Shutdown of coal-fired plants in U.S. saves lives and improves crop yields

The decommissioning of coal-fired power plants in the continental United States has reduced nearby pollution and its negative impacts on human health and crop yields, according to a new University of California San Diego study. The findings published this week in Nature Sustainability use the U.S. transition in recent years from coal towards natural gas for electric … Read more Shutdown of coal-fired plants in U.S. saves lives and improves crop yields

Why polar bears at sea have higher pollution levels than those staying on land

As the climate changes, myriad animal populations are being impacted. In particular, Arctic sea-ice is in decline, causing polar bears in the Barents Sea region to alter their feeding and hunting habits. Bears that follow sea-ice to offshore areas have higher pollutant levels than those staying on land – but why? A new study in … Read more Why polar bears at sea have higher pollution levels than those staying on land

Harbor porpoise calves exposed to neurotoxic PCBs in mothers’ milk

Harbour porpoise calves around the UK are carrying a more neurotoxic cocktail of PCBs than their mothers, as females unknowingly detoxify themselves by transferring the chemicals while feeding their young, new research reveals today. Published in the Science of the Total Environment today (Tuesday 3 December 2019) and led by Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) scientists from … Read more Harbor porpoise calves exposed to neurotoxic PCBs in mothers’ milk

Canadians dying at a higher rate in areas with more air pollution

Air pollution – even at levels below national and international air quality guidelines – is associated with an increased risk of deaths in Canada, according to new UBC research. The study, published in a Health Effects Institute (HEI) report, is the largest and most comprehensive so far to look at the relationship between air pollution … Read more Canadians dying at a higher rate in areas with more air pollution

Chemical herders could impact oil spill cleanup

Oil spills in the ocean can cause devastation to wildlife, so effective cleanup is a top priority. One method to clean up oil spills is by burning, which only works if the oil is heavily concentrated in one area. Research from Johns Hopkins University shows the effects of chemical herders, which are agents that may be used … Read more Chemical herders could impact oil spill cleanup

A missing link in haze formation

Air-quality alerts often include the levels of particulate matter, small clumps of molecules in the lower atmosphere that can range in size from microscopic to visible. These particles can contribute to haze, clouds, and fog and also can pose a health risk, especially those at the smaller end of the spectrum. Particles known as PM10 … Read more A missing link in haze formation

Nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas, is on the rise

Most of us know nitrous oxide as “laughing gas”, used for its anaesthetic effects. But nitrous oxide (N2O) is actually the third most important long-lived greenhouse gas, after carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. Nitrous oxide is also one of the main stratospheric ozone depleting substances – and we are releasing more of it into the … Read more Nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas, is on the rise

Prey-size plastics are invading larval fish nurseries

New research shows that many larval fish species from different ocean habitats are ingesting plastics in their preferred nursery habitat. Many of the world’s marine fish spend their first days to weeks feeding and developing at the ocean surface. Larval fish are the next generation of adult fish that will supply protein and essential nutrients … Read more Prey-size plastics are invading larval fish nurseries

High pesticide concentrations continue to enter Great Barrier Reef

The combined toxicity of 22 of the most common pesticides found in waterways flowing into the Great Barrier Reef is in many cases not meeting pollution reduction targets. University of Queensland researchers, along with the Queensland Department of Environment and Science, reached the conclusion after devising a new method to estimate the percentage of species … Read more High pesticide concentrations continue to enter Great Barrier Reef

Atmospheric pressure impacts greenhouse gas emissions from leaky oil and gas wells: UBC study

Fluctuations in atmospheric pressure can heavily influence how much natural gas leaks from wells below the ground surface at oil and gas sites, according to new University of British Columbia research. However, current monitoring strategies do not take this phenomenon into account, and therefore may be under- or over-estimating the true magnitude of gas emissions. … Read more Atmospheric pressure impacts greenhouse gas emissions from leaky oil and gas wells: UBC study