Anthropocene Air

A man in Seattle wears a mask as wildfire smoke descends on the city in September of 2020.


Four Ways to Protect Yourself From Harmful Air Pollution Caused by Wildfires

Awareness about exposure, high-quality masks and air filters can help protect you from dangerous pollutants in smoke

A large dust storm, or haboob, sweeps across downtown Phoenix on July 21, 2012.

New Research

How Climate Changed-Fueled “Mega Droughts” Could Harm Human Health

Researchers looked at the little-studied danger of dust and worsening air quality in the American Southwest

Smog and other types of pollution were linked to nine million deaths in 2015 by a new report

One in Six Global Deaths Linked to Pollution

A new report suggests that pollution led to the deaths of nine million people in 2015

"I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," President Trump said during his announcement that the United States would be leaving the Paris agreement. Pictured: a steel mill in the Monongahela Valley of East Pittsburgh in the early 1970's.

How America Stacks Up When It Comes to Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Hint: We're not number one, but we're close

Emissions from steel production in eastern China are fertilizing nearby oceans.

Age of Humans

Human Pollution May Be Fertilizing The Oceans. That’s Not a Good Thing

Our iron emissions from coal and steel may be fuelling ocean life, and trapping carbon in the process

Our global greenhouse gas emissions may not be any lower overall, but the historic treaty established a framework for an international plan of action.

Age of Humans

Twelve Years Ago, the Kyoto Protocol Set the Stage for Global Climate Change Policy

The predecessor of today’s Paris Agreement got us one step closer to an international plan of action on climate change

In 300 years of fundamentally altering the Earth and its climate, what have we learned?

Age of Humans

Your Guide to All Things Anthropocene

Documenting an era of manmade change

Radiocarbon dating has been used to determine of the ages of ancient mummies, in some cases going back more than 9000 years.

Age of Humans

Thanks to Fossil Fuels, Carbon Dating Is in Jeopardy. One Scientist May Have an Easy Fix

If only there were such an easy fix for climate change

Ahead of her time: Foote first identified the greenhouse effect, now a seminal concept in climate science.

This Suffrage-Supporting Scientist Defined the Greenhouse Effect But Didn’t Get the Credit, Because Sexism

Eunice Foote’s career highlights the subtle forms of discrimination that have kept women on the sidelines of science

Simple, yet effective.

Why Public Health Researchers Are Looking to Urban Trees

A global study finds they can help cool cities and reduce air pollution—for less money than high-tech answers

In the past few weeks, thousands of fish have gone belly-up.

The Massive Yellowstone Fish Die-Off: A Glimpse Into Our Climate Future?

This unprecedented kill reveals why we need to keep rivers resilient

Louisiana's August 2016 flood has destroyed over 40,000 homes and killed at least 13.

Age of Humans

Does Climate Change Fuel Floods? It’s Complicated

Here’s why that question is hard to answer

The Mauna Loa observatory.

Age of Humans

The Enduring Climate Legacy of Mauna Loa

Sixty years after a trailblazing climate scientist scaled its heights, the Hawaii-based observatory remains essential

Shanghai in 2009.

Age of Humans

Stop 'Naming and Shaming' Polluted Cities. It Doesn't Work

Why calling out 'Most polluted cities' sometimes backfires

The view looking into the Shenandoah Valley can be hugely obscured by haze.

Age of Humans

Even in 'Pristine' National Parks, the Air's Not Clear

And cleaning it up might take centuries

Scientists injected more than 200 tons of dissolved carbon dioxide into this field in Iceland. Two years later, almost all the carbon had been converted into rock.

Age of Humans

Iceland Carbon Capture Project Quickly Converts Carbon Dioxide Into Stone

More than 95 percent of gas injected into the ground precipitated out as harmless carbonate, scientists calculate

Some of the worst air pollution in the world--caused by many sources, including automobile exhaust--is found in New Delhi, India, according to the World Health Organization.

Age of Humans

Even in the Most Polluted Cities, You Can Exercise Outdoors (A Little)

A new model finds that the health benefits of outdoor exercise can outweigh the hazards of air pollution.

The now-closed Fisk Generating Station in Chicago was once a triumph of engineering and considered one of the more efficient coal-fired plants in the country. Now, though, coal-fired plants like this one are looked on as dirty emitters of carbon dioxide--but CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas worth worrying about.

Age of Humans

When it Comes to Greenhouse Gases, CO2 Isn’t the Only Game in Town

Carbon dioxide rightly gets the attention in the climate change debate. But here are four more gases that can wreck our atmosphere.

Stephen Conley flies over Aliso Canyon to take measurements of methane spewing from the natural gas storage facility in Southern California in January 2016.

New Research

The Size of the California Methane Leak Isn’t the Scariest Part of the Story

The Aliso Canyon leak doubled Los Angeles’ methane emissions—and it's just one disaster we were lucky enough to find

Solar panels and wind turbines could help the U.S. reduce carbon emissions for cheaper than you think.

New Research

The U.S. Could Switch to Mostly Renewable Energy, No Batteries Needed

Better electricity sharing across states would dampen the effects of variable weather on wind and solar power