Environmental Protection

Air


Air Conditioners in 87 Percent of U.S. Homes, Though Many Don't Meet Efficiency Standards

Except for the few temperate regions on the West Coast, air conditioners are now standard equipment in most homes, especially in those newly constructed.

Researchers Discover Nitrogen in Soil Cleans the Air

Eutrophication harms the environment in many ways. Unexpectedly, nitrogen fertilizer may also be positive for the environment. And even acidic soils, promoting the destruction of forests, can have a positive effect. Researchers from the Biogeochemistry Department at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz found out that nitrogen fertilizer indirectly strengthens the self-cleaning capacity of the atmosphere.

Study Reveals Bacteria From Dog Feces in Outdoor, Urbanized Air

Bacteria from fecal material -- in particular, dog fecal material -- may constitute the dominant source of airborne bacteria in Cleveland's and Detroit's wintertime air, says a new University of Colorado, Boulder study.

One in 10 Deaths in Mongolian Capital Caused by Air Pollution

Using government-supplied measurements, the researchers found concentrations of fine particles in Ulaanbaatar’s air were more than seven times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization

Study Aims to Improve Fuel Economy by 30 Percent

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside along with their research partners received a $1.2 million grant from the Department of Energy to study and evaluate technologies that provide feedback to drivers so they can cut harmful emissions and reduce fuel use by up to 30 percent.

Chemists Make First Quantitative Measure of Radiation Leaked from Fukushima Reactor

Their estimate, reported this week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is based on a signal sent across the Pacific Ocean when operators of the damaged reactor had to resort to cooling overheated fuel with seawater.

Tips Tuesday: Top-Five Energy-Efficiency Myths

As consumers stay focused on keeping cool during the hottest months of the year, they may fall victim to some of the myths that may be giving electricity customers the wrong idea about how to curb their electricity consumption and save money on their monthly bills.

Ethane Levels Yield Information About Changes in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Recent data from NSF-funded research in both Greenland and Antarctica demonstrate that fossil-fuel related emissions of both methane and ethane, two of the most abundant hydrocarbons in the atmosphere, declined at the end of the twentieth century, according to a paper published Thursday in the journal Nature.



Study: Late-’90s Arctic Ice Melt Caused Half by GHGs, Half by Normal Climate Conditions

These findings point to climate change and variability working together equally to accelerate the observed sea ice loss during the late 20th century.

Research Evaluates Emissions-Reduction Scenario

New computer modeling work shows that by 2100, if society wants to limit carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to less than 40 percent higher than it is today, the lowest cost option is to use every available means of reducing emissions.

Crop Breeding Could Reduce CO2 Levels

Writing in the journal Annals of Botany, Professor Douglas Kell argues that developing crops that produce roots more deeply in the ground could harvest more carbon from the air, and make crops more drought resistant, while dramatically reducing carbon levels.

High Mold Air Alert Issued For Midwest

Residents in the Midwest awoke to the highest mold count for the season after a night of torrential rain and lightening strikes. An official air alert was issued by Joseph Leija, MD, allergist who performs the official allergy count for the Midwest for the National Allergy Bureau.

Slowing Climate Change by Targeting Gases Other Than Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide still plays a major role in climate change, but other greenhouse gases contribute to the problem.

Some Replacements for CFC-Containing Refrigerants Much More Potent GHGs than CO2

While international climate talks remain deadlocked, the Montreal Protocol has been methodically eliminating some of the worst chemicals contributing to global warming.

Aerosols Affect Climate More than Satellite Estimates Predict

Aerosol particles, including soot and sulfur dioxide from burning fossil fuels, essentially mask the effects of greenhouse gases and are at the heart of the biggest uncertainty in climate change prediction.

Dow Chemical Agrees to Pay $2.5M to Resolve Air, Water and Waste Violations at Mich. Complex

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Dow Chemical Company has agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty to settle alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) at its chemical manufacturing and research complex in Midland, Mich.

Miami Man Sentenced to Prison for Smuggling Refrigerant

U.S. District Court Judge Adalberto Jordan sentenced Brendan Clery, 34, to 18 months in prison and ordered him to pay a $10,000 criminal fine and forfeit illegal proceeds in the amount of $935,240.

EPA Proposes Air Pollution Standards for Oil and Gas Production

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed standards to reduce harmful air pollution from oil and gas drilling operations.

Caterpillar Inc. to Pay $2.55M to Resolve Clean Air Act Violations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement with Caterpillar Inc. to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations for shipping more than 590,000 highway and non-road diesel engines without the correct emissions controls.

Midwest Experiences Dangerous Air Quality; Chicago Close to Breaking 1871 Rain Record

A record 6.86 inches of rain that fell Saturday, July 23, and 4.37 more on Wednesday, July 27, is causing rivers to crest, blocking roads, stopping public transportation, causing power outages and flooding basements. Chicago is close to breaking an 1871 weather record for number of rainy days in July.

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