Pollution

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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