Pollution

Pollution 'devastating' China's vital ecosystem, research shows
June 1, 2017 10:54 AM - University of Exeter

The startling extent to which man-made pollution is devastating China’s vital ecosystem’s ability to offset damaging carbon emissions has been revealed.

Pollution 'devastating' China's vital ecosystem, research shows
June 1, 2017 10:54 AM - University of Exeter

The startling extent to which man-made pollution is devastating China’s vital ecosystem’s ability to offset damaging carbon emissions has been revealed.

Even Elon Musk May Not Be Able to Make an Electric Truck Work
June 1, 2017 09:40 AM - Eric Adams via Wired

It's been nearly a year since Elon Musk revealed his intention to electrify the world’s roads with buses and trucks in addition to Tesla’s passenger cars. He hasn’t said much about the 18-wheeler—a proper unveil is set for September—except that it will use same motors as the upcoming Model 3, and that it would, of course, disrupt an industry that generates one quarter of US transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.

Human Activity has Polluted European Air for 2000 Years, Study Finds
June 1, 2017 07:20 AM - American Geophysical Union

A new study combining European ice core data and historical records of the infamous Black Death pandemic of 1349-1353 shows metal mining and smelting have polluted the environment for thousands of years, challenging the widespread belief that environmental pollution began with the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s and 1800s.

UT Study Shows Virus Infection May be Linked to Toledo Water Crisis
May 31, 2017 11:12 AM - The University of Tennessee – Knoxville

In August 2014, toxins from algal blooms in Lake Erie shut down the city of Toledo, Ohio’s water supply, leaving half a million residents without potable water for more than two days. A new study co-authored by UT researchers shows that a virus may have been involved in the crisis and suggests methods for more stringent monitoring of water supplies.

Steven Wilhelm, Kenneth and Blaire Mossman Professor of Microbiology, along with UT graduate students Joshua Stough and Lauren Krausfeldt, worked with a team of 25 researchers to examine the physiological traits of Microcystis, the cyanobacterial organism responsible for scum-like algal blooms in Lake Erie. They found that it was consistent with algal blooms from 2012 and 2013 except for one thing—the Microcystis cells had a viral infection. Typically, toxins from algal blooms are trapped within the cell until the cell dies. But virus infections can cause cells to break open, leaking the toxin into the water and subsequently into water facility intake pipes and treatment centers.

UT Study Shows Virus Infection May be Linked to Toledo Water Crisis
May 31, 2017 11:12 AM - The University of Tennessee – Knoxville

In August 2014, toxins from algal blooms in Lake Erie shut down the city of Toledo, Ohio’s water supply, leaving half a million residents without potable water for more than two days. A new study co-authored by UT researchers shows that a virus may have been involved in the crisis and suggests methods for more stringent monitoring of water supplies.

Steven Wilhelm, Kenneth and Blaire Mossman Professor of Microbiology, along with UT graduate students Joshua Stough and Lauren Krausfeldt, worked with a team of 25 researchers to examine the physiological traits of Microcystis, the cyanobacterial organism responsible for scum-like algal blooms in Lake Erie. They found that it was consistent with algal blooms from 2012 and 2013 except for one thing—the Microcystis cells had a viral infection. Typically, toxins from algal blooms are trapped within the cell until the cell dies. But virus infections can cause cells to break open, leaking the toxin into the water and subsequently into water facility intake pipes and treatment centers.

NOx: Traffic Dramatically Underestimated as Major Polluter
May 31, 2017 10:44 AM - University of Innsbruck

In metropolitan areas throughout Europe maximum permissible values of nitrogen oxide are consistently breached. It has been a challenge to determine how much each polluter contributes to the emission output. Until now emission levels were mainly calculated by collecting emission data at laboratory testing facilities and subsequently extrapolating them in models. However, the amount of pollutant emissions that vehicles emit on a daily basis depends on numerous factors, for example on individual driving behavior. The recent Diesel scandal showed, for example, that measurements at engine test stands based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) or similar emission testing procedures can be highly uncertain for predicting actual environmental impacts. A large number of new studies have recently been published suggesting that emission levels from test stands have to be adjusted upwards.

NOx: Traffic Dramatically Underestimated as Major Polluter
May 31, 2017 10:44 AM - University of Innsbruck

In metropolitan areas throughout Europe maximum permissible values of nitrogen oxide are consistently breached. It has been a challenge to determine how much each polluter contributes to the emission output. Until now emission levels were mainly calculated by collecting emission data at laboratory testing facilities and subsequently extrapolating them in models. However, the amount of pollutant emissions that vehicles emit on a daily basis depends on numerous factors, for example on individual driving behavior. The recent Diesel scandal showed, for example, that measurements at engine test stands based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) or similar emission testing procedures can be highly uncertain for predicting actual environmental impacts. A large number of new studies have recently been published suggesting that emission levels from test stands have to be adjusted upwards.

Are Bidets More Environmentally Friendly Than Toilet Paper?
May 31, 2017 07:23 AM - s.e. smith, Care2

While bidets remain unpopular in America, they’re a familiar fixture in bathrooms all over the world. And they raise an inevitable question: Is it better for the environment if you wipe, or should you wash instead?

The answer may surprise you — and could lead you to rethink your next bathroom remodel.

Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
May 30, 2017 05:34 PM - Jennifer Langston via University of Washington

Delivering packages with drones can reduce carbon dioxide emissions in certain circumstances as compared to truck deliveries, a new study from University of Washington  transportation engineers finds.

In a paper to be published in an upcoming issue of Transportation Research Part D, researchers found that drones tend to have carbon dioxide emissions advantages over trucks when the drones don’t have to fly very far to their destinations or when a delivery route has few recipients.

Trucks — which can offer environmental benefits by carrying everything from clothes to appliances to furniture in a single trip — become a more climate-friendly alternative when a delivery route has many stops or is farther away from a central warehouse.

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