Pollution

When researchers reviewed footage of flying insects, they saw that the bugs tilted their backs toward the source of artificial light.

Why Are Flying Insects 'Attracted' to Lights? Scientists May Finally Have an Answer

Moths and other insects might turn their backs toward the brightest source of light around—which has historically been the sky—to determine which way is up and which is down, according to a new paper

Plastics break down over time into micro- and nanosized particles that litter our water and air.

One Liter of Bottled Water May Contain 240,000 Tiny Plastic Fragments

A new technique reveals that the liquid may contain 10 to 1000 times more plastic pieces than previously thought

COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and others applaud after nations adopted the first climate deal calling for a transition away from fossil fuels. A lead negotiator for 39 small island nations noted that the group was not in the room when the final agreement was reached.

Nations Agree to 'Transition Away From Fossil Fuels' in Landmark Climate Deal

The agreement, which ended the COP28 climate conference, is not legally binding, but it's the first to explicitly call for moving away from fossil fuels

An oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Officials spotted an oil slick three to four miles wide off the coast of Louisiana last Thursday.

Oil Spill Dumps as Much as 1.1 Million Gallons Into Gulf of Mexico, Raising Concerns About Wildlife

The U.S. Coast Guard is still searching for the specific source of the leak, which occurred last week

Astronauts Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara were performing routine maintenance during a spacewalk outside the ISS when they lost the tool bag.

Astronauts Lost a Tool Bag During a Spacewalk—and You Can See It Floating From Earth

The bag slipped away while Jasmin Moghbeli and Loral O’Hara were performing routine maintenance on the International Space Station

John Akomfrah at his London studio, 2016

Artist John Akomfrah Is Having a Moment

The works of the recently knighted filmmaker address contemporary issues in two different Smithsonian museums

California condors are attracted to shiny things and sometimes ingest wrappers, coins and padlock keys.

'Love Locks' at the Grand Canyon Could Be Harming Endangered California Condors

Park service officials urged visitors to stop attaching padlocks to fences and throwing keys into the canyon below, where the birds could eat them

Could this innovation provide a solution to one of our era’s biggest scourges?

Scientists Have Created Synthetic Sponges That Soak Up Microplastics

Made from starch and gelatin, the biodegradable sponges remove as much as 90 percent of microplastics in tap water and seawater

In 1997, an uncrewed ship collided with Russia's Mir Space Station, causing damage to Mir's solar array panel. As the number of human-made objects in space grows, the risk of collisions in Earth orbit increases.

In a First, the FCC Fines a Satellite Company for Abandoning Space Debris

The television provider DISH failed to remove a retired satellite far enough from its previous orbit, according to a statement from the commission

Adult dugong swimming and feeding in the shallow water of the Red Sea. 

Dugong Populations Are Declining in the Great Barrier Reef, Study Finds

Destruction of seagrass habitats and "indiscriminate" gillnet fishing have both contributed to the marine mammals' dropping numbers, scientists say

Consumer products made from carbon capture can't undo the damage we’ve done to our planet—but each of them exists thanks to innovations that could. 

Little Luxuries Made With Captured Pollution Hint at Big Frontiers in Climate Science

Entrepreneurs are using jewelry, fragrances and clothing to demonstrate what’s possible with repurposed carbon—and environmentalists have questions

Smoke from wildfires in Canada blankets the New York City skyline in a haze in July 2023.

New Satellite Tracking Air Pollution Releases Its First Images

The instrument, called TEMPO, will make hourly measurements of pollutants over North America that could help reduce exposure to unhealthy air

Across the United States, around 70 percent of coal travels by rail.

Using A.I. to Track Air Pollution From Open-Top Coal Trains

Scientists in California are working with communities—and a suite of tools—to better monitor air quality

The tanks used for storing treated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan are almost at capacity.

Japan Begins Release of Treated Nuclear Wastewater Into the Pacific Ocean

Twelve years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the move is a polarizing step toward decommissioning the defunct power plant

Smoke rises from buildings destroyed in the town of Lahaina last week by the Maui wildfires. A new study ties long-term exposure to smoke from wildfires to increased risk of dementia.

Long-Term Wildfire Smoke Exposure Linked to Dementia Risk, Study Finds

Among nine sources of particle pollution, fires and agriculture had the strongest link to dementia, according to a new analysis of a national survey

The ban would apply to ships arriving at Cruise Port Amsterdam, currently located in the city's center.

Amsterdam Bans Cruise Ships to Combat Pollution and Overtourism

The city council has approved a plan to close and relocate the cruise terminal in the city's center

Nonprofits and policymakers are trying to balance tourism and outdoor recreation with conservation efforts at Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe's Clear Water Is Brimming With Tiny Plastics

The pristine lake has a higher concentration of microplastics than the water near some floating garbage patches in the oceans, according to a new study

A nesting Hawaiian green sea turtle, or honu in Hawaiian, struggles while trapped in a hole in the sea wall on Tern Island in 2014. This female was rescued, but in 2021 at least seven females died after being trapped on the island.

The Lonely Battle to Save Species on a Tiny Speck in the Pacific

As Tern Island, a former military outpost in the Hawaiian archipelago, falls apart and harms turtles, birds, seals and more, scientists wonder what’s next

Plastics typically contain chemical additives like metals and dyes, which can leach out and affect organisms nearby.

Microplastic Exposure Makes Microbes More Virulent

Laboratory research shows that someway, somehow, PVC plastic breeds antimicrobial resistance

A SeaWorld team prepares to release a rescued manatee.

The Race to Save Florida’s Manatees

Researchers are nurturing sick and injured animals back to health while working to protect natural springs and curb seagrass decline

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