Pollution

Utility emissions in US trending down
May 31, 2014 09:16 AM - NRDC

A new report on U.S. power plant emissions from the country's top 100 electric power producers shows a downward trend in nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxides (SO2), mercury and carbon dioxide (CO2) since 2000, with CO2 emissions decreasing 13 percent between 2008 and 2012. The findings show that the industry is already shifting toward a combination of increased energy efficiency and lower carbon fuel sources, which should help it meet new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) carbon standards expected to be announced on June 2. "The electric power industry is firmly on the path toward a low carbon energy future, and history shows that it is not only capable of meeting new pollution limits, but that it can do so while keeping our lights on and our economy growing," said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocacy group which helped produce the report. "EPA's proposed standards will stimulate further investment in low-carbon, low-risk resources like renewable power and energy efficiency."

British Airways Turns Garbage into Jet Fuel: Sustainable Solution or Incineration in Disguise?
May 30, 2014 02:03 PM - Alexis Petru, Triple Pundit

Can garbage power your plane ride from New York to London? That’s the idea behind a new production plant that will transform waste from London's homes and businesses into a jet fuel that costs about the same price as conventional petroleum-based fuel but burns cleaner and produces fewer carbon emissions.

Airport pollution worse than the freeways in LA?
May 30, 2014 07:44 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen

A new study has found that heavy airplane traffic contributes to even more pollution to the skies above Los Angeles than the city’s congested freeways. And the research results, published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, revealed the effect continues for up to 10 miles away.

Rules to cut carbon emissions also reduce harmful air pollution
May 28, 2014 08:58 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Setting strong standards for climate-changing carbon emissions from power stations would provide the added bonus of reducing other air pollutants that can make people sick and damage the environment. A first-of-its-kind study released today by scientists at Syracuse University and Harvard has mapped the potential environmental and human health benefits of power plant carbon standards and found potential for reductions of more than 750 thousand tons of other harmful air pollutants across the US.

EPA doles out grants to replace old diesel engines on tug boats
May 27, 2014 03:17 PM - Allison Winter, ENN

The shipping industry is one of the most under-regulated industries in the world due to outdated and international regulations that are difficult to enforce on a global scale. And as these ships enter our harbors and ports close to home, their operations have the potential to generate smog-forming emissions and other pollutants that are linked to various health problems in susceptible populations. In an effort to combat some of the pollution expelled from dirty diesel engines, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has allotted over one million dollars to help two specific organizations replace their old engines with less polluting models. According to the EPA, the projects will cut emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides and particulate matter among other pollutants which are linked to asthma, lung and heart disease and premature death.

Winds of Environmental Change in China
May 22, 2014 07:51 AM - Alex Wang and Benjamin van Rooij, UCLA

China's national legislature has adopted sweeping changes to the country's Environmental Protection Law, revisions that have been hailed as major steps toward saving China's environment from rampant degradation. The authorities will now have stronger enforcement powers, including the right to detain persistent violators for up to 15 days and to fine polluters more heavily than before. Some legally registered civil-society organizations will now be able to initiate public-interest litigation as well.

Technology reducing cost of solar panels by half
May 21, 2014 10:00 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen

A world expert on solar panels will today outline how his pioneering work is set to significantly improve the performance of solar panels whilst simultaneously contributing to their cost being reduced by half. The technology will be commercialized within the next five years.

Longer growing season does not yield growth increase for trees and shrubs
May 21, 2014 09:29 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

As the earth's temperatures rise, some have speculated that trees and shrubs in the colder climates might experience and increase in growth as a result of the extended growing season. "Not so," says a recent study authored by a University of Washington biology and applied mathematics postdoctoral student. Her study demonstrates that bushes achieve less yearly growth when cold winter temperatures are interrupted by warm spurts that trigger growth.

Antarctica dances to Carole King's "The Earth Moves Under My Feet"
May 20, 2014 02:07 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Antarctica has apparently been living by the lyrics of Carole King's 1971 hit song "The Earth Moves Under My Feet". According to a study from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, Antarctica has been moving "rapidly". Recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, the study explains why the upward motion of the Earth's crust in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula is currently taking place so quickly. While earlier studies have shown the earth is 'rebounding' due to the overlying ice sheet shrinking in response to climate change, GPS data is suggesting otherwise. The international research team led in part by Newcastle researchers has revealed that this land is rising at a remarkable rate of 15mm a year.

"State of the Air 2014" Shows Half the U.S. Lives with Unhealthy Air
May 20, 2014 07:50 AM - American Lung Association

Nearly half of all Americans — more than 147 million — live in counties in the U.S. where ozone or particle pollutions levels make the air unhealthy to breathe, according to the American Lung Association's "State of the Air 2014" report released today. The 15th annual national report card shows that while the nation overall continued to reduce particle pollution, a pollutant recently found to cause lung cancer, poor air quality remains a significant public health concern and a changing climate threatens to make it harder to protect human health.

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