Pollution

Scientists identified a link between the severity of air pollution events and the amount of land that burned in nearby regions in the preceding week.

Health Risks of Smoke and Ozone Rise in the West as Wildfires Worsen

High levels of two dangerous pollutants are occurring with increasing frequency, researchers say

Though pikes (picture above) had the highest concentration of methylmercury in their bodies, they recovered faster than other species. 

Fish Can Recover Surprisingly Quickly From Mercury Pollution

If the chemical stops leaking into freshwater ecosystems, its concentration in some fish species can drop by more than 75 percent

Large amounts of plastic trash accumulated in Ballona Creek in Culver City, California.

Plastic-Degrading Enzymes May Be Increasing in Response to Pollution

One in every four organisms in the microbiomes they surveyed carries a plastic-degrading protein sequence

Human-caused pollution is killing the seagrass that manatees feed on.

Florida Wildlife Officials Move to Feed Starving Manatees in Experimental Conservation Approach

The unprecedented feeding plan comes as more than 1,000 manatees—about 15 percent of the state’s total population—have died this year

Plastic makes up 80 percent of all marine debris found, from surface waters to deep-sea sediments 

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Hosts Life in the Open Ocean

Coastal plants and animals are thriving on the plastic debris, posing potential ecological risks

Other biodegradable bioplastics from algae, cornstarch, sawdust have lower emissions over their lifetime than regular oil-based plastics but still, need the energy provided by the fossil-fuel energy grid to manufacture.

Scientists Made an Eco-Friendly Plastic Using DNA From Salmon Sperm

The material requires 97 percent less carbon emissions to make than petroleum-based plastics

Species like seals, sharks, seahorses and eels have found their way back to the river in recent decades.

Once Deemed 'Biologically Dead,' a New Report Shows London's River Thames Recovering

Though wildlife populations are recovering, climate change and sewage still threaten the river's health

Carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels fell more than 5 percent last year but jumped back up in 2021.

Global CO2 Emissions Have Returned to Near Pre-Pandemic Levels

A new report shows carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels jumped by more this year than they fell during 2020

oastal darkening reduces the amount of light that penetrates into coastal waters with a range of consequences for local ecosystems and, potentially, the world.

How Coastal Darkening Is Harming Kelp Forests

The environmental threat that researchers are only beginning to study is dramatically reducing the productivity of the plant

Artists paint a mural near the Scottish Events Centre, which will be hosting the Climate Summit starting October 31 in Glasgow, Scotland. 

Five Important Questions About COP26 Answered

Representatives from nearly 200 nations are expected to meet and report on climate change promises made in the Paris Agreement

Hermit crabs are essential scavengers in the ocean. They may crawl into discarded tires looking for food or shelter, and become trapped and die of starvation.

Discarded Tires Are 'Ghost Fishing' Hermit Crabs

New research suggests these shell-swapping crustaceans are vulnerable to becoming trapped inside human debris

The device was developed by The Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit that aims to remove 90 percent of floating ocean plastic by 2040.

This New Installation Pulled 20,000 Pounds of Plastic From the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The trash collection device dubbed 'Jenny' could help address overwhelming marine plastic pollution

Plastic debris covers much of the sand on Henderson Island.

Plastics Make Beaches Hotter During the Day and Colder at Night

A study of remote islands shows that debris alters sand temperatures

Inspired by the fluttering seeds, researchers designed a tiny, winged microchip that is powerful enough to monitor environmental contamination, biohazards, and airborne disease. Here it is shown next to a lady bug for scale.

 

Innovation for Good

This Flying, Chemical-Detecting Microchip Is Smaller Than a Grain of Sand

Inspired by helicopter seeds, the device could soon be used to monitor the environment

Babies may be exposed to microplastics from putting toys in their mouths or from plastic baby bottles, sippy cups, and pacifiers that might shed pieces of PET.

Baby Poo Has Ten Times More Microplastics Than Adult Feces

The small pilot study included fecal samples from ten adults and six infants in New York state

Fishers gather rope and nets on a fishing boat in Gaza in May 2021. 

New Research

With Ropes and Nets, Fishing Fleets Contribute Significantly to Microplastic Pollution

Synthetic ropes release 'substantial amount' of plastic particles into the sea during each use, according to new research

A green turtle surrounded by glassfish in Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Green sea turtles, which are classified as endangered, migrate long distances between feeding grounds and the beaches from where they hatched.

See Stunning Undersea Images That Showcase Our Blue Planet

From reef sharks to bioluminescent squid, the Ocean Photography Award highlights the wonders and perils of life in the sea

New research suggests that clouds affected by wildfire smoke hold more water droplets but are tiny and less likely drop as rain.

Smoky Clouds That Form Over Wildfires Produce Less Rain

Particles from the smoke create tiny droplets too small to fall to Earth

Orca will be able to capture the equivalent of the annual emissions made by 790 cars.

Innovation for Good

World's Largest Carbon Capture Plant Opens in Iceland

'Orca' will use geothermal energy to pull thousands of metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and pump it underground

Fossil fuel-free steel was made for the first time in Sweden using "green" hydrogen technology.

Innovation for Good

Fossil Fuel–Free 'Green' Steel Produced for the First Time

A Swedish consortium delivered the first batch of the metal—made using 'green' hydrogen—to an automobile manufacturer for truck production

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