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News about environmental issues. Latest "Green" and sustainable technologies news.

Air pollution may affect severity and hospitalization in COVID-19 patients

Patients who have preexisting respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and live in areas with high levels of air pollution have a greater chance of hospitalization if they contract COVID-19, according to new research.

Northern star coral study could help protect tropical corals

As the Rhode Island legislature considers designating the Northern Star Coral an official state emblem, researchers are finding that studying this local creature's recovery from a laboratory-induced stressor could help better understand how to protect endangered tropical corals.

Snow chaos in Europe caused by melting sea-ice in the Arctic

The April snow falling on fruit blossoms in Europe these days may be directly connected to the loss of the sea ice in the Barents Sea in the Arctic.  That was definitely the case in 2018 when the sudden cold spell known as 'Beast from the East' descended on the mid-latitudes of the continent,  a new study shows.

Plastic planet: Tracking pervasive microplastics across the globe

Really big systems, like ocean currents and weather, work on really big scales. And so too does your plastic waste, according to new research.

Road salts and other human sources are threatening world's freshwater supplies

When winter storms threaten to make travel dangerous, people often turn to salt to melt snow and ice. Road salt is an important tool for safety, but a new study warns that introducing salt into the environment -- for de-icing roads, fertilizing farmland or other purposes -- releases toxic chemical cocktails that create a serious and growing global threat to our freshwater supply and human health.

Volcanic pollution return linked to jump in respiratory disease cases

Respiratory disease increased by almost a quarter after the Holuhraun lava eruption in 2014-2015, one of Iceland's largest volcanic eruptions. Emissions returning in the days immediately following volcanic eruptions impact health and are not factored into responses to the public health threat caused by volcanoes. The study authors recommend government responses take these emissions into account.

Even 'safe' ambient carbon monoxide levels may harm health, study finds

Data collected from 337 cities across 18 countries show that even slight increases in ambient carbon monoxide levels from automobiles and other sources are associated with increased mortality.

Mountain growth influences greenhouse effect

A group of researchers has taken advantage of different erosion rates and investigated how uplift and erosion of rocks determine the balance of carbon emissions and uptake. The surprising result: at high erosion rates, weathering processes release carbon dioxide; at low erosion rates, they sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

Corals carefully organize proteins to form rock-hard skeletons

Scientists have shown that coral structures consist of a biomineral containing a highly organized organic mix of proteins that resembles what is in our bones. Their study shows that several proteins are organized spatially -- a process that's critical to forming a rock-hard coral skeleton.

One-third of Antarctic ice shelf area at risk of collapse as planet warms

Study shows highest warming scenario would put 34% of Antarctic's ice shelf area at risk of fracture and collapse from melting and run-off - including 67% of the Antarctic Peninsular ice shelf area. This would allow glaciers to flow freely into the sea causing sea level rise.

Scientists develop eco-friendly pollen sponge to tackle water contaminants

Scientists have created a reusable, biodegradable sponge that can readily soak up oil and other organic solvents from contaminated water sources, making it a promising alternative for tackling marine oil spills. Made of sunflower pollen, the sponge is hydrophobic thanks to its coat of natural fatty acid. In lab experiments, the scientists showed the sponge's ability to absorb oil contaminants of various densities, such as gasoline and motor oil, at a rate comparable to that of commercial oil absorbents.

Aquatic ecosystems source of half of global methane emissions

Methane emissions from aquatic ecosystems are potentially a larger source of methane than direct anthropogenic methane sources, such as agriculture or fossil fuel combustion. Aquatic ecosystems and wetlands contribute at least as much as half of the total methane emissions budget.

Houston flooding polluted reefs more than 100 miles offshore

Extreme storm flooding in Houston washed human waste onto coral reefs more than 100 miles offshore. Marine biologists found fecal bacteria on sponges in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary following 2016's Tax Day flood and 2017's Hurricane Harvey.

First air quality profile of two sub-Saharan African cities finds troubling news

The first multi-year air-quality data on the cities of Kinshasa and Brazzaville document rampant levels of sooty particles.

Ozone pollution harms maize crops, study finds

A new study has shown that ozone in the lower layers of the atmosphere decreases crop yields in maize and changes the types of chemicals that are found inside the leaves.

Environmental News -