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.

  • Weathering rates for mined lands exponentially higher than unmined sites
    on September 25, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    A new study found a dramatic increase in the chemical weathering rates of mined landscapes, which are melting away bedrock up to 45 times faster than unmined areas. The weathering has global consequences for the cycling of sulfur, a key nutrient for all life forms. […]

  • Lifestyle intervention may mitigate weight gain due to ubiquitous contaminant
    on September 25, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    A new study finds that perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are associated with increases in weight, but exercise and diet may reduce the obesogenic effects of these environmental contaminants. […]

  • Funded by new tax credits, US carbon-capture network could double global CO2 headed underground
    on September 25, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    Researchers have proposed a US pipeline network that would capture, transport and store underground up to 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year -- an amount equal to removing 6.5 million cars from the road. The authors found that the network infrastructure would only be possible if tax credits passed by Congress in 2018 to encourage investment in carbon capture-and-storage technology are coupled with low-interest government financing. […]

  • Indoor HEPA filters significantly reduce pollution indoors when outside air unhealthy, study finds
    on September 25, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Outdoor air pollution is a major contributor to indoor air pollution -- but high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters used in the home significantly reduce fine-particulate matter in the air compared with non-HEPA air filters, according to a new study. […]

  • Sex in plants requires thrust
    on September 24, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    In plants, to fertilize the egg, the pollen tube (which is between 1/20 and 1/5 of the width of a human hair) has to navigate through a maze of tissue, no matter what obstacles it encounters. Thanks to the lab-on-a chip technology scientists were able to actually see and measure exactly what was going on within the pollen tube as it grew. […]

  • How will climate change stress the power grid? Hint: Look at dew point temperatures
    on September 24, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    A new study suggests the power industry is underestimating how climate change could affect the long-term demand for electricity in the United States. The research describes the limitations of prediction models used by electricity providers and regulators for medium- and long-term energy forecasting. It outlines a new model that includes key climate predictors that researchers say present a more accurate view of how climate change will alter future electricity demands. […]

  • Emissions from most diesel cars in Europe greatly exceed laboratory testing levels
    on September 21, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    A new study reports finds that in Europe, 10 major auto manufacturers produced diesel cars, sold between 2000 and 2015, that generate up to 16 times more emissions on the road than in regulatory tests. […]

  • New battery gobbles up carbon dioxide
    on September 21, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    New technology could use carbon dioxide captured from power plants to make a new kind of lithium battery. […]

  • Light pollution makes fish more courageous
    on September 21, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    Artificial light at night also makes guppies more courageous during the day, according to a new behavioral study. […]

  • NASA balloon mission captures electric blue clouds
    on September 20, 2018 at 8:08 pm

    Scientists share mesmerizing new images of electric blue clouds from NASA's PMC Turbo balloon mission that flew in over the Arctic in July 2018. […]

  • Physicists train robotic gliders to soar like birds
    on September 20, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Scientists know that upward currents of warm air assist birds in flight. To understand how birds find and navigate these thermal plumes, researchers used reinforcement learning to train gliders to autonomously navigate atmospheric thermals. The research highlights the role of vertical wind accelerations and roll-wise torques as viable biological cues for soaring birds. The findings also provide a navigational strategy that directly applies to the development of UAVs. […]

  • Flood frequency of Amazon River has increased fivefold
    on September 20, 2018 at 11:58 am

    A recent study of more than 100 years of river level records from the Amazon shows a significant increase in frequency and severity of floods. […]

  • Mineral weathering from thawing permafrost can release substantial CO2
    on September 19, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    The amount of carbon dioxide released from thawing permafrost might be greater than previously thought, according to a new study by ecologists. The research is the first to document the potential for substantial contributions of CO2 from thawing permafrost to the atmosphere through an inorganic process called mineral weathering. […]

  • Origami inspires highly efficient solar steam generator
    on September 19, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Water covers most of the globe, yet many regions still suffer from a lack of clean drinking water. If scientists could efficiently and sustainably turn seawater into clean water, a looming global water crisis might be averted. Now, inspired by origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, researchers have devised a solar steam generator that approaches 100 percent efficiency for the production of clean water. […]

  • Air pollution may be linked to heightened dementia risk
    on September 18, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    Air pollution may be linked to a heightened risk of developing dementia, finds a London-based observational study. The associations found couldn't be explained by factors known to influence the risks of developing the condition, say the researchers. […]

