Ecologists sound alarm on plastic pollution

Ecologists examining plastic pollution entering oceans, rivers and lakes around the world annually, outline potential impacts of various mitigation strategies over the coming decade. The researchers estimate the scale of human response needed to reduce future emissions and manage what's already floating around out there and recommend a fundamental shift to a framework based on recycling where end-of-life plastic products are valued rather than becoming waste.


Emissions could add 15 inches to 2100 sea level rise

An international effort that brought together more than 60 ice, ocean and atmosphere scientists from three dozen international institutions has generated new estimates of how much of an impact Earth's melting ice sheets.


New estimates for the rise in sea levels due to ice sheet mass loss under climate change

An international consortium of researchers under the aegis of CMIP6 has calculated new estimates for the melting of Earth's ice sheets due to greenhouse gas emissions and its impact on sea levels, showing that the ice sheets could together contribute more than 40 cm by the end of 2100.


Climate change impacts astronomical observations

Already, climate change is having an impact on the conditions of space observation at the Very Large Telescope in the Atacama Desert. In future, new telescopes will have to be adapted to the expected changes, a new study.


Effective pathway to convert CO2 into ethylene

The scientists developed nanoscale copper wires with specially shaped surfaces to catalyze a chemical reaction that reduces greenhouse gas emissions while generating ethylene -- a valuable chemical simultaneously.


Turbulence affects aerosols and cloud formation

Turbulent air in the atmosphere affects how cloud droplets form. New research in a cloud chamber changes the way clouds, and therefore climate, are modeled.


The persistence of plastic

The amount of synthetic microfiber we shed into our waterways has been of great concern over the last few years, and for good reason: Every laundry cycle releases in its wastewater tens of thousands of tiny, near-invisible plastic fibers whose persistence and accumulation can affect aquatic habitats and food systems, and ultimately our own bodies in ways we have yet to discover.


Faster, on-site way to detect PFAS

Scientists have developed a new and easier on-site method to immediately and accurately detect and measure levels of PFAS, which are persistent environmental pollutants sometimes found in contaminated lands and waters around the industrialized world.


NASA monitors carbon monoxide from California wildfires

The observations from Earth orbit show high-altitude concentrations of the gas that are more than 10 times typical amounts.


Ancient volcanoes once boosted ocean carbon, but humans are now far outpacing them

A new study of an ancient period that is considered the closest natural analog to the era of modern human carbon emissions has found that massive volcanism sent great waves of carbon into the oceans over thousands of years -- but that nature did not come close to matching what humans are doing today.


Arctic transitioning to a new climate state

The fast-warming Arctic has started to transition from a predominantly frozen state into an entirely different climate with significantly less sea ice, warmer temperatures, and more rain, according to a comprehensive new study of Arctic conditions.


Hitchhiking seeds pose substantial risk of nonnative plant invasions

A team of researchers conducted a study over two seasons at the Port of Savannah, Georgia to inventory nonnative plant seeds that entered the U.S. on refrigerated shipping containers; determine their viability as potential invasive species; and propose strategies for reducing risk to native ecosystems and agricultural commodities.


Volcanic ash may have a bigger impact on the climate than we thought

Volcanic ash shuts down air traffic and can sicken people. But a new study suggests that it may also be more important for Earth's climate than scientists once thought.


Multiphase buffering by ammonia explains wide range of atmospheric aerosol acidity

Anthropogenic ammonia emissions and the water content matter more than dry particle composition for the acidity of atmospheric aerosols in populated regions.


$500 billion question: What's the value of studying the ocean's biological carbon pump?

A new study puts an economic value on the benefit of research to improve knowledge of the biological carbon pump and reduce the uncertainty of ocean carbon sequestration estimates.


Understanding Earth's 'deep-carbon cycle'

New geologic findings about the makeup of the Earth's mantle are helping scientists better understand long-term climate stability and even how seismic waves move through the planet's layers.


New insight on the impacts of Earth's biosphere on air quality

A new study provides the first global satellite measurements of one of the most important chemicals affecting Earth's atmosphere.


Consequences of the 2018 summer drought

The drought that hit central and northern Europe in summer 2018 had serious effects on crops, forests and grasslands. Researchers are showing what effects this had and what lessons can be learned.


