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  • wildfire
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Your search has returned 158 articles:
  • News

    Wildfires are making extreme air pollution even worse in the northwest U.S.

    The northwestern United States has become an air pollution hot spot — literally.

    Air quality in states from Nevada to Montana is worse than it was 30 years ago on the days with the most extreme air pollution. Bigger and more frequent wildfires that spew plumes of fine particulate matter into the sky are largely to blame, researchers report July 16 in Proceedings of the National Academy...

    07/16/2018 - 15:19 Pollution, Climate
  • Science Stats

    Air pollution is triggering diabetes in 3.2 million people each year

    Air pollution caused 3.2 million new cases of diabetes worldwide in 2016, according to a new estimate.

    Fine particulate matter, belched out by cars and factories and generated through chemical reactions in the atmosphere, hang around as haze and make air hard to breathe. Air pollution has been linked to chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes (SN: 9/30/17, p. 18), but this...

    07/09/2018 - 17:11 Health, Pollution
  • News

    Sunshine is making Deepwater Horizon oil stick around

    Sunlight shapes oil spills’ long-term legacies.

    In the days and weeks after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, sunlight hit the oil slicks on the surface of the water. That triggered chemical reactions that added oxygen to oil molecules that once were just chains of carbon and hydrogen atoms. These oxygenated hydrocarbons are still sticking around eight years...

    06/12/2018 - 07:00 Pollution, Chemistry
  • Science Ticker

    Treating roads with oil and gas wastewater may spread harmful pollution

    Each year, finding and extracting oil and gas for energy produces hundreds of billions of gallons of wastewater in the United States. When recycled and spread on roads, the wastewater can leak its contaminants, including salt, radioactive elements and chemicals that interfere with hormones, into groundwater and surface water, researchers report May 30 in Environmental Science and Technology....

    05/30/2018 - 17:49 Pollution, Ecosystems
  • News

    This plastic can be recycled over and over and over again

    There’s a great future in plastics.

    A new kind of plastic can, when exposed to the right chemicals, break down into the same basic building blocks that it came from and be rebuilt again and again. The recyclable material is more durable than previous attempts to create reusable plastics, researchers report inthe April 27 Science.

    Designing plastics that can be easily reused is one...

    04/26/2018 - 15:40 Pollution, Chemistry, Materials
  • Science Ticker

    This plastic-gobbling enzyme just got an upgrade

    Just a few tweaks to a bacterial enzyme make it a lean, mean plastic-destroying machine.

    One type of plastic, polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, is widely used in polyester clothing and disposable bottles and is notoriously persistent in landfills. In 2016, Japanese scientists identified a new species of bacteria, Ideonella sakaiensis, which has a specialized enzyme that can naturally...

    04/19/2018 - 07:00 Microbes, Pollution
  • News

    Microplastics may enter freshwater and soil via compost

    Composting waste is heralded as being good for the environment. But it turns out that compost collected from homes and grocery stores is a previously unknown source of microplastic pollution, a new study April 4 in Science Advances reports.

    This plastic gets spread over fields, where it may be eaten by worms and enter the food web, make its way into waterways or perhaps break down...

    04/05/2018 - 16:17 Pollution, Oceans
  • The Science Life

    Humpback whale bumps have marine biologists stumped

    Off the Kohala coast on the Big Island of Hawaii, Christine Gabriele spots whale 875. The familiar propeller scar on its left side and the shape of its dorsal fin are like a telltale fingerprint. Gabriele, a marine biologist with the Hawaii Marine Mammal Consortium, confirms the whale’s identity against her extensive photo catalog. Both Gabriele and this male humpback have migrated to this...

    03/26/2018 - 13:56 Animals, Pollution, Oceans
  • Science Stats

    The great Pacific garbage patch may be 16 times as massive as we thought

    We’re going to need a bigger trash can.

    A pooling of plastic waste floating in the ocean between California and Hawaii contains at least 79,000 tons of material spread over 1.6 million square kilometers, researchers report March 22 in Scientific Reports. That’s the equivalent to the mass of more than 6,500 school buses. Known as the great Pacific garbage patch, the hoard is four to 16...

    03/22/2018 - 10:00 Pollution, Oceans
  • News

    Household products make surprisingly large contributions to air pollution

    AUSTIN, Texas — To reduce your impact on air quality, you might expect to trade in your gas-guzzling clunker of a car — but you can also unplug those air fresheners. 

    In urban areas, emissions from consumer goods such as paint, cleaning supplies and personal care products now contribute as much to ozone and fine particulate matter in the atmosphere as do emissions from burning gasoline...

    02/15/2018 - 14:00 Chemistry, Pollution