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Tag: pollution

Air pollution can chemically transform organic vapors in the atmosphere

Air pollution can chemically transform organic vapors in the atmosphere

Science
Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Scientists are only just beginning to understand the complex ways new aerosol particles form in the atmosphere. New research suggests human-caused air pollution can impact the conversion of organic gasses into aerosols. All ecosystems, including wetlands, forests and mountain streams, emit organic compounds into the atmosphere, but only a few of these compounds are known to react with atmospheric gases to form particles, or aerosols. When researchers monitored particle formation in the lab, they found aerosols formed most efficiently when sulfuric acid, ammonia and organic vapors were all present. Increased nitrogen oxide levels were associated with lower rates of aerosol formation. Researchers designed their lab conditions to mimic the atmosphere above the Finnish boreal...
South Korea smothered in Chinese air pollution

South Korea smothered in Chinese air pollution

World
SEOUL, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- South Korea issued Tuesday dust advisories in some parts of the country as microdust particles and yellow dust blow in from China. The Korea Meteorological Administration said that the concentration level of fine dust particles, categorized as PM 10, is recorded at 92 micrograms per cubic meter (㎍/㎥) and microfine dust particles (PM 2.5) at 81 ㎍/㎥ in the areas of Incheon on the west coast of the Korean Peninsula closer to China. The microfine dust particle PM 2.5 warning is issued when the level exceeds more than 75 ㎍/㎥ for two hours. The PM 10 fine dust warning is issued when the level surpasses 150 ㎍/㎥ for two hours. PM 2.5 is defined as a particulate matter that measures smaller than 2.5 microns, 2.5 thousa...
Study: Air pollution deaths in U.S. dropped by half between 1990, 2010

Study: Air pollution deaths in U.S. dropped by half between 1990, 2010

Science
Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Over the course of two decades, from 1990 to 2000, the number of deaths attributed to air pollution has been cut in half. The new study, published Friday in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, is only the latest to show pollution protections have had a positive impact on humans and environmental health. Researchers at the University of