Pollution

Mystery of the missing mercury at the great Salt Lake
April 27, 2017 10:29 AM - University of Utah

Around 2010, the deep waters of Utah’s Great Salt Lake contained high levels of toxic methylmercury. Mercury measurements in waterfowl surrounding the lake led to a rare human consumption advisory for ducks.

But by 2015, 90 percent of the deep mercury was gone.

The disappearance of the mercury was not due to aggressive environmental policies or a wide-ranging cleanup effort. Instead, it’s part of a story involving a large-scale unplanned chemistry experiment, a sometimes-stinky lake, and ducks – in which the mercury did not disappear. The story is told in a paper published in Environmental Science & Technology.

As government delays pollution plan, study shows how killer nanoparticles cause heart disease
April 26, 2017 10:00 AM - Oliver Tickell, Ecologist

A new study explains for the first time how nanoparticles like those in diesel exhaust fumes cause heart disease by lodging in inflamed blood vessels, writes Oliver Tickell. The study, published as the UK government is ordered before the High Court to justify its refusal to publish plans to tackle illegal air pollution which afflicts 38 million people, also raises wider fears about 'engineered nanoparticles' in the environment.

As government delays pollution plan, study shows how killer nanoparticles cause heart disease
April 26, 2017 10:00 AM - Oliver Tickell, Ecologist

A new study explains for the first time how nanoparticles like those in diesel exhaust fumes cause heart disease by lodging in inflamed blood vessels, writes Oliver Tickell. The study, published as the UK government is ordered before the High Court to justify its refusal to publish plans to tackle illegal air pollution which afflicts 38 million people, also raises wider fears about 'engineered nanoparticles' in the environment.

Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlements: Where the money went
April 26, 2017 08:06 AM - NOAA

On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded off the Gulf Coast, killing 11 people and injuring 17. So began an 87-day oil spill that spewed 3.19 million barrels, or nearly 134 million gallons, into the Gulf of Mexico. It fouled the coasts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas and launched a six-year long environmental and legal battle.

India's outsized coal plans would wipe out Paris climate goals
April 25, 2017 04:33 PM - University of California - Irvine

India will not be able to meet its Paris climate agreement commitments in the coming years if it carries through with plans to construct nearly 370 coal-fired power plants, according to University of California, Irvine and CoalSwarm researchers.

“India is facing a dilemma of its own making,” said UCI associate professor of Earth system science Steven Davis, co-author of a study published today in the American Geophysical Union journal Earth’s Future. “The country has vowed to curtail its use of fossil fuels in electricity generation, but it has also put itself on a path to building hundreds of coal-burning power plants to feed its growing industrial economy.”

India's outsized coal plans would wipe out Paris climate goals
April 25, 2017 04:33 PM - University of California - Irvine

India will not be able to meet its Paris climate agreement commitments in the coming years if it carries through with plans to construct nearly 370 coal-fired power plants, according to University of California, Irvine and CoalSwarm researchers.

“India is facing a dilemma of its own making,” said UCI associate professor of Earth system science Steven Davis, co-author of a study published today in the American Geophysical Union journal Earth’s Future. “The country has vowed to curtail its use of fossil fuels in electricity generation, but it has also put itself on a path to building hundreds of coal-burning power plants to feed its growing industrial economy.”

Toronto's subways expose passengers to more air pollution than Montreal, Vancouver systems
April 25, 2017 08:14 AM - University of Toronto

Airborne particulates on subway platforms and trains are up to 10 times higher than outside air, around three times higher than levels in Montreal’s Metro

A new study co-authored by U of T Engineering Professor Greg Evans shows that subways increase our personal exposure to certain pollutants, even as they decrease overall emissions – and that Toronto has the highest levels in Canada.

Toronto's subways expose passengers to more air pollution than Montreal, Vancouver systems
April 25, 2017 08:14 AM - University of Toronto

Airborne particulates on subway platforms and trains are up to 10 times higher than outside air, around three times higher than levels in Montreal’s Metro

A new study co-authored by U of T Engineering Professor Greg Evans shows that subways increase our personal exposure to certain pollutants, even as they decrease overall emissions – and that Toronto has the highest levels in Canada.

Global Warming Making Oceans More Toxic, Research Shows
April 25, 2017 07:15 AM - Stony Brook University

Ocean warming since the 1980s is linked to the spread of toxic algae, according to a newly published study led by Dr. Christopher Gobler, marine science professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook University.

New Approach to Improve Detection of Landfill-Related Pollution
April 24, 2017 02:51 PM - The Optical Society

Numerous hazardous substances seep from landfills into soil and groundwater, threatening human health and the environment. However, current methods for monitoring these substances are cumbersome and can create additional hazardous chemicals. 

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