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.

  • More bioplastics do not necessarily contribute to climate change mitigation
    on December 7, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Bioplastics are often promoted as an environmentally and climate-friendly alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastics. However, a recent study suggests that shifting to plant-based plastics could have less positive effects than expected. Specifically, an increased consumption of bioplastics in the following years is likely to generate increased greenhouse gas emissions from cropland expansion on a global scale. […]

  • Rules to boost fuel economy for passenger vehicles will do more good than harm, new study shows
    on December 6, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Experts conclude that rules on the books to increase fuel economy for passenger vehicles will do more good than harm, contradicting claims by the Trump administration as it seeks to roll back fuel economy standards. […]

  • Fighting smog supports solar power
    on December 6, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    Model calculations by researchers show that if China fought smog more aggressively, it could massively increase solar power production. […]

  • Mitigating the effect of climate change on sea turtles
    on December 6, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    New research has reported effective conservation strategies that can mitigate the impacts of climate warming on sea turtle nesting success. […]

  • Atmospheric scientists find causes of firenado in deadly Carr Fire
    on December 6, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    Atmospheric scientists have documented a rare firenado, finding a number of factors that combined at just the right time and place to catalyze the deadly Carr Fire in Northern California. These observations may help forecasters and scientists identify -- and potentially warn - for future destructive fire-generated vortices. […]

  • Missing the forest for the trees: An unexpected picture of New York City forests
    on December 6, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    An inventory of New York City's expansive yet overlooked 'forested natural areas' reveals that, contrary to previous reports, native species still comprise about 82 percent of the city's forest stands. In the forests' mid- and understory, however, the proportion of native species fell significantly, suggesting that their dominance could decline in coming decades. […]

  • Transforming our food system to ensure a sustainable future
    on December 6, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    By 2050, the world will have almost 10 billion people. It will be impossible to feed everyone without exacerbating poverty, accelarting deforestation and increasing GHG emissions unless we start making substantial changes to our food system now. This issue is covered in a new report. […]

  • Report reveals link between air pollution and increased risk for miscarriage
    on December 5, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Researchers found women living along the Wasatch Front -- the most populous region in the state of Utah -- had a higher risk (16 percent) of miscarriage following short-term exposure to elevated air pollution. […]

  • Wind power vulnerable to climate change in India
    on December 5, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    The warming of the Indian Ocean, caused by global climate change, may be causing a slow decline in wind power potential in India, according to a new study. […]

  • Dirty air now could harm hearts of offspring later
    on December 5, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    A parent's exposure to dirty air before conception might spell heart trouble for the next generation, a new animal study suggests. […]

  • Pollution: New ammonia emission sources detected from space
    on December 5, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Researchers have prepared the first global map of the distribution of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) by analyzing measurements taken by satellites between 2008 and 2016. The IASI interferometer allowed them to catalog more than 200 ammonia sources, two-thirds of which had never been identified before. These sources are essentially sites of intensive livestock production and industrial activity. […]

  • Global carbon dioxide emissions rise even as coal wanes and renewables boom
    on December 5, 2018 at 6:39 pm

    Renewable energy capacity has hit record levels and global coal use may have already peaked. But the world's carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels increased in 2018, and the trend places global warming targets in jeopardy. […]

  • Potential role of bioaerosol sampling in disease surveillance
    on December 5, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    A pilot study shows that non-invasive bioaerosol sampling and molecular diagnostics can detect respiratory viruses in aerosol samples in public places such as Singapore's MRT trains. Findings support possibility of employing bioaerosol samplers in crowded areas of densely populated cities like Singapore facing heightened risk from global pandemics. […]

  • Wildfire ash could trap mercury
    on December 5, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Researchers studying ash from recent California wildfires report that burned material in forests might help sequester mercury that otherwise would be released into the environment. […]

  • Neighborhoods with more green space may mean less heart disease
    on December 5, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    People who live in neighborhoods with more green spaces may have better blood vessel health and lower levels of stress, and a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and others. […]

