how environmental contaminants cause thyroid-related diseases and malfunctions.

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