Air Quality

Air Quality News -- ScienceDaily What is air pollution? Read news articles on the sources of air pollution and what can be done to minimize pollutants. Learn about both indoor air quality control and outdoor air pollution.

  • Blinded by the light: Climate change, the sun, and Lake Superior
    on April 24, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Lakes tend to emit carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere, making them important players in the planet's natural regulation of its climate. However, the direction of the flow of CO2 between lakes and the atmosphere can be influenced by humans or by natural factors such as rainfall or air temperature. […]

  • Airborne dust threatens human health in Southwest
    on April 24, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Researchers have found that in the coming decades, increased dust emissions from severe and prolonged droughts in the American Southwest could result in significant increases in hospital admissions and premature deaths. […]

  • Land use and pollution shift female-to-male ratios in snapping turtles
    on April 24, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Current research shows that increasing global temperatures as a result of climate change are expected to produce more female turtles since their offspring are influenced by the nest's temperature. But now, a team of biologists has found that the nesting environment of turtles in agricultural habitats, which can ultimately lower nesting temperatures, can actually produce more males. […]

  • Record concentration of microplastic in Arctic sea ice
    on April 24, 2018 at 3:29 pm

    Experts have recently found higher amounts of microplastic in arctic sea ice than ever before. However, the majority of particles were microscopically small. […]

  • Trees with grassy areas soften summer heat
    on April 23, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Trees cool their environment and 'heat islands' benefit from it. However, the degree of cooling depends greatly on the tree species and the local conditions. In a recent study, scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) compared two species of urban trees. […]

  • Grassland plants react unexpectedly to high levels of carbon dioxide
    on April 20, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Plants are responding in unexpected ways to increased carbon dioxide in the air, according to a 20-year study. […]

  • Coal mining reduces abundance, richness of aquatic life
    on April 18, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Coal mining, under current US regulations, has significantly reduced the abundance and variety of fish, invertebrates, salamanders, and other aquatic life in streams, according to a new study. […]

  • Cities and communities in the US losing 36 million trees a year
    on April 18, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    Nationally, urban/community tree cover declined from 42.9 percent to 42.2 percent between 2009-2014. This translates to losing an estimated 36 million trees or approximately 175,000 acres of tree cover annually. […]

  • Coho salmon die, chum salmon survive in stormwater runoff research
    on April 18, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Scientists found that coho salmon became sick and nearly died, within just a few hours of exposure to polluted stormwater. But chum salmon showed no signs of ill-effects after prolonged exposure to the same water. […]

  • Bugged out by climate change
    on April 18, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Warmer summer and fall seasons and fewer winter freeze-thaw events have led to changes in the relative numbers of different types of bugs in the Arctic. The study relies on the longest-standing, most comprehensive data set on arctic arthropods in the world today: a catalogue of almost 600,000 flies, wasps, spiders and other creepy-crawlies collected at the Zackenberg field station on the northeast coast of Greenland from 1996-2014. […]

  • General aviation pilots struggle to interpret weather forecast and observation displays
    on April 16, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    When tested on their knowledge of 23 types of weather information, from icing forecasts and turbulence reports to radar, 204 general aviation (GA) pilots were stumped by about 42 percent of the questions. The findings are worrisome. […]

  • Warming planet led to peatland formation
    on April 16, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Rising temperatures were a key driver of peatland formation after the last glacial maximum, according to new research. […]

  • Chemical sleuthing leads to detection of little-known flame retardant in the environment
    on April 16, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Chemists have published research findings on their discovery of a new and relatively unknown flame retardant in the environment. Their study is the first to detect the potentially toxic chemical in North America. […]

  • Evidence mounts for Alzheimer's, suicide risks among youth in polluted cities
    on April 13, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Researchers have published a new study that reveals increased risks for Alzheimer's and suicide among children and young adults living in polluted megacities. […]

  • Brief exposure to tiny air pollution particles triggers childhood lung infections
    on April 13, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Even the briefest increase in airborne fine particulate matter PM2.5, pollution-causing particles that are about 3 percent of the diameter of human hair, is associated with the development of acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) in young children, according to newly published research. […]

  • Algae-forestry, bioenergy mix could help make CO<sub>2</sub> vanish from thin air
    on April 12, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    An unconventional mélange of algae, eucalyptus and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage appears to be a quirky ecological recipe. But, scientists have an idea that could use that recipe to help power and provide food protein to large regions of the world -- and simultaneously remove carbon dioxide from Earth's atmosphere. […]

  • Mountain erosion may add CO<sub>2</sub> to the atmosphere
    on April 12, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Scientists have long known that steep mountain ranges can draw carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere -- as erosion exposes new rock, it also starts a chemical reaction between minerals on hill slopes and CO2 in the air, 'weathering' the rock and using CO2 to produce carbonate minerals like calcite. […]

  • Actual fossil fuel emissions checked with new technique
    on April 12, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Researchers have measured CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use in California and compared them to reported emissions. This is the first time fossil fuel emissions have been independently checked for such a large area. […]

  • Recycling experts hit milestone in quest for zero-waste phone
    on April 12, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    UBC researchers have perfected a process to efficiently separate fiberglass and resin -- two of the most commonly discarded parts of a cellphone -- bringing them closer to their goal of a zero-waste cellphone. […]

  • One-fifth of carbon entering coastal waters of eastern North America is buried
    on April 12, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Coastal waters play an important role in the carbon cycle by transferring carbon to the open ocean or burying it in wetland soils and ocean sediments, a new study shows. […]

  • The changing chemistry of the Amazonian atmosphere
    on April 11, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    Researchers have been debating whether nitrogen oxides (NOx) can affect levels of OH radicals in a pristine atmosphere but quantifying that relationship has been difficult. Now, researchers have found that accompanying the increase of NOx concentration from urban pollution, daytime peak OH concentrations in the rainforest skyrocketed, increasing by at least 250 percent. These increased levels of OH concentrations in the Amazon atmosphere could lead to changes in atmospheric chemistry, cloud formation, and rainfall. […]

  • Swamp microbe has pollution-munching power
    on April 11, 2018 at 8:13 pm

    Sewage treatment may be an unglamorous job, but bacteria are happy to do it. Sewage plants rely on bacteria to remove environmental toxins from waste so that the processed water can be safely discharged into oceans and rivers. Now, a bacterium discovered in a New Jersey swamp may offer a more efficient method for treating toxins found in sewage, fertilizer runoff and other forms of water pollution. […]

  • Biologically inspired membrane purges coal-fired smoke of greenhouse gases
    on April 11, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    A series of nanoscopic membranes made of water saturated by an enzyme naturally developed over millions of years to clear CO2 empties coal smoke of the greenhouse gas more cheaply and efficiently than any known. […]

  • Scientists use carbon nanotube technology to develop robust water desalination membranes
    on April 11, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    A research team has developed robust reverse osmosis membranes that can endure large-scale water desalination. To meet the demand of potable water at low cost, more robust membranes capable of withstanding harsh conditions, while remaining chemically stable to tolerate cleaning treatments, are necessary. The key lays in carbon nanotechnology. A multi-walled carbon nanotube-polyamide nanocomposite membrane creates a protective effect that stabilized the linked molecules of the polyamide against chlorine. […]

  • North-exposed ice cliffs accelerate glacier melt
    on April 11, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Researchers have confirmed the suspicion that north-facing ice cliffs on debris-covered glaciers in the Himalayas accelerate ice melt. […]

  • Extensive seagrass meadows discovered in Indian Ocean through satellite tracking of green turtles
    on April 11, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Biologists have discovered for the first time extensive deep-water seagrass meadows in the middle of the vast Indian Ocean through satellite tracking the movement of green sea turtles. […]

  • Greener way of making plastics
    on April 11, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    A new catalyst allows for the conversion of the green house gas carbon dioxide to an industrial precursor for many plastics as an alternative to using petroleum raw materials. […]

  • Wildfire smoke associated with more ER visits for heart, stroke ailments among seniors
    on April 11, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Exposure to smoke from wildfires was associated with increased rates of emergency room visits for heart- and stroke-related illness, especially among adults age 65 and older. […]

  • Center of world's marine biodiversity is in danger
    on April 10, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    Researchers have found that the world's center of biodiversity is under widespread threat of losing a key marine resource. […]

  • Melting of Arctic mountain glaciers unprecedented in the past 400 years
    on April 10, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    Glaciers in Alaska's Denali National Park are melting faster than at any time in the past four centuries because of rising summer temperatures, a new study finds. […]