  • Can rice filter water from agricultural fields?
    on December 5, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    While it's an important part of our diets, new research shows that rice plants can be used in a different way, too: to clean runoff from farms before it gets into rivers, lakes, and streams. […]

  • How mussels handle microplastic fiber pollution
    on December 4, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    New research shows that mussels readily take in microplastic pollution fibers from the ocean but quickly flush most of them out again, according to a new study. […]

  • Pulses of sinking carbon reaching the deep sea are not captured in global climate models
    on December 3, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    A new study shows that pulses of sinking debris carry large amounts of carbon to the deep seafloor, but are poorly represented in global climate models. […]

  • Salt-evolved zooplankton grow too slowly to block salt-induced algal blooms
    on December 3, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Small animals at the base of the freshwater food chain can rapidly adapt to salt pollution -- from sources like winter road deicing, agriculture, and mining -- but at a price. […]

  • Saltier waterways are creating dangerous 'chemical cocktails'
    on December 3, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    New research suggests that saltier, more alkaline freshwater can release toxic metals and harmful nitrogen-containing compounds from streambeds and soils in drainage basins. The results further suggest that many of these chemicals travel together throughout watersheds, forming 'chemical cocktails' that can have more devastating effects on drinking water supplies and ecosystems when compared with individual contaminants alone. […]

  • Scientists call for eight steps to increase soil carbon for climate action and food security
    on December 3, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Leading scientists call for action to increase global soil carbon, in advance of the annual climate summit of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) and World Soil Day. […]

  • Snowpack declines may stunt tree growth and forests' ability to store carbon emissions
    on December 1, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Researchers conducting a 5-year-long study examining snow cover in a northern hardwood forest region found that projected changes in climate could lead to a 95 percent reduction of deep-insulating snowpack in forest areas across the northeastern United States by the end of the 21st century. The loss of snowpack would likely result in a steep reduction of forests' ability to store climate-changing carbon dioxide and filter pollutants from the air and water. […]

  • Greenhouse gas 'detergent' recycles itself in atmosphere
    on November 30, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    A simple molecule in the atmosphere that acts as a 'detergent' to break down methane and other greenhouse gases has been found to recycle itself to maintain a steady global presence in the face of rising emissions, according to new research. Understanding its role in the atmosphere is critical for determining the lifetime of methane, a powerful contributor to climate change. […]

  • Historical climate important for soil responses to future climate change
    on November 30, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Researchers examined how 18 years of drought affect the billions of vital bacteria that are hidden in the soil beneath our feet. The results show that this type of extreme weather determines how soils respond to future climate change. […]

  • Climate change and air pollution damaging health and causing millions of premature deaths
    on November 29, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Researchers are looking at the effects of climate change on human health, and the implications for society. […]

  • Flounder now tumor-free in Boston Harbor
    on November 28, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    In the late 1980s, more than three-quarters of the winter flounder caught in Boston Harbor -- one of the most polluted harbors in America -- showed signs of liver disease, many of them with cancerous tumors. But now, scientists have documented a dramatic rebound in flounder health spurred by decades of remediation efforts. […]

  • Device could provide refrigeration for off-grid locations
    on November 28, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    A new system can provide passive cooling without the need for power, and could be used to preserve food or vaccines in hot, off-grid locations. […]

  • Scientists achieve direct electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide, raising hopes for smart...
    on November 28, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Chemists propose an innovative way to achieve carbon capture using a rhenium-based electrocatalytic system that is capable of reducing low-concentration carbon dioxide (even 1 percent) with high selectivity and durability, which is a new potential technology to enable direct utilization of carbon dioxide in exhaust gases from heavy industries. […]

  • Solving a 75-year-old mystery might provide a new source of farm fertilizer
    on November 27, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    The solution to a 75-year-old materials mystery might one day allow farmers in developing nations to produce their own fertilizer on demand, using sunlight and nitrogen from the air. […]

  • How plastic waste moves in the environment
    on November 27, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    A researcher for the first time has modeled how microplastic fibers move through the environment. The work could someday help communities better understand and reduce plastics pollution, which is a growing problem around the world. […]