Pollution

Natural gas leaks from power plants, refineries, 100 times greater than thought
March 22, 2017 05:02 PM - Steve Horn , Ecologist

Natural gas is meant to be a far lower carbon fuel than coal, writes Steve Horn. But a new study shows that methane leaks from gas power plants and oil refineries are 20-120 times higher than thought. And with methane a greenhouse gas almost 100 times stronger than CO2 over 20 years, the leaks are equivalent to about a tenth of the US's CO2 emissions.

Salmon with side effects
March 22, 2017 04:53 PM - Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ

Tasty, versatile, and rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids: salmon is one of the most popular edible fish of all. Shops sell fish caught in the wild, but their main produce is salmon from breeding farms which can pollute rivers, lakes and oceans. Just how big is the problem? German and Chilean scientists are working to answer this question under the leadership of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). They examined the dissolved organic compounds which enter Chile's rivers from salmon farms, and have published a report in the journal Scientific Reports, warning that these substances are placing huge strain on ecosystems and are changing entire biological communities.

Salmon with side effects
March 22, 2017 04:53 PM - Helmholtz Centre For Environmental Research - UFZ

Tasty, versatile, and rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids: salmon is one of the most popular edible fish of all. Shops sell fish caught in the wild, but their main produce is salmon from breeding farms which can pollute rivers, lakes and oceans. Just how big is the problem? German and Chilean scientists are working to answer this question under the leadership of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ). They examined the dissolved organic compounds which enter Chile's rivers from salmon farms, and have published a report in the journal Scientific Reports, warning that these substances are placing huge strain on ecosystems and are changing entire biological communities.

The Cerberus Groundsnake is a Critically Endangered new species from Ecuador
March 22, 2017 12:06 PM - Pensoft Publishers

With as many as 140 species, Atractus is the most diverse snake genus in the world, even though it can be found exclusively in Central and South America. However, these colubrid ground snakes seem largely under-researched, since there have been thirty-three species discovered in the last ten years only.

Wastewater should be recognized as a valuable resource, UN says on World Water Day
March 22, 2017 12:00 PM - United Nations New Centre

In a world where the demand for water continues to grow and the resource is finite, a new United Nations report argues that wastewater, discarded into the environment every day, once treated, can help meet the needs for freshwater as well as for raw materials for energy and agriculture.

"Super sponge" promises effective toxic clean-up of lakes and more
March 22, 2017 11:43 AM - University of Minnesota

Mercury is very toxic and can cause long-term health damage, but removing it from water is challenging. To address this growing problem, University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Sciences (CFANS) Professor Abdennour Abbas and his lab team created a spongethat can absorb mercury from a polluted water source within seconds. Thanks to the application of nanotechnology, the team developed a sponge with outstanding mercury adsorption properties where mercury contaminations can be removed from tap, lake and industrial wastewater to below detectable limits in less than 5 seconds (or around 5 minutes for industrial wastewater). The sponge converts the contamination into a non-toxic complex so it can be disposed of in a landfill after use. The sponge also kills bacterial and fungal microbes.

"Super sponge" promises effective toxic clean-up of lakes and more
March 22, 2017 11:43 AM - University of Minnesota

Mercury is very toxic and can cause long-term health damage, but removing it from water is challenging. To address this growing problem, University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Sciences (CFANS) Professor Abdennour Abbas and his lab team created a spongethat can absorb mercury from a polluted water source within seconds. Thanks to the application of nanotechnology, the team developed a sponge with outstanding mercury adsorption properties where mercury contaminations can be removed from tap, lake and industrial wastewater to below detectable limits in less than 5 seconds (or around 5 minutes for industrial wastewater). The sponge converts the contamination into a non-toxic complex so it can be disposed of in a landfill after use. The sponge also kills bacterial and fungal microbes.

2017 U.S. Wildfire Season Off to an Intense Start
March 21, 2017 03:59 PM - Yale Environment 360

Wildfires have consumed more than 2 million acres of U.S. land so far this year, nearly 10 times the long-term average and a punishing start to this year’s wildfire season, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).

Running Delivery Trucks on Trolley Wires Isn't as Crazy as It Sounds
March 20, 2017 02:07 PM - Jack Stewart via Wired

ELECTRIC TRUCKS OFFER all the advantages of electric cars, namely, they’re greener. Trucks are a big source of the noxious emissions linked to smog and climate change. Minimizing the number of stinky, dirty diesels rumbling through town carries obvious public health benefits. But powering delivery trucks, let alone an 18-wheeler, with a big honkin’ battery simply isn’t practical. So engineers are taking another look at a century old solution: Stringing electrical cables over the road.

China's Severe Winter Haze Tied to Climate Change
March 17, 2017 03:40 PM - Georgia Institute of Technology

China's severe winter air pollution problems may be worsened by changes in atmospheric circulation prompted by Arctic sea ice loss and increased Eurasian snowfall – both caused by global climate change.

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