Pollution

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

Scientists measured a carbon dioxide concentration of 420.99 parts per million, an increase of 1.8 ppm over 2021. 

Carbon Dioxide Levels Now Higher Than Ever in Human History

Levels have risen more than 50 percent in the last two centuries alone

Mountain goats at Yellowstone National Park

Good News

National Parks Aim to Phase Out All Single-Use Plastics by 2032

Visitors to the iconic U.S. sites will see utensils and cups made from biodegradable, compostable and recycled materials

Researchers keep finding dolls and doll body parts off the coast of Texas, where ocean currents push debris and garbage onto the beach.

Why Do Creepy Dolls Keep Washing Up on Texas Beaches?

Ocean currents push the unsettling toys—and tons of other trash—onto state shores

Researchers tested how oxybenzone and sunlight combined harms anemones in a new study. 

Scientists Now Know Why Sunscreen Harms Corals

A new study shows that, when exposed to sunlight, anemones turn a chemical found in sunscreen into a toxin

Worker at a plastic recycling plant in Japan.

At Least 85 Percent of U.S. Plastic Waste Went to Landfills in 2021

Only five percent of the material was in the correct condition to be recycled

Bald eagles are intensely social in spite of also being fierce predators. Some 500 live near the remote fishing port of Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

Planet Positive

The Bald Eagle's Soaring Return Shows That the U.S. Can Change for the Better

The true meaning of a national symbol

The participants could have been exposed to microplastics through air, water and food, but also through personal care products like toothpaste or lip gloss that might have been accidentally ingested, dental polymers, parts of implants or tattoo ink residues.

Microplastics Detected in Human Blood in New Study

Researchers found plastic in the blood of 17 of 22 of study participants, or about 77 percent

Because of shore development and its heavily populated coastal cities, the Persian Gulf was one of the areas with the most light pollution.

First Global Atlas Reveals How Deep Artificial Light at Night Goes Underwater

Offshore development and coastal city lights negatively impact many marine species

For decades, researchers and divers have observed curious and intelligent octopi utilize oceanic pollution as tools or taking up residence in glass bottles.

Octopuses Are Reusing Human Trash as Shelter

In crowdsourced images, the cephalopods were observed making refuse their home, even using the junk as a place to lay eggs

To better understand how hypoxia—dangerously low oxygen levels—affects crabs, researchers and fishers are working together to find a way to adjust to changing conditions in the northeast Pacific Ocean.

A New Tool May Help Crab Fishers Sidestep Dead Zones

Low-cost sensors that fit into crab pots could provide real-time data on oxygen fluctuations in the ocean

A new way of recycling has grabbed the attention of some of the world’s largest consumer goods companies, including L’Oréal, Nestlé, and PepsiCo, who collaborated with startup company Carbios to produce proof-of-concept bottles.

The Future of Recycling May Be in Microbes

An enzyme-based recycling technology is poised to go commercial, but questions about cost and scalability linger

Collectors have gone out to look for rare pieces like washed-up octopuses and green dragons.

After 25 Years at Sea, Shipwrecked Lego Pieces Are Still Washing Ashore on Beaches in England

In 1997, a cargo ship was struck by a rogue wave. Among 62 shipping containers aboard, one contained five million plastic toy bricks

Threats like hunting, habitat loss and the pesticide DDT contributed to the bald eagle's decline.

After 35 Years of Recovery Efforts, Bald Eagles Are No Longer Considered Endangered in Vermont

The state first listed the raptors as endangered in 1987

Brine shrimp, and brine shrimp eggs, are teeny-tiny. But by analyzing the light they reflect, scientists can now identify aggregations of them from space.

Scientists Can Spot Shrimp Eggs From Space

By analyzing the light it reflects, scientists can say whether that floating blob in a satellite image is made up of shrimp, seaweed or something else

More than a third of Americans cook with gas stoves, which can emit formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and nitric oxides.

Gas Stoves Are Worse for Climate and Health Than Previously Thought

A new study is heating up the debate over gas-powered stovetops

Some chemical compounds used in sunscreens, such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, are facing scrutiny from legislators and environmental advocates. Scientists are looking to the ultraviolet light-blocking compounds produced by marine organisms as potential replacements.

Designing a More Environmentally Friendly Sunscreen

Scientists are sourcing new ultraviolet ray-blocking compounds from algae, seaweed, cyanobacteria and other marine creatures

Last November, a team of scientists and photographers spent 200 hours studying the vast reef during a dive expedition supported by UNESCO.

Good News

Researchers Find a Pristine Coral Reef Off the Coast of Tahiti

With rose-shaped corals as far as the eye can see, it is one of the largest healthy reefs on record

Seventy percent of all crop species depend on insects for pollination, but a new study shows a decrease in pollinators in areas exposed to air pollution. 

 

Air Pollution Makes It Harder for Insect Pollinators to Find Flowers

Some bug populations were reduced up to 70 percent in areas exposed to diesel exhaust and ozone contamination

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