• Scientists Identify Most Pressing Issues Posed by Chemicals in the Environment

    Scientists have identified 22 key research questions surrounding the risks associated with chemicals in the environment across Europe.

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  • Oil biodegradation inhibited in deep-sea sediments

    Degradation rates of oil were slower in the dark and cold waters of the depths of the Gulf of Mexico than at surface conditions, according to an international team of geoscientists trying to understand where the oil went during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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  • US national parks have just as much air pollution as major cities

    The air in US national parks contains just as much ozone pollution as the air in many of the country’s largest cities, according to a study published on 18 July in Science Advances.

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  • How Eating Seaweed Can Help Cows to Belch Less Methane

    The spring morning temperature in landlocked northern California warns of an incipient scorcher, but the small herd of piebald dairy cows that live here are too curious to care. Upon the approach of an unfamiliar human, they canter out of their barn into the already punishing sun, nosing each other aside to angle their heads over the fence. Some are black-and-white, others brown; all sport a pair of numbered yellow ear tags. Some are more assertive than others. One manages to stretch her long neck out far enough to lick the entire length of my forearm.

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  • At Last, the Shipping Industry Begins Cleaning Up Its Dirty Fuels

    Along the Houston Ship Channel, a 52-mile waterway that spills into the Gulf of Mexico, giant vessels cruise beneath the blazing summer sun. Rusty tankers fill their holds with Texas specialties: refined oil products, petrochemicals, and plastic resins. Container ships arrive carrying corrugated boxes of imported T-shirts, electronics, and metals.

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  • Climate Change Is Making Nighttime Clouds More Visible

    Those wispy, iridescent, high-altitude clouds sometimes seen at dawn and dusk are becoming more visible due to climate change, according to a new study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Rising methane emissions have increased the amount of water vapor in the middle atmosphere, the study found, which then freezes around specks of dust to form the clouds.

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  • Ospreys Benefit as Contaminants Decrease

    Lower levels of environmental contaminants—including pesticides, flame retardants and other pollutants—were recently found in osprey eggs in the Delaware Estuary compared to those tested from the 1970s through the early 2000s.

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  • PSU Study Finds Room for Improvement in South Korea's Polluted River Basin

    A new Portland State University study shows that even though water quality has improved in South Korea's Han River basin since the 1990s, there are still higher-than-acceptable levels of pollutants in some of the more urbanized regions in and around the capital Seoul.

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  • Researchers use coal waste to create sustainable concrete

    Washington State University researchers have created a sustainable alternative to traditional concrete using coal fly ash, a waste product of coal-based electricity generation.

    The advance tackles two major environmental problems at once by making use of coal production waste and by significantly reducing the environmental impact of concrete production.

    Xianming Shi, associate professor in WSU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and graduate student Gang Xu, have developed a strong, durable concrete that uses fly ash as a binder and eliminates the use of environmentally intensive cement. They report on their work in the August issue of the journal, Fuel.

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  • State Cap-and-Trade Program Not Benefitting Disadvantaged Communities

    Study is the first to examine social disparities in location of emissions

    California law requires 25 percent of the revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade program, designed to limit emissions of greenhouses gases like carbon dioxide, to be invested in measures that benefit disadvantaged communities. But a newly published study by San Francisco State University, the University of California, Berkeley and others comparing emissions before and after the program began in 2013 found that disadvantaged communities are not yet benefitting — and have actually seen an increase in pollutants.

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