India is among the most polluted country in the world, a direct consequence of its growth-orientated policy. Despite economic growth, the health of Indians is suffering significantly. According to researchers at University of Chicago, Harvard and Yale, pollution is directly responsible for shortening the lives of 660 million Indians who live in sensitive areas by three years on average. In total 2.1 billion life-years
When we’re talking about CO2 emissions and global warming, we generally mean atmospheric CO2 – where the gas is spewed and generates the greenhouse effect, warming our atmosphere and subsequently, our planet. But a new study conducted by US researchers found that CO2 actually warms the Earth’s crust directly; the more CO2 we emit, the hotter our planet will get.
After scientists discovered a huge hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic, an emergency UN panel banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in 1987. These build up in the atmosphere, react with the triple oxygen molecule and break it down. Since then, ozone has thankfully replenished, thought it might take decades before it reverts to pre-1980 levels. Progress is slow because there are still some plants through out the world who illegally use CFCs (the stuff that used to go into refrigerants or deodorants), but also because there are other ozone-depleting chemicals out there – some recognized, others new and extremely dangerous. One class of chemicals that has been allowed in the industry since the Montreal Protocol, despite the danger it posses to ozone, is made up of so-called ‘very short-lived substances’ (VSLS) which breakup in under six months. A new study, however, found that these have dramatically increased over the past couple of years and despite their short reaction times, these could prove to be extremely dangerous.
Pollution talks are often about the atmopshere, but we tend to foger that the most part of the pollution goes into the oceans. About a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted by humans ends up in the seas, which causes them to become more acidic, significantly altering the oceanic environment on which corals, fish, and ultimately, we depend on.
The Mercury level in tuna has been a subject of debate for decades now. Paul Drevnick, Assistant Research Scientist at University of Michigan and his team analyzed data from over the past 50 years and found that mercury levels in Pacific yellowfin tuna, often marketed as ahi tuna, is increasing at 3.8% per year. If 3.8% per year doesn’t seem like much, that translates into a doubling at every 20 years. So in 50 years, mercury levels have increased 6 times.
Speaking at the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting, US researchers showed a coloured map of the quietest regions in the United States, based on 1.5 million hours of acoustical monitoring from places as remote as Dinosaur National Monument in Utah and as urban as New York City. Apparently, the eastern half of the country is much more loud than the western half. The
Our oceans are clogged with plastic – that’s already a well known fact by now. A major study in 2014 concluded that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans, while another one suggests that the ocean’s bottom might also be a cemetery for garbage. To make things even worse, there’s a garbage island twice as big
City smog significantly lowers children’s IQ, while also raising the risk for Alzheimers disease. A new study has found that children living in highly polluted cities are at an increased risk for detrimental effects to the brain, including short-term memory loss.
We tend to think of pollution as a modern thing; after all, industrial pollution should be, well… industrial, right? Well, not quite: a group of researchers found 400 year old traces of pollution in the Peruvian Andes. The pollution was caused when the conquistadors forced the Inca to mine silver from “mountaintop mines”. Ancient Pollution In the 16th century, Spain
We often hear about China being polluted, about the hard to breahe are, the smog, the soot, the carbage flowing on the rivers, but these pictures show just how bad the situation really is. Keep in mind though that an image is just a moment captured in time and they don’t tell the whole story.