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.

  • Pollution responsible for 16 percent of early deaths globally
    on October 20, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Diseases caused by pollution were responsible in 2015 for an estimated 9 million premature deaths -- 16 percent of all deaths worldwide, according to a report. […]

  • Global CO2 emissions stalled for the third year in a row
    on October 20, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    The annual assessment of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by the JRC and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) confirms that CO2 emissions have stalled for the third year in a row. […]

  • Cool roofs have water saving benefits too
    on October 20, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    The energy and climate benefits of cool roofs have been well established: By reflecting rather than absorbing the sun's energy, light-colored roofs keep buildings, cities, and even the entire planet cooler. Now a new study has found that cool roofs can also save water by reducing how much is needed for urban irrigation. […]

  • Danger to Air Quality from Forest Fires
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    A report on forest fires confirms a trend towards longer and more intense fire seasons in Europe and neighboring regions, with wildfires now occurring throughout the year. The report coincides with an international study which finds that global wildfire trends could have significant health implications due to rising harmful emissions. […]

  • New underwater robotic vehicle
    on October 19, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Ben-Gurion University Introduces Israel's First Underwater Robotic Vehicle at NextTech Conference 2017 […]

  • Illinois sportfish recovery a result of 1972 Clean Water Act, scientists report
    on October 18, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and other sportfish are at the highest levels recorded in more than a century in the Illinois River, according to a new report. Their dramatic recovery, from populations close to zero near Chicago throughout much of the 20th century, began just after implementation of the Clean Water Act, the researchers say. […]

  • Life in the city: Living near a forest keeps your amygdala healthier
    on October 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    A new study examined the relationship between the availability of nature near city dwellers' homes and their brain health. Its findings are relevant for urban planners among others. […]

  • Nice ice, maybe: Study finds water-repelling surfaces ease ice removal
    on October 18, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    A new study has discovered that ice grows differently on water-absorbent vs. water-repellent surfaces. The research suggests that applying water-repellent coatings to windshields before winter storms -- or engineering surfaces that inherently repel water -- could enable a strong breeze to handle the burden of ice removal. […]

  • Link between forest fire smoke and pollution events discovered
    on October 16, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Smoke from forest fires might contribute to more than half of certain gritty air pollution events in the continental U.S. during the summer, and as much as 20 percent of those events throughout the year, according to new research. […]

  • Cocktail tests on toxic waste called for
    on October 16, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Surprisingly low concentrations of toxic chemicals -- from fungicides to antidepressants -- can change the way some aquatic creatures swim and feed, according to new research. In addition, depending on the cocktail of toxins they can produce unexpected results. […]

  • Is it gonna blow? Measuring volcanic emissions from space
    on October 13, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Carbon dioxide measured by a NASA satellite pinpoints sources of the gas from human and volcanic activities, which may help monitor greenhouse gases responsible for climate change. […]

  • Combination of El Niño and 2016 Ecuador earthquake likely worsened Zika outbreak
    on October 13, 2017 at 12:02 am

    A Zika virus outbreak in coastal Ecuador in 2016 was likely worsened by a strong El Niño and a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck the region in April, according to a new study. […]

  • Thunderstorm activity is highest at foot of the Zugspitze
    on October 12, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Those who are afraid of thunderstorms should move to Kiel, whereas those who do not feel threatened by thunder and lightning should settle in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, because average thunderstorm activity is lowest in the city in Northern Germany and highest in the city in Bavaria, report scientists who evaluated data on thunderstorm occurrences. […]

  • Carbon dioxide levels lower than thought during super greenhouse period
    on October 12, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Researchers adds to the understanding of Earth's historic hyperthermal events to help explain the planet's current warming trend. […]

  • New threat to the ozone layer
    on October 12, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    'Ozone depletion is a well-known phenomenon and, thanks to the success of the Montreal Protocol, is widely perceived as a problem solved,' say some. But an international team of researchers, has now found an unexpected, growing danger to the ozone layer from substances not regulated by the treaty. […]

  • Bio-methane transforms from landfill waste to energy source
    on October 11, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Most manure just sits around. Anaerobic digesters take those piles and place them in large covered tanks and convert waste into an energy source. Chemical engineers examined the carbon footprint of anaerobic digestion. […]

