Tough luck for frogs, and a guilty conscience for Norsemen
By M. FarbmanPosted 01.26.2009 at 11:05 am 1 Comment
So, Norwegians are strapping and blonde, progressive and environmentally friendly -- right? Maybe not that last part: the Scandinavian country generates the most pollution per capita in Europe. It's a bit of a sticky wicket -- should Norway restrain its development of oil and gas to prevent these resources from being used at all? When is green green enough -- and what happens to the country if all of its citizens and politicians can't agree on these points?
Also in today's links: cutting smog, mystery fish and more.
The bright, pristine slopes are calling your name. You head up to the mountain at sunrise, strap on your skis, and hit the first run. Only, instead of the immaculate white snow you had been dreaming about, you find the snowpacks are not as bright white as they should be, and your run is accompanied by streams of melting snow following you down the side of the mountain. The culprit? Soot. This pollutant has been darkening and melting snow-covered mountains for awhile, but the first experiments to quantify how much soot contributes to snowpack melt were only carried out recently.
Think smoking is bad for you? Try just breathing. Louisiana scientists have discovered a group of previously undetected air pollutants that when inhaled exposes the average person to 300 times more free radicals than that of one cigarette in a day.
Modeling the behavior of pollution clouds can help combat them
By Sam BarrettPosted 07.31.2008 at 5:25 pm 0 Comments
Chemists from Aerodyne Research, Inc. and Boston University have developed an aerosol mass spectrometer that will aid in the study of airborne particles and their effect on climate change and public health.
What's the most polluting ride around? The answer may surprise you
By Dawn StoverPosted 07.10.2008 at 3:27 pm 4 Comments
In the latest Forbes list of the 10 worst polluters, you'll find the usual suspects including the Hummer H2 and Chevy Suburban 2500 (tied for fifth place). But at the top of the list is an SUV that hasn't received its fair share of environmental scorn: the Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI.
Wait, now pollution is preventing global warming? That's the conclusion of a recent study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, which says rising temperatures seen in Europe over the last few years result as much from the reduction of air pollution as from the creation of it. The research, which looked at the effects of aerosols on climate, confirms an older concept known as global dimming, and complicates our understanding of how mankind affects the climate.
Arsenic-laced drinking water, lead-contaminated soils and choking air pollution are sadly just the start in some of the world's dirtiest places
By PopSci StaffPosted 06.23.2008 at 12:58 pm 12 Comments
You may already know about the pollution plight of Linfen, China. But how about the heavy metals Pittsburghers breathe in on a daily basis? Or the incomparable smog Milanesi put up with? PopSci has culled an eye-opening selection of some of the world's most problematic cities. From the painfully high cancer rates in Sumgayit, Azerbaijan to the acid rain destroying La Oroya, Peru, writer Jason Daley will walk you through the lowest of the low; and explain why, despite it all, there's still hope for these places.
A new type of plastic made from corn starch could solve some of the material's most egregious crimes
By Matt RansfordPosted 04.18.2008 at 12:41 am 10 Comments
On the heels of our reporting about Canada's probable move to ban BPA plastics comes a story about researchers working at Missouri University of Science and Technology to develop hybrid plastics that would biodegrade in landfills within four months. As our editor Nicole Dyer pointed out in a comment to the BPA post, the larger and more important issue facing plastics is their propensity to stick around forever.
Deadly soot emerges as a much bigger contributor to global warming than previously believed
By Gregory MonePosted 03.24.2008 at 10:57 am 1 Comment
In a new review article in Nature Geoscience, two scientists say that black carbon, the stuff that gets kicked up into the air from biomass burning and diesel engines, among other things, could account for as much as 60 percent of the warming effect of carbon dioxide. That's three to four times greater than most estimates, and more than that of any greenhouse gas save CO2.