How an effort to reduce fossil fuel use led to another environmental problem: Light pollution

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain In 2014, Los Angeles cut its annual carbon emissions by 43% and saved $9 million in energy costs by replacing the bulbs in more than half of the city’s street lamps with light-emitting diodes. That year, the Nobel Prize in physics went to three scientists whose work made those LEDs possible. … 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

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

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

Study supports a return to Indigenous-led solutions to reverse plastics pollution

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain The dumping of plastics in the Pacific Islands (Te Moananui) is a form of waste colonization, leading to disproportionate plastics pollution in the region and threatening the health and livelihoods of its people. In a paper published today in the Journal of Political Ecologyresearchers demonstrate that prioritizing the perspectives of Indigenous … Read more

Scientists identify potential bioindicators for monitoring plastic pollution in North Pacific Ocean

A green sea turtle basking on one of the beaches in Hawaii. These marine species could serve as a potential bioindicator for plastic pollution in the North Pacific Ocean. Credit: J. Lynch/NIST With an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste escaping to our oceans each year, adversely plastic pollution affects the environment, climate, … 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

Researchers trace the source of nitrogen pollution affecting the world’s second largest barrier reef

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain Tropical coastal ecosystems are among the most biodiverse areas on Earth. They’re also on the front lines of effects caused by human activity. That’s why it’s becoming increasingly.important, especially as human populations increase, to manage the runoff and wastewater that flow into the sea “Tropical coastal ecosystems, such as coral reefs, … Read more

How year-round crops could reduce farm pollution in the Mississippi River

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain Don Wyse’s field of winter barley used to be mostly empty in the spring. Eight years ago, just a tenth of the grain would survive the winter in this experimental field at St. Paul. But this year, after repeatedly refining the plant’s genetics, the field was flush with swaying, pale yellow … Read more