Pollution

Stronger turbine blades with molybdenum silicides
September 23, 2016 04:24 PM - National Institute for Materials Science via ScienceDaily

Researchers at Kyoto University have found that molybdenum silicides can improve the efficiency of turbine blades in ultrahigh-temperature combustion systems.

Gas turbines are the engines that generate electricity in power plants. The operating temperatures of their combustion systems can exceed 1600 °C. The nickel-based turbine blades used in these systems melt at temperatures 200 °C lower and thus require air-cooling to function. Turbine blades made out of materials with higher melting temperatures would require less fuel consumption and lead to lower CO2 emissions.

California 'street tree' benefits valued at $1 billion
June 14, 2016 04:21 PM - USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station Via EurekAlert!

Streets lined with gold? Not exactly, but a new report from the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station estimates trees lining Californian streets and boulevards provide benefits to municipalities and residents worth $1 billion.

Gas Stations Close as Fire Rages Near Alberta Oil Sands
June 14, 2016 10:34 AM - Jan Lee , Triple Pundit

The wildfire that roared through Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, last May has been called the worst fire in Canadian history. Its devastation is staggering: More than 100,000 residents and nearby workers were evacuated at different stages of the fire, and more than 2,200 square miles of land and 2,400 structures burned in two provinces: Alberta and its eastern neighbor, Saskatchewan. With the fire only 70 percent contained to date, its economic impact is yet to be tallied.

Antarctic lakes are a repository for ancient soot
June 13, 2016 04:08 PM - National Science Foundation via ScienceDaily

Remote lakes in a perpetually ice-free area of Antarctica show not only the chemical signature of ancient wildfires, but also some much more recent evidence of fossil-fuel combustion, according to National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

How Air Pollution Impacts Childhood Mental Health
June 13, 2016 12:23 PM - Steve Williams, Care2

Air pollution is a known risk factor for certain mental health problems in adults, but a new study also links high rates of air pollution to poorer psychiatric health in children and adolescents.

To investigate this link, researchers from Umeå University in Sweden examined what is known as “register-based” data. All medications given to Swedish people are registered, and in this case, researchers zeroed in on individuals under age 18 from Stockholm, Västra Götaland, Skåne and Västerbotten. They then looked at this information in connection with the Swedish National Register, which logs air pollution.

Environmental and health impacts of US health-care system
June 9, 2016 04:40 PM - Yale University

If the U.S. healthcare system were a country, it would rank 13th in the world for greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research. The study, published June 9 in PLOS ONE, quantified previously unreported environmental and public health impacts of the nation's healthcare sector.

Climate change mitigation: Turning CO2 into rock
June 9, 2016 04:24 PM - University of Southampton

An international team of scientists have found a potentially viable way to remove anthropogenic (caused or influenced by humans) carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere - turn it into rock.

The study, published today in Science, has shown for the first time that the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) can be permanently and rapidly locked away from the atmosphere, by injecting it into volcanic bedrock. The CO2 reacts with the surrounding rock, forming environmentally benign minerals.

Not So Healthy: Young Fish Eat Microplastics Like Fast Food
June 6, 2016 05:06 PM - Steve Williams, Care2

New research shows that young fish are eating tiny pieces of plastic instead of their regular food — with potentially devastating consequences.

A study published this month in the journal “Science” explains that juvenile perch larvae appear to be eating microplastics in place of their usual food sources, like free-swimming zooplankton. This hinders fish development, leaving them more susceptible to predators.

Microplastics — plastic particles that measure below 5mm — infiltrate our environments as a result of litter, such as plastic bags, packaging and other materials, that eventually end up in the sea. Microbeads — tiny plastics often found in health products, such as face scrubs and even some toothpastes — represent another major source of pollution. For this reason, a number of governments have either banned or are considering banning microbeads.

High blood pressure linked to short-, long-term exposure to some air pollutants
June 1, 2016 02:21 PM - American Heart Association via ScienceDaily

High blood pressure was associated with short-term and long-term exposure to some air pollutants commonly associated with the burning/combustion of fossil fuels, dust and dirt, a new study shows. Researchers suggest people -- especially those with high blood pressure -- limit their time outdoors when pollution levels are high.

Honeybees pick up 'astonishing' number of pesticides via non-crop plants
June 1, 2016 11:25 AM - PURDUE UNIVERSITY via EurekAlert!

A Purdue University study shows that honeybees collect the vast majority of their pollen from plants other than crops, even in areas dominated by corn and soybeans, and that pollen is consistently contaminated with a host of agricultural and urban pesticides throughout the growing season.

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