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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
Formally established just three years ago, aeroecology is the study of flying and floating organisms in the air they inhabit.
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.
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
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.
Except for the few temperate regions on the West Coast, air conditioners are now standard equipment in most homes, especially in those newly constructed.
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.