  • Green space near home during childhood linked to fewer respiratory problems in adulthood
    on September 18, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    Children who have access to green spaces close to their homes have fewer respiratory problems, such as asthma and wheezing, in adulthood, according to new research. In contrast, children who are exposed to air pollution are more likely to experience respiratory problems as young adults. […]

  • Cash, carbon, crude: How to make oil fields bury emissions
    on September 18, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    A new analysis looks at what it would take for oil companies to start pumping millions of tons of carbon dioxide into their wells to boost crude production -- and what it would mean for the climate. […]

  • Eelgrass wasting disease has new enemies: Drones and artificial intelligence
    on September 18, 2018 at 3:09 pm

    Every year, the world loses an estimated 7 percent of its seagrasses. While the reasons are manifold, one culprit has long confounded scientists: eelgrass wasting disease. This September a team of biologists is zeroing in on the problem, in the first study of the disease to stretch along the Pacific Coast from southern California to Alaska. […]

  • A key to climate stabilization could be buried deep in the mud
    on September 18, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    While scientists fear that rising temperatures could unleash a 'bomb' of carbon from Earth's soil carbon reservoirs, a new study suggests these reservoirs might actually be more stable than predicted. […]

  • Surviving insects and plants are tougher than we think
    on September 18, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Insect pollinators and plants that have survived the impacts of agricultural intensification may have a greater ability to resist future environmental changes than previously thought, a new study has found. […]

  • Natural climate oscillations in north Atlantic linked to Greenland ice sheet melt
    on September 18, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Scientists have known for years that warming global climate is melting the Greenland Ice Sheet, the second largest ice sheet in the world. A new study, however, shows that the rate of melting might be temporarily increased or decreased by two existing climate patterns: the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). […]

  • Searching for clues on extreme climate change
    on September 18, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Nearly 13,000 years ago, pines in southern France experienced a cold snap, which scientists have now reconstructed. The study about the consequences of a drastic climate change event in past and its implications for our future. […]

  • Tropics are widening as predicted by climate models, research finds
    on September 17, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    Scientists have observed for years that Earth's tropics are widening in connection with complex changes in climate and weather patterns. But in recent years, it appeared the widening was outpacing what models predicted, suggesting other factors were at work. But a new paper finds that the most up-to-date models and the best data match up reasonably well. […]

  • Soil holds the secret to mitigating climate change
    on September 17, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    New research suggests that crop yields and the global food supply chain can be preserved by harnessing the critical, and often overlooked, partner in food supply -- soil. […]

  • Large-scale shift causing lower-oxygen water to invade Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence
    on September 17, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Rapid deoxygenation in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence is caused by shifts in two of the ocean's most powerful currents: the Gulf Stream and the Labrador Current. A detailed model shows that large-scale climate change is causing oxygen to drop in the deeper parts of this biologically rich waterway. […]

  • Paris climate targets could be exceeded sooner than expected
    on September 17, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    A new study has for the first time comprehensively accounted for permafrost carbon release when estimating emission budgets for climate targets. The results show that the world might be closer to exceeding the budget for the long-term target of the Paris climate agreement than previously thought. […]

  • Air pollution affects thyroid development in fetuses
    on September 17, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Soot and dust alters thyroid development in fetuses before they are born in smoggy cities, raising concern about health impacts later in life, new research shows. Scientists focused on more than 2,000 kids in smoggy Southern California as part of USC's ongoing Children's Health Study. […]

  • World's first passive anti-frosting surface fights ice with ice
    on September 17, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Nothing foretells the coming of winter like frost on windshields. While the inconvenience of scraping or defrosting car windows may define cold mornings for many drivers, the toll frost takes on the larger economy is more than just a nuisance. From delayed flights to power outages, ice buildup can cost consumers and companies billions of dollars every year in lost efficiency and mechanical breakdown. […]

  • First evidence that soot from polluted air is reaching placenta
    on September 16, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    Evidence of tiny particles of carbon, typically created by burning fossil fuels, has been found in placentas for the first time, in new research. […]

  • 'High-yield' farming costs the environment less than previously thought -- and could help spare...
    on September 14, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    New findings suggest that more intensive agriculture might be the 'least bad' option for feeding the world while saving its species -- provided use of such 'land-efficient' systems prevents further conversion of wilderness to farmland. […]