California offshore winds show promise as power source

One of the challenges of moving toward fully renewable energy in California by 2045 is matching production to demand. Consumer demand peaks in the evening when solar energy is no longer available. Offshore wind energy has the potential to help meet this demand.


Detecting soil-surface ozone early can help prevent damage to grapes and apples

Farmers and fruit growers report that climate change is leading to increased ozone concentrations on the soil surface in their fields and orchards, which can cause irreversible plant damage, reduce crop yields and threaten the food supply. A ne method of vapor-depositing conducting polymer 'tattoos' on plant leaves can accurately detect and measure such ozone damage, even at low exposure levels.


Lockdown did not reduce 'most harmful' type of air pollution in Scotland

The significant reduction in vehicle journeys during the COVID-19 lockdown did not reduce the level of toxic fine particles in Scotland's air, according to experts at the University of Stirling.


Cascades with carbon dioxide: Making substances out of CO2

Carbon dioxide is not just an undesirable greenhouse gas, it is also an interesting source of raw materials that are valuable and can be recycled sustainably. Researchers have now introduced a novel catalytic process for converting carbon dioxide into valuable chemical intermediates in the form of cyclic carbonates.


New process for efficient removal of steroid hormones from water

Micropollutants contaminate the water worldwide. Among them are steroid hormones that cannot be eliminated efficiently by conventional processes. Researchers have developed an innovative filtration system that combines a polymer membrane with activated carbon.


Splitting water molecules for a renewable energy future

Chemists are working on energy storage and conversion research. This work is part of a new study that solves a key, fundamental barrier in the electrochemical water splitting process where the Lin Lab demonstrates a new technique to reassemble, revivify, and reuse a catalyst that allows for energy-efficient water splitting.


Pollination: Air pollution renders flower odors unattractive to moths

Researchers showed that tobacco hawkmoths lost attraction to the scent of their preferred flowers when that scent had been altered by ozone. This oxidizing pollutant thus disturbs the chemical communication between a plant and its pollinator. However, when given the chance, hawkmoths quickly learn that an unpleasantly polluted scent may lead to nutritious nectar.


Ocean carbon uptake widely underestimated

The world's oceans soak up more carbon than most scientific models suggest, according to new research.


Comprehensive look at US fuel economy standards show big savings on fuel and emissions

A new study finds that over their 40-year history, fuel economy standards in the United States have helped reduce reliance on foreign oil producers, saved $5 trillion in fuel costs and prevented 14 billion metric tons of carbon from being released into the atmosphere. The standards (known as CAFE standards), first enacted to reduce foreign oil dependence, were cost-effective, fair, durable and adaptive, the researchers find.


Gravity wave insights from internet-beaming balloons

A better understanding of how gravity waves in the upper atmosphere interact with the jet stream, polar vortex and other phenomena could be key to improved weather predictions and climate models.


Asphalt adds to air pollution, especially on hot, sunny days

Asphalt is a near-ubiquitous substance -- it's found in roads, on roofs and in driveways -- but its chemical emissions rarely figure into urban air quality management plans. A new study finds that asphalt is a significant source of air pollutants in urban areas, especially on hot and sunny days.


Continuous and stable lasing achieved from low-cost perovskites at room temperature

New research shows that lasing for over one hour at room temperature can be achieved from low-cost quasi-2D perovskite materials by properly managing losses caused by triplet excitons. This new understanding will help lead the way toward a new class of easily fabricated lasers based on perovskites.


Common sunscreen ingredients prove dangerous for freshwater ecosystems

The results show that long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) filters -- including avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octocrylene -- is lethal for some organisms living in freshwater environments. One of the largest sources of UV-filter contamination in both marine and freshwater environments is from sunscreen leaching off of the skin while swimming.


The widespread footprint of blue jean microfibers

With many people working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, blue jeans are a more popular wardrobe choice than ever. But most people don't think about microscopic remnants of their comfy jeans and other clothing that are shed during laundering. Now, researchers have detected indigo denim microfibers not only in wastewater effluent, but also in lakes and remote Arctic marine sediments.


How dangerous are burning electric cars?

What happens if an electric car burns in a road tunnel or an underground car park? In the Hagerbach test tunnel in Switzerland, researchers and tunnel safety experts set fire to battery cells of electric cars, analyzed the distribution of soot and smoke gases and the chemical residues in the extinguishing water.


Scientists unlock crops' power to resist floods

Foundational science has discovered the molecular structure of plant enzymes that could be manipulated to create flood-resistant crops, vital as weather events become more extreme due to global warming.


How weather news impacts public transit ridership

Researchers found a correlation between words used in media coverage related to weather or air quality, and transit ridership. It's not enough yet to say that media coverage causes changes in ridership. But it's enough to explore what factors in to a person's decision to ride transit and whether that decision can be nudged.


Humans' construction 'footprint' on ocean quantified for first time

In a world-first, the extent of human development in oceans has been mapped. An area totaling approximately 30,000 square kilometers - the equivalent of 0.008 percent of the ocean - has been modified by human construction, researchers say.


Failures of Germany's largest cliff coast sensed by seismometers

In a study carried out over more than two years, scientists were able to draw a new and surprisingly detailed picture of coastal cliff failure activity.


Ocean acidification causing coral 'osteoporosis' on iconic reefs

Scientists have long suspected that ocean acidification is affecting corals' ability to build their skeletons, but it has been challenging to isolate its effect from that of simultaneous warming ocean temperatures, which also influence coral growth. New research reveals the distinct impact that ocean acidification is having on coral growth on some of the world's iconic reefs.


Forest emissions: A chiral surprise in the rainforest

Reversed ratio of chiral volatile organic compounds over the Amazon rainforest reveal insects as unexplored important source of forest emissions.


Atmospheric scientists study fires to resolve ice question in climate models

Black carbon from fires is an important short-term climate driver because it can affect the formation and composition of clouds. Scientists are figuring out how.


Scientists use fruit peel to turn old batteries into new

Scientists have developed a novel method of using fruit peel waste to extract and reuse precious metals from spent lithium-ion batteries in order to create new batteries. The scientists say that their waste-to-resource approach tackles both food waste and electronics waste, supporting the development of a circular economy with zero waste.


Experts reveal major holes in international ozone treaty

Scientists have revealed major holes in an international treaty designed to help repair the ozone layer, putting human health at risk and affecting climate.


Pollution exposure at work may be associated with heart abnormalities among Latinx community

Hispanic/Latinx adults exposed to burning wood, vehicle exhaust, pesticides or metals while at work may have abnormal heart structure and function. The longer workers are exposed at their jobs, the more likely they are to have heart structure and function abnormalities.


Researchers introduce new theory to calculate emissions liability

A new study questions conventional methods of calculating carbon emissions liability based on point source pollution by introducing new 'bottleneck' theory.


Some of America's favorite produce crops may need to get a move on by 2045

New research shows that by the years 2045-2049 future temperatures will have more of an effect on when cool-season crops, such as broccoli and lettuce, can be grown than on where, while for warm-season crops (cantaloupe, tomatoes, carrots) the impact will be greater for where they can be grown versus when.


Advanced biofuels show real promise for replacing some fossil fuels

A new study predicted significant climate benefits stemming from the use of advanced biofuel technologies.


Wireless device makes clean fuel from sunlight, CO2 and water

Researchers have developed a standalone device that converts sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into a carbon-neutral fuel, without requiring any additional components or electricity.


Fuel cells for hydrogen vehicles are becoming longer lasting

An international research team has succeeded in developing an electrocatalyst for hydrogen fuel cells which, in contrast to the catalysts commonly used today, does not require a carbon carrier and is therefore much more stable. The new process is industrially applicable and can be used to further optimize fuel cell powered vehicles without CO2 emissions.


Negative emissions technologies may not solve climate crisis

Researchers used the Global Change Assessment Model to compare the effects of three negative emissions technologies on global food supply, water use and energy demand. The work looked at the role having direct air capture available would have on future climate scenarios.


Affordable and scalable nitrogen dioxide sensor

Scientists have developed a highly sensitive, accurate and affordable carbon-based nitrogen dioxide sensor. The gas sensor could provide accurate readings of the nitrogen dioxide levels in the local environment in an affordable and portable Internet-of-Things device, which could sync with smartphones and applications.