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.

  • City lights setting traps for migrating birds
    on January 19, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    A new study has examined how light pollution lures birds into urban areas during fall migration, a trend that poses risk for the fowl that often fly into buildings and has increased with the addition of brighter LED lights. The researchers were interested in seeing what factors shape the birds' distributions and why they occur in certain areas. […]

  • Climate change linked to more flowery forests
    on January 19, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    New research has revealed a surprising relationship between surging atmospheric carbon dioxide and flower blooms in a remote tropical forest. […]

  • 20 percent more trees in megacities would mean cleaner air and water, lower carbon and energy use
    on January 18, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Planting 20 percent more trees in our megacities would double the benefits of urban forests, like pollution reduction, carbon sequestration and energy reduction. The authors of the study say city planners, residents and other stakeholders should start looking within cities for natural resources and conserve the nature in our urban areas by planting more trees. […]

  • Researchers explore psychological effects of climate change
    on January 17, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    While some people have little anxiety about the Earth's changing climate, others are experiencing high levels of stress, and even depression, based on their perception of the threat of global climate change, researchers found. Psychological responses to climate change seem to vary based on what type of concern people show for the environment, with those highly concerned about the planet's animals and plants experiencing the most stress. […]

  • New research to help reduce number of algae blooms that form annually
    on January 17, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    A new study shows that sampling headwaters where streams form can identify which landscapes are resilient enough to handle the rigors of farming and which are vulnerable to leaching toxic residue into waterways. […]

  • Weather anomalies accelerate the melting of sea ice
    on January 17, 2018 at 3:25 am

    Researchers reveal why Arctic sea ice began to melt in the middle of winter two years ago -- and that the increased melting of ice in summer is linked to recurring periods of fair weather. […]

  • New process could slash energy demands of fertilizer, nitrogen-based chemicals
    on January 16, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Nitrogen-based synthetic fertilizer forms the backbone of the world food supply, but its manufacture requires a tremendous amount of energy. Now, computer modeling points to a method that could drastically cut the energy needed by using sunlight in the manufacturing process. […]

  • Pharmaceuticals and other contaminants force fish to work much harder to survive
    on January 16, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Pharmaceuticals and other human-made contaminants are forcing fish that live downstream from a typical sewage treatment plant to work at least 30 percent harder just to survive, researchers have found. […]

  • Magnetic liquids improve energy efficiency of buildings
    on January 16, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Climate protection and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions have been on top of global development agendas. Accordingly, research and development projects have been conducted on national and international levels, which aim for the improvement of the CO2-footprint in diverse processes. Apart from particularly energy-intensive sectors of the industry, the building sector in particular is among the biggest CO2-emmitters: from residential homes, manufacturing facilities and storage depots to big commercial buildings, about 40 percent of the energy consumption within the EU are due to the heating, cooling, air conditioning and lighting of buildings. […]

  • Shale gas is one of the least sustainable ways to produce electricity, research finds
    on January 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Shale gas is one of least sustainable options for producing electricity, according to new research. […]

  • Insulating bricks with microscopic bubbles
    on January 15, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    The calculation is simple: the better a building is insulated, the less heat is lost in winter - and the less energy is needed to achieve a comfortable room temperature. […]

  • Unexpected environmental source of methane discovered
    on January 15, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    Roughly 10 percent of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms contain the genetic code for manufacturing a back-up enzyme, called iron iron-only nitrogenase, to do their job. New research reveals that this enzyme allows these microorganisms to convert nitrogen gas to ammonia and carbon dioxide into methane at the same time. This enzymatic pathway is a previously unknown route for the natural biological production of methane. […]

  • Sanchi oil spill contamination could take three months to reach mainland
    on January 13, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Water contaminated by the oil currently leaking into the ocean from the Sanchi tanker collision is likely to take at least three months to reach land, and if it does the Korean coast is the most likely location. However, the oil's fate is highly uncertain, as it may burn, evaporate, or mix into the surface ocean and contaminate the environment for an extended duration. […]

  • Babies stir up clouds of bio-gunk when they crawl
    on January 11, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    When babies crawl, their movement across floors, especially carpeted surfaces, kicks up high levels of dirt, skin cells, bacteria, pollen, and fungal spores, a new study has found. The infants inhale a dose of bio bits in their lungs that is four times (per kilogram of body mass) what an adult would breathe walking across the same floor. […]

  • Students more engaged and attentive following outdoor lesson in nature
    on January 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    A study has found that children are significantly more attentive and engaged with their schoolwork following an outdoor lesson in nature. Teachers could teach uninterrupted for almost twice as long during a subsequent indoor lesson. Outdoor lessons may be an inexpensive and convenient way to improve student engagement. […]

  • Climate impacts of deforestation
    on January 11, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Deforestation is likely to warm the climate even more than originally thought, scientists warn. Research has found reactive gases emitted by trees and vegetation have an overall cooling effect on our climate, meaning deforestation would lead to higher temperatures than previously anticipated as less of the gases would be created. […]

  • Human-perceived temperature is rising faster than actual air temperature
    on January 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Researchers have found the apparent temperature (AP)increased faster than air temperature (AT) over land in the past few decades, especially in the low latitude areas, and the rise is expected to continue in the future. […]

  • Strong support for ocean protection: Study
    on January 10, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    People around the world strongly support ocean conservation measures, according to a new study of public perceptions of marine threats and protection. […]

  • Bad air quality along Utah's Wasatch Front causes more than 200 pneumonia cases each year
    on January 9, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    Air pollution erodes the health of adults over age 65, a population particularly vulnerable to the effects of pneumonia. […]

  • Spotty coverage: Climate models underestimate cooling effect of daily cloud cycle
    on January 9, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    Researchers have found that the climate models scientists use to project future conditions on our planet underestimate the cooling effect that clouds have on a daily basis, which results in warmer, drier conditions than might actually occur. The researchers found that inaccuracies in accounting for the daily cloud cycle did not seem to invalidate climate projections, but did increase the margin of error for understanding how climate change will affect us. […]

  • Noise from oil and gas operations stresses birds, hinders reproduction
    on January 9, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Birds exposed to constant noise from oil and gas operations show physiological signs of chronic stress, have chicks whose growth is stunted, and -- in some cases -- lay fewer eggs that hatch, according to a new study. […]

  • Smoke from wildfires can tip air quality to unhealthy levels
    on January 9, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Smoke plumes emanating from wildfires are swept high up into the air and spread over thousands of kilometers even days after a fire has been put out. The fine particles and harmful ozone contained in these plumes often have devastating effects on the air quality of US cities and consequently the health of their inhabitants. […]

  • In urban streams, pharmaceutical pollution is driving microbial resistance
    on January 9, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    In urban streams, persistent pharmaceutical pollution can cause aquatic microbial communities to become resistant to drugs. […]

  • Air pollution alerts without enforceable actions may be inadequate in protecting public health
    on January 9, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    The air quality alert programme in Toronto (Canada) had limited effects in protecting the public's health from air pollution between 2003 and 2012, according to an observational study of 2.6 million people. […]

  • Study finds source of toxic green algal blooms and the results stink
    on January 9, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Florida's St. Lucie Estuary received national attention in 2016 as toxic green algal blooms wreaked havoc on this vital ecosystem. A new study contradicts the widespread misconception that periodic discharges from Lake Okeechobee were responsible. Water samples gathered and tested in the year-long study provide multiple lines of evidence that human wastewater nitrogen from septic systems was a major contributor to the high nitrogen concentrations in the estuary and downstream coastal reefs. […]

  • US rivers and streams are compromised by increasing salt loads
    on January 8, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Human activities are exposing US rivers and streams to a cocktail of salts, with consequences for infrastructure and drinking water supplies. So reports a new study that is the first to assess the combined, long-term changes in freshwater salinity and alkalization across the country. […]

  • Water-based, eco-friendly and energy-saving air-conditioner
    on January 8, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    A team of researchers has pioneered a new water-based air-conditioning system that cools air to as low as 18 degrees Celsius without the use of energy-intensive compressors and environmentally harmful chemical refrigerants. […]

  • A biological solution to carbon capture and recycling?
    on January 8, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Scientists have discovered that E. coli bacteria could hold the key to an efficient method of capturing and storing or recycling carbon dioxide. They have developed a process that enables the E. coli bacterium to act as a very efficient carbon capture device. […]

  • Yeast may be the solution to toxic waste clean-up
    on January 8, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    About 46,000 nuclear weapons were produced during the Cold War era, leading to tremendous volumes of acidic radioactive liquid waste seeping into the environment. A new study suggests yeast as a potentially safer and more cost effective way to help clean up these radioactive waste sites. […]

  • The ocean is losing its breath -- here's the global scope
    on January 4, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    In the past 50 years, the amount of water in the open ocean with zero oxygen has gone up more than fourfold. In coastal water bodies, including estuaries and seas, low-oxygen sites have increased more than tenfold since 1950. Scientists expect oxygen to continue dropping even outside these zones as Earth warms. […]