Pollution

Treated hydraulic fracturing wastewater may pollute area water sources for years
July 19, 2017 12:10 PM - Penn State

Given Pennsylvania’s abundant natural resources, it’s no surprise that the Commonwealth has become a mecca for hydraulic fracturing. Researchers, however, have recently discovered that releasing millions of gallons of treated hydraulic fracturing wastewater each year into area surface waters may have longer-lasting effects than originally thought.

Treated hydraulic fracturing wastewater may pollute area water sources for years
July 19, 2017 12:10 PM - Penn State

Given Pennsylvania’s abundant natural resources, it’s no surprise that the Commonwealth has become a mecca for hydraulic fracturing. Researchers, however, have recently discovered that releasing millions of gallons of treated hydraulic fracturing wastewater each year into area surface waters may have longer-lasting effects than originally thought.

New USGS Filter Removes Phosphorus from Waste Water
July 19, 2017 08:48 AM - USGS

A tabletop water filter demo designed to remove phosphorus from waste water has in five-years grown into a fully functional water treatment system capable of filtering more than 100-thousand gallons per day.

Designed by a small U.S. Geological Survey team, this cost-effective and environmentally friendly water filter system uses discarded mining byproducts, called mine drainage ochre, as the primary filtering agent to remove phosphorus from municipal and agricultural waste waters.

Man-Made Aerosols Identified as Driver in Shifting Global Rainfall Patterns
July 18, 2017 01:12 PM - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

In a new study, scientists found that aerosol particles released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels are a primary driver of changes in rainfall patterns across the globe.

The results of the climate system-model simulations conducted by researchers Brian Soden and Eui-Seok Chung from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science revealed that changes in clouds, as a result of their interaction with these man-made aerosols in the atmosphere, are driving large-scale shifts in rainfall and temperature on Earth.

New rules urgently needed to protect our oceans, Oxford scientists warn
July 18, 2017 08:36 AM - University of Oxford

Marine scientists from Oxford’s, Department of Zoology, have presented a United Nations (UN) panel with an overview of the risks facing our oceans.The UN members were meeting for the latest round of negotiations towards a possible high seas treaty.

The Oxford report reveals the severe risk to the open ocean from climate change, over-fishing, deep-sea mining, farm and plastics pollution. The paper calls for immediate legal protection of the high seas.

Key to Speeding Up Carbon Sequestration Discovered
July 17, 2017 05:39 PM - California Institute of Technology

Scientists at Caltech and USC have discovered a way to speed up the slow part of the chemical reaction that ultimately helps the earth to safely lock away, or sequester, carbon dioxide into the ocean. Simply adding a common enzyme to the mix, the researchers have found, can make that rate-limiting part of the process go 500 times faster. 

A paper about the work appears online the week of July 17 ahead of publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ozone Pollution Connected to Cardiovascular Health
July 17, 2017 02:09 PM - Duke University

Exposure to ozone, long associated with impaired lung function, is also connected to health changes that can cause cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke, according to a new study of Chinese adults.

These findings, by a team from Duke University, Tsinghua University, Duke Kunshan University and Peking University, appear in the July 17, 2017 edition of JAMA Internal Medicine.

Diesel is now better than gas
July 17, 2017 01:30 PM - University of Montreal

Modern diesel cars emit less pollution generally than cars that run on gasoline, says a new six-nation study published today in Scientific Reports whose groundwork was laid in part by an American chemist now working at Université de Montréal.

And since diesel is so much cleaner than before, environmental regulators should increasingly shift their focus to dirtier gasoline-powered cars and other sources of air pollution, says the UdeM scientist, Patrick Hayes.

Oil Impairs Ability of Coral Reef Fish to Find Homes and Evade Predators
July 17, 2017 12:21 PM - University of Texas At Austin

Just as one too many cocktails can lead a person to make bad choices, a few drops of oil can cause coral reef fish to make poor decisions, according to a paper published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution. A team of fisheries biologists led by Jacob Johansen and Andrew Esbaugh of The University of Texas Marine Science Institute have discovered that oil impacts the higher-order thinking of coral reef fish in a way that could prove dangerous for them—and for the coral reefs where they make their home.

Treated Fracking Wastewater Contaminated Watershed with Radium and Endocrine Disrupters, Study Finds
July 17, 2017 12:06 PM - Yale Environment 360

A study in the Marcellus Shale region of western Pennsylvania has shown that even after being treated, wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations left significant contamination in a waterway downstream of treatment plants. 

Researchers from Penn State University, Colorado State University, and Dartmouth College studied sediments from Conemaugh River Lake — a dammed reservoir east of Pittsburgh — and found that they were contaminated with endocrine-disrupting chemicals called nonylphenol ethoxylates; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are carcinogens; and elevated levels of radium. 

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