Environmental Protection

Air


New Plant Science Will Make Ground Level Ozone Predictions More Accurate

Predictions of the ground-level pollutant ozone will be more accurate in future according to research published by environment scientists at research centers including the University of Birmingham in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Despite Reductions by Industrialized Countries, Global CO2 Emissions Increase Steeply

Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) increased by 45 percent between 1990 and 2010, and reached an all-time high of 33 billion tons in 2010. Increased energy-efficiency, nuclear energy and the growing contributions of renewable energy are not compensating for the globally increasing demand for power and transport, which is strongest in developing countries.

Studying the Dust from the World Trade Center Collapse

On September 11, 2001, as the twin towers of the World Trade Center exploded and collapsed, clouds of dust billowed into the sky and across the city. Photographs from the outskirts show the thick clouds swallowing much of lower Manhattan. Satellite images reveal that the clouds were large enough to be seen from space. Survivors overtaken by the clouds emerged covered in a thick layer of dirt and debris. They reported that the clouds were so dense that they blacked out the sun.

Controlled Burns from Gulf Oil Spill Released at Least 1.4M Pounds of Soot

The black smoke that rose from the water’s surface during the controlled burns pumped more than 1 million pounds of black carbon (soot) pollution into the atmosphere, according to a new study published last week by researchers at NOAA and its Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) in Boulder, Colo.

EPA Issues Key Air Quality Permits to Shell for Arctic Oil and Gas Exploration

EPA Region 10 issued final air quality permits to Shell on Sept. 19 for oil and gas exploration drilling in the Alaska Arctic. The permits will allow Shell to operate the Discoverer drillship and a support fleet of icebreakers, oil spill response vessels, and supply ships for up to 120 days each year in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea Outer Continental Shelf starting in 2012.

Big Goals for Philadelphia Refrigerator Recycling Project

The new UNTHA Recycling Technology (URT) system at the Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA)’s facility in Philadelphia is ready to begin recycling as many as 150,000 refrigerators annually, GE and ARCA announced Sept. 9.

EPA Paves Way for New Ozone Plans for Nation’s Worst Two Air-Quality Zones

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to approve the 8-hour ozone air quality plans for the San Joaquin Valley and South Coast areas. These plans, known as State Implementation Plans, are the roadmaps to meeting the Clean Air Act standard of 0.08 parts per million of ozone as measured in 8-hour increments.

Study Suggests Switching from Coal to Natural Gas Would do Little for Global Climate

Although the burning of natural gas emits far less carbon dioxide than coal, a new study concludes that a greater reliance on natural gas would fail to significantly slow down climate change. The study appears this week in the Springer journal Climatic Change Letters.



First Global Portrait of Greenhouse Gases Emerges from Pole-to-Pole Flights

The far-reaching field project, known as HIPPO, is enabling researchers to generate the first detailed mapping of the global distribution of gases and particles that affect Earth’s climate.

Feeding Cows Natural Plant Extracts Can Reduce Ammonia Emissions, Feeding Costs

With citizens’ groups seeking government regulation of foul-smelling ammonia emissions from large dairy farms, scientists reported that adding natural plant extracts to cow feed can reduce levels of the gas by one-third while reducing the need to fortify cow feed with expensive protein supplements.

Air-Quality Researchers Find Troubling Health Implications for Ultrafine Particles

Three studies by a University of California, Davis, air-quality research group are adding to the growing body of data suggesting that very fine and ultra-fine airborne metal particles are closely linked to serious human-health problems, including heart disease.

Scientist Puts Forth a 'Fast, Cheap' Way to Slow Global Warming

A new study of dust-like particles of soot in the air provides fresh evidence that reducing soot emissions from diesel engines and other sources could slow melting of sea ice in the Arctic faster and more economically than any other quick fix, a scientist reported.

Mysteries of Ozone Depletion Continue 25 Years After the Discovery of the Antarctic Ozone Hole

Even after many decades of studying ozone and its loss from our atmosphere miles above the Earth, plenty of mysteries and surprises remain, including an unexpected loss of ozone over the Arctic this past winter,

Researchers Build a Tougher, Lighter Wind Turbine Blade

Efforts to build larger wind turbines able to capture more energy from the air are stymied by the weight of blades. A Case Western Reserve University researcher has built a prototype blade that is substantially lighter and eight times tougher and more durable than currently used blade materials.

High Ozone Levels in Midwest Could Depress Soybean Yields

Satellite views of the Midwestern United States show that ozone levels above 50 parts per billion (ppb) along the ground could reduce soybean yields by at least 10 percent, costing more than $1 billion in lost crop production, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists.

Professor Warns of Nitrogen’s Double-Edged Sword

Billions of people owe their lives to nitrogen fertilizers – a pillar of the fabled Green Revolution in agriculture that averted global famine in the 20th century – but few are aware that nitrogen pollution from fertilizers and other sources has become a major environmental problem that threatens human health and welfare in multiple ways.

Aeroecology Gaining Recognition

Formally established just three years ago, aeroecology is the study of flying and floating organisms in the air they inhabit.

Research Suggests Scented Laundry Products Emit Hazardous Chemicals Through Dryer Vents

The same University of Washington researcher who used chemical sleuthing to deduce what’s in fragranced consumer products now has turned her attention to the scented air wafting from household laundry vents.

Study Finds Scented Laundry Products Emit Hazardous Chemicals Through Dryer Vents

Findings, published online this week in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health, show that air vented from machines using the top-selling scented liquid laundry detergent and scented dryer sheet contains hazardous chemicals, including two that are classified as carcinogens

EPA Accepts First GHG Reporting Data

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a new tool to allow 28 industrial sectors to submit their 2010 greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution data electronically.

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