Pollution

Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' is the largest ever measured
August 2, 2017 02:45 PM - NOAA

Scientists have determined this year’s Gulf of Mexico “dead zone,” an area of low oxygen that can kill fish and marine life, is 8,776 square miles, an area about the size of New Jersey. It is the largest measured since dead zone mapping began there in 1985.

The measured size is close to the 8,185 square miles forecast by NOAA in June

Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' is the largest ever measured
August 2, 2017 02:45 PM - NOAA

Scientists have determined this year’s Gulf of Mexico “dead zone,” an area of low oxygen that can kill fish and marine life, is 8,776 square miles, an area about the size of New Jersey. It is the largest measured since dead zone mapping began there in 1985.

The measured size is close to the 8,185 square miles forecast by NOAA in June

Wildfires Continue to Beleaguer Western Canada
August 1, 2017 05:36 PM - NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

Like tourist season, wildfire season is also in full swing in British Columbia.  Whereas tourists are welcomed to the Canadian province, wildfires are not.  In British Columbia alone there are close to 500 wildfires active to date.  Most of these wildfires are located in three general areas--in the Caribou Fire Centre located in the Frasier Plateau directly north of Vancouver, in the Kamloops Fire Centre in the Thomas Plateau, which is east of Whistler, and the Southeast Fire Centre which is east of Kamloops.  All current fires of note can be viewed on this interactive map:  http://governmentofbc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=a1e7b1ecb1514974a9ca00bdbfffa3b1 

Wildfires in British Columbia are common at this time of year due to rising temperatures, however, this year is the third worst year in the region for forest fires.  To date 840 fires have broken out since April 1 of this year.  Although it started slow, 2017 is shaping up to be a record breaking fire season if not for numbers of fires, then for the sheer amount of hectares burned.  In an area where rainfall is the norm, to have days and weeks without rainfall is unusual and helps to create a hot, dry environment with plenty of underbrush that fires use as fuel.  

'Missing lead' in Flint water pipes confirms cause of crisis
July 28, 2017 10:33 AM - University of Michigan

A study of lead service lines in Flint's damaged drinking water system reveals a Swiss cheese pattern in the pipes' interior crust, with holes where the lead used to be.

The findings—led by researchers at the University of Michigan—support the generally accepted understanding that lead leached into the system because that water wasn't treated to prevent corrosion. While previous studies had pointed to this mechanism, this is the first direct evidence. It contradicts a regulator's claim earlier this year that corrosion control chemicals would not have prevented the water crisis.

Australia is Building a 1,250-Mile Highway for Electric Vehicles
July 27, 2017 04:54 PM - Yale Environment 360

Australia will install 18 electric vehicle fast-charging stations along a nearly 1,250-mile stretch of coastal highway in Queensland, creating one of the world’s longest EV roadways, Reuters reported

The network, which will cost $3 million to build and open within six months, will stretch from Cairns to Coolangatta and west to Toowoomba, running parallel to the Great Barrier Reef. The charging stations will power a vehicle in 30 minutes. Drivers will be able to charge their vehicles for free for at least a year.

Preterm Birth & Low Birth Weight Linked to Air Pollution Exposure Early in Pregnancy, Study Finds
July 27, 2017 11:25 AM - NYU Langone Health / NYU School of Medicine

Exposure to air pollution early in a pregnancy could increase risk for preterm birth and low birth weight, according to a study led by researchers at NYU School of Medicine, and published on July 27 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Heavy metals in water meet their match
July 27, 2017 08:46 AM - Rice University

Carbon nanotubes immobilized in a tuft of quartz fiber have the power to remove toxic heavy metals from water, according to researchers at Rice University.

Prize-winning filters produced in the lab of Rice chemist Andrew Barron by then-high school student and lead author Perry Alagappan absorb more than 99 percent of metals from samples laden with cadmium, cobalt, copper, mercury, nickel and lead. Once saturated, the filters can be washed with a mild household chemical like vinegar and reused.

The researchers calculated one gram of the material could treat 83,000 liters of contaminated water to meet World Health Organization standards — enough to supply the daily needs of 11,000 people.

New membranes help reduce carbon dioxide emission
July 26, 2017 12:34 PM - University of Twente

The University of Twente and the German Research Centre Jülich are collaborating on developing membranes for an efficient separation of gasses, to use for the production of oxygen or hydrogen, for example.

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.

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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