Environmental Protection

Air


Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Melt

For several days this month, Greenland's surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations.

Rise in Temperatures and CO2 Follow Each Other Closely in Climate Change

The greatest climate change the world has seen in the last 100,000 years was the transition from the ice age to the warm interglacial period.

Fools' Gold Found to Regulate Oxygen

Sulfur has traditionally been portrayed as a secondary factor in regulating atmospheric oxygen, with most of the heavy lifting done by carbon. However, new findings that appeared this week in Science suggest that sulfur's role may have been underestimated.

Global CO2 Emissions Continued to Increase in 2011

Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) -- the main cause of global warming -- increased by 3% last year, reaching an all-time high of 34 billion tonnes in 2011.

Scientists Connect Seawater Chemistry With Ancient Climate Change and Evolution

Scientists from the University of Toronto and the University of California Santa Cruz are shedding light on one potential cause of the cooling trend of the past 45 million years that has everything to do with the chemistry of the world's oceans.

First Half of 2012 Dry and Drought Conditions to Persist

“The first half of 2012 was dry for most of the Northeast. New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and West Virginia were below normal. Maryland and Connecticut were much below normal, and Delaware had its driest on record.

Researchers Develop Technique to Help Pollution Forecasters See Past Clouds

Until now, scientists who study air pollution using satellite imagery have been limited by weather. Clouds, in particular, provide much less information than a sunny day.

Natural Gas is a Much-Needed Tool to Battle Global Warming: Study

No matter how you drill it, using natural gas as an energy source is a smart move in the battle against global climate change and a good transition step on the road toward low-carbon energy from wind, solar and nuclear power.



Rising Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Also Speeds Carbon Loss from Forest Soils

Elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide accelerate carbon cycling and soil carbon loss in forests, new research led by an Indiana University biologist has found.

Nitrogen Dioxide Air Pollution Lessens in Parts of U.S. and Europe

Satellite measurements show that nitrogen dioxide in the lower atmosphere over parts of Europe and the US has fallen over the past decade.

Cooling Trend Calculated for First Time in Northern Europe

An international team that includes scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has published a reconstruction of the climate in northern Europe over the last 2,000 years based on the information provided by tree-rings.

Improving Air Quality With No-Till Cropping

Studies by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists show some no-till management systems can lower atmospheric levels of PM10—soil particles and other material 10 microns or less in diameter that degrade air quality—that are eroded from crop fields via the wind.

Nitrogen Pollution Changing Rocky Mountain National Park Vegetation

A new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder indicates air pollution in the form of nitrogen compounds emanating from power plants, automobiles and agriculture is changing the alpine vegetation in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Visibility to Improve at 18 National Parks and Wilderness Areas

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to approve Arizona’s air quality plan to control sulfur dioxide and soot at three power plants in the state.

Fish Learn to Cope in High Carbon Dioxide World, New Study Suggests

Some coral reef fish may be better prepared to cope with rising CO2 in the world's oceans -- thanks to their parents.

First-Ever Changes in Exoplanet Atmosphere Detected

An international team of astronomers using data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has made an unparalleled observation, detecting significant changes in the atmosphere of a planet located beyond our solar system.

Rising Heat at the Beach Threatens Largest Sea Turtles, Climate Change Models Show

For eastern Pacific populations of leatherback turtles, the 21st century could be the last. New research suggests that climate change could exacerbate existing threats and nearly wipe out the population.

U.S. Announces Clean Air Act Settlement With Wisconsin Utility

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a Clean Air Act (CAA) settlement with Dairyland Power Cooperative (DPC) that will cover the utility’s three power plants in Alma and Genoa, Wis.

Study Slashes Deforestation Carbon Emission Estimate

A new study with NASA participation has sharply reduced previous estimates of how much carbon was emitted into Earth's atmosphere from tropical deforestation in the early 2000s.

Half of Inhaled Soot Particles From Diesel Exhaust Gets Stuck in Lungs

The exhaust from diesel-fueled vehicles, wood fires and coal-driven power stations contains small particles of soot that flow out into the atmosphere. The soot is a scourge for the climate but also for human health.

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