Pollution

Ugandan youth climate activist Leah Namugerwa speaks during the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Implementation Summit of the UNFCCC. 

What You Need to Know About the COP27 Climate Summit

World leaders are gathered in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to discuss climate action

Only about five to six percent of plastic waste produced in the U.S. is recycled, per a new report from Greenpeace.

That Plastic You Put in a Blue Bin Might Now Be in a Landfill

A new Greenpeace report found that most plastics produced in the U.S. are never recycled

A map showing the two-mile-long plume of methane southeast of Carlsbad, New Mexico, detected by NASA's EMIT sensors

NASA Finds More Than 50 Super-Emitters of Methane

While mapping minerals in Earth’s deserts, the agency's new detector on the ISS spotted massive contributors to climate change

Emmett Lewis' ancestor Cudjo Lewis was one of the last survivors of the Clotilda.

These Descendants Never Forgot the Story of the Last American Slave Ship

A new Netflix documentary follows the families of the "Clotilda" captives as they grapple with how their past informs their future

Frozen chemicals across the country could thaw and make their way into groundwater and surface water during winters, research suggests.

Once-Frozen Chemicals Could Pollute Water as Winters Warm

Thawing agricultural nutrients threaten streams, lakes and rivers across the country, new research suggests

A wax worm on a piece of plastic with holes

Wax Worm Saliva Is the Unlikely Hero of Fighting Plastic Waste

Their enzymes can break down plastic in a matter of hours

Giraffe drinking with oxpecker birds in the background in South Africa

View 16 Breathtaking Images From the Nature Conservancy's Annual Photo Contest

The winning shots feature everything from glowing mushrooms to sauntering lions

A worker installs a new row of bitcoin mining machines at the Whinstone US Bitcoin mining facility in Rockdale, Texas, the largest bitcoin-mining facility in North America. 

Bitcoin Could Rival Beef or Crude Oil in Environmental Impact

Carbon emissions from mining one coin increased 126-fold from 2016 to 2021, a new study finds

Ruins of Tikal, where researchers found high concentrations of mercury 

Ancient Maya Cities Were Polluted With High Levels of Mercury

The concentrations at some dig sites could be hazardous for today's archaeologists

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in Washington, D.C, on June 29, 2022. The EPA announced the launch of an office for advancing environmental justice and civil rights on Saturday. 

EPA Creates National Office for Environmental Justice and Civil Rights

It will distribute $3 billion in climate and environmental justice grants to underserved communities

Fires burn in the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil on August 31, 2022. 

Wildfires Reached a Five-Year High in the Brazilian Amazon

Rapid deforestation has made the rainforest more vulnerable to flames, experts say

An industrial fracking well

Children Living Near Fracking Sites Have an Increased Risk for Leukemia, Study Suggests

Researchers find negative health impacts for young people and newborns related to oil and gas development

Firefighting foam can contain 'forever chemicals,' which are in many products including food packaging and nonstick cookware. These compounds accumulate in air, soil and water.

Scientists Find a New Technique for Breaking Down 'Forever Chemicals'

The man-made toxins are everywhere and linked to numerous health problems

James Lovelock sits with one of his early inventions, a Gas Chromatography device that measures molecules in the atmosphere.

Remembering James Lovelock, Whose ‘Gaia Theory’ Shaped Our Understanding of Global Warming

The British scientist and inventor who said Earth is a self-regulating system died earlier this summer on his 103rd birthday

A wave carrying plastic washes up in Thailand. For microbes in the ocean, floating plastic is a new potential ecosystem. And those microbes include pathogens that can make people sick. 

Human Pathogens Are Hitching a Ride on Floating Plastic

Studies show that various harmful bacteria cling to microplastics in seawater

A polar bear mom and cub wander near the quarry on the outskirts of Churchill. 

As Arctic Temperatures Rise, Polar Bears Are Eating More Garbage

A new paper warns that a growing reliance on trash is leading to more human-bear conflict

Struvite is a nuisance for wastewater treatment plants, as it can clog pipes and lines. But the crystal, which is high in phosphorous, nitrogen, and magnesium, makes an excellent slow-release fertilizer for seagrass.

Human Pee Might Just Be the Key to Saving Seagrass

Treating wastewater creates struvite—a nutrient-rich crystal that bolsters struggling seagrass beds

Trash collects on Ballona Creek in California after rainfall.

Good News

California Passes Sweeping New Plastic Waste Law

The legislation requires that all packaging in the state must be recyclable or compostable within ten years

Scientists assessed changes in the gut microbiome of superworms (Zophobas morio) in a new study.

Innovation for Good

Polystyrene-Eating 'Superworms' May Provide Clues for Better Recycling

Scientists find enzymes in the gut microbiome of beetle larvae that can degrade one of the most widely used plastics

Researchers found microplastics in snow samples from the Ross Island region in Antarctica. 

In a First, Microplastics Are Found in Fresh Antarctic Snow

The research highlights the extent of plastic pollution and transmission even in remote regions of the world

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