National Air and Space Museum set to reopen with new galleries

Margaret Weitekamp was certain what she was seeing was not real. Looking at a photo taken in one of the new galleries, the chair of the National Air and Space Museum’s space history division was sure it was a rendering, one she had seen many times before. “My first thought was, no, that’s the rendering … Read more

Air pollution can amplify negative effects of climate change, new study finds

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain The impacts of air pollution on human health, farming, and agriculture differ drastically depending on where on the planet the pollutants are emitted, according to a new study that could potentially incentivize certain countries to cut climate-changing emissions. Led by the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California … Read more

Wildfire smoke is unraveling decades of air quality gains

2.5 from wildfire smoke has increased in much of the US, particularly in Western states, but some areas in the South and East have seen modest declines. This map shows the decadal change in smoke PM2.5, meaning the difference in daily average smoke PM2.5 during 2006−2010 compared to 2016−2020. Credit: Childs et al. 2022, Environmental … Read more

Rethinking indoor air chemistry

Computer modeling of the OH reactivity (left) and OH concentration (right) around human bodies in a typical indoor situation while people sitting around a table. Credit: UC Irvine People typically spend 90% of their lives inside, at home, at work, or in transport. Within these enclosed spaces, occupants are exposed to a multitude of chemicals … Read more

New evidence shows planting around school playgrounds protects children from air pollution

Western red cedar leaves. Credit: Professor Barbara Maher Scientists have published new evidence showing that selective planting of vegetation between roads and playgrounds can substantially cut toxic traffic-derived air pollution reaching school children. The new findings, published this week in the journal Scientific Reportsdemonstrate that roadside vegetation can be designed, installed and maintained to achieve … Read more

Plants that pull nitrogen from thin air thrive in arid environments

Mesquite plants, such as this specimen of Prosopis velutina, are common components of desert flora, due in part to their symbiotic relationship with bacteria that enable them to access atmospheric nitrogen. Credit: Florida Museum of Natural History After a comprehensive study of plants across the United States, researchers have arrived at the unexpected conclusion that … Read more

Tracking air pollution disparities—daily—from space

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Studies have shown that pollution, whether from factories or traffic-snarled roads, disproportionately affects communities where economically disadvantaged people and Hispanic, Black and Asian people live. As technology has improved, scientists have begun documenting these disparities in detail, but information on daily variations has been lacking. Today, scientists report preliminary work calculating … Read more

How global COVID-19 pandemic restrictions shed light on the relationship between transport and air pollution

by Kerry Nice, Jason Thompson, Sachith Seneviratne and Mark Stevenson, University of Melbourne 2 (ppb) (top row) and PM10 (μg/m3) (bottom row) across cities in China, United States and Italy. Credit: Wijnands et al, Atmospheric Pollution Research (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.apr.2022.101438″ width=”800″ height=”448″/> Unexplained NO2 (ppb) (top row) and PM10 (μg/m3) (bottom row) across cities in … Read more

Air quality can be better for active commuters than drivers, research shows

Researchers measured the air quality experienced during different modes of commute in Leicester over a 16-week period. Credit: Leicester City Council New Leicester research has found that people who commute by car can be subject to higher levels of harmful gases than those who walk or cycle to work. The study, conducted by researchers at … Read more

Wood heating pollutes the air in mountain areas more than previously applied

Mobile measurements—during the run in the village of Retje, Dinaric Alps, Slovenia. Credit: Kristina Glojek, University of Nova Gorica Around 30 million people in Europe live in mountain valleys. A large part of this population is more affected by air pollution than previously applied. This is the conclusion of a Slovenian-German research team from measurements … Read more