Four out of 10 Americans live in “double whammy” counties where unhealthy smog and pollen-producing ragweed– both tied to the growing climate crisis – combine to threaten respiratory health, a Natural Resources Defense Council mapping project released today shows.
NRDC’s analysis found air quality “hot spots” in states and areas with the greatest percentages of people living in areas with both ragweed and unhealthy ozone days. Ironically, Washington, D.C., -- where climate action is being rolled back — leads the rankings followed by Connecticut, Rhode Island, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
127 million Americans live in zones where increased carbon dioxide and ozone smog pollution largely from burning fossil fuels, combined with more ragweed pollen, can worsen respiratory allergies and asthma. That can lead to more sick days, higher medical costs, and a rise in the number of heart problems and premature deaths each year.
NOAA and its research partners predict that western Lake Erie will experience a significant harmful algal bloom this summer, potentially reaching levels last seen in 2013 and 2014, though smaller than the record bloom of 2015.
This year’s bloom is expected to measure 7.5 on the severity index, but could range between six and 9.5. An index above five indicates a potentially harmful bloom. The severity index is based on a bloom’s biomass – the amount of its harmful algae – over a sustained period. The largest blooms, 2011 and 2015, were 10 and 10.5, respectively.
The last month was recorded as the warmest June ever in many parts of the world. Last year, 2016, was the warmest year in the modern temperature record. Our planet is constantly heating up. This poses direct threats to humans, like extreme weather events and global sea-level rise, but scientists are concerned that it may also affect our well-being indirectly via changes in biodiversity. The variety of life, from plants and animals to microorganisms, is the basis of many services ecosystems provide to us, for example clean drinking water or food. Today, ecologists are challenged by the question: what does a warmer world mean for biodiversity? More species, less species, or no change?
Leading rheumatologist and Feinstein Institute for Medical Research Professor Betty Diamond, MD, may have identified a protein as a cause for the adverse reaction of the immune system in patients suffering from lupus. A better understanding of how the immune system becomes overactive will help lead to more effective treatments for lupus and potentially other autoimmune diseases. These findings were published in Nature Immunology.
Pollution levels in many Chinese lakes have declined somewhat from high levels in the past decade, helped by billion-dollar investments in urban sewers and waste water treatment.
Mountaintop-removal coal mining causes many streams and rivers in Appalachia to run consistently saltier for up to 80 percent of the year, a new study by researchers at the University of Wyoming and Duke University finds.
While the negative health and environmental effects of mining and burning coal are well documented, simply transporting and storing coal can also adversely affect the health outcomes of individuals living near coal-fired power plants.
Hurricane Fernanda is moving through the deep tropics and there’s nothing in its way to prevent it from becoming a major hurricane. NASA’s Terra satellite took a closer look at the strengthening storm.
Scientists have long believed that the waters of the Central and Northeast Pacific Ocean were inhospitable to deep-sea scleractinian coral, but a Florida State University professor’s discovery of an odd chain of reefs suggests there are mysteries about the development and durability of coral colonies yet to be uncovered.
Researchers from the University of Hawai?i at M?noa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) recently discovered that infrared satellite data could be used to predict when lava flow-forming eruptions will end.
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