  • Doubt cast on warming implications of brown carbon aerosol from wildfires
    on October 11, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    As devastating wildfires rage in California wine country, a team of environmental engineers have made a new discovery about wildfire smoke, and its effect on the atmosphere. […]

  • Storage is renewable energy's greatest challenge -- this low-cost sulfur battery may help
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Motivated by the challenge to drastically reduce the cost of storing renewable energy on the grid while capturing more of it, a group of scientists has developed a battery powered by sulfur, air, water, and salt -- all readily available materials -- that is nearly 100 times less expensive to produce than batteries currently on the market and can store twice as much energy as a lead-acid battery. The inventors present their prototype in Joule. […]

  • Better managing plastic waste in a handful of rivers could stem plastics in the ocean
    on October 11, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Massive amounts of plastic bits that are dangerous to aquatic life are washing into the oceans and into even the most pristine waters. But how it all gets there from inland cities has not been fully understood. Now scientists have found that 10 rivers around the world where plastic waste is mismanaged contribute to most of the oceans' total loads that come from rivers. […]

  • The costs of transporting petroleum products by pipelines and rail
    on October 10, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    While the policy debate surrounding crude oil transportation costs has emphasized accidents and spills, a new study indicates the debate is overlooking a far more serious external cost -- air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. […]

  • Conservationists' eco-footprints suggest education alone won't change behavior
    on October 10, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    A new study shows that even those presumably best informed on the environment find it hard to consistently 'walk the walk,' prompting scientists to question whether relying solely on information campaigns will ever be enough. […]

  • Green gentrification can limit the favorable effects of green areas on health
    on October 10, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    A new study suggests that more socially disadvantaged neighbors do not benefit equally from the effects newly created green areas have on health. Scientists consider that greener cities are not healthier and more equal for everyone. […]

  • Salt marsh research warns of pumpkin-colored 'zombies'
    on October 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Salt marsh research shows that growing abundance of tiny shrimp infected by a microscopic parasite may portend future threats to humankind through disease. […]

  • Diversity of large animals plays an important role in carbon cycle
    on October 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    With abundant data on plants, large animals and their activity, and carbon soil levels in the Amazon, research suggests that large animal diversity influences carbon stocks and contributes to climate change mitigation. […]

  • What soot-covered, hundred-year-old birds can tell us about saving the environment
    on October 9, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Birds in museum collections from Rust Belt cities around the turn of the century are covered with black soot from air pollution at the time. Scientists have compared the amount of soot on birds through the years to track envioronmental pollution over the last 135 years. […]

  • DNA barcoding technology helping monitor health of all-important boreal forest
    on October 6, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    The Boreal forest is essential to Canada and the world, storing carbon, purifying water and air and regulating climate. But keeping tabs on the health of this vulnerable biome has proven to be a painstaking and time-consuming undertaking - until now. Cutting-edge DNA metabarcoding technology can help speed up and improve the monitoring process, according to a new study. […]

  • Carbon feedback from forest soils to accelerate global warming
    on October 5, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    After 26 years, the world's longest-running experiment to discover how warming temperatures affect forest soils has revealed a surprising, cyclical response: Soil warming stimulates periods of abundant carbon release from the soil to the atmosphere alternating with periods of no detectable loss in soil carbon stores. The study indicates that in a warming world, a self-reinforcing and perhaps uncontrollable carbon feedback will occur between forest soils and the climate system, accelerating global warming. […]

  • Decision to rescind Waters of the United States rule (WOTUS) based on flawed analysis
    on October 5, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    New evidence suggests that the Trump Administration's proposal to rescind the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule that would limit the scope of the Clean Water Act inappropriately overlooks wetlands-related values. […]

  • Road pricing most effective in reducing vehicle emissions
    on October 5, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    For decades municipal and regional governments have used various traffic management strategies to reduce vehicle emissions, alongside advancements like cleaner fuel and greener cars. But not all traffic management strategies are created equal, says transportation experts. After reviewing more than 60 studies on the subject, scientists have concluded that road pricing -- or pay per use -- is the most effective strategy to reduce emissions and traffic. […]

  • Air pollution exposure on home-to-school routes reduces the growth of working memory
    on October 5, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    A new study has demonstrated that exposure to air pollution on the way to school can have damaging effects on children's cognitive development. The study found an association between a reduction in working memory and exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon during the walking commute to and from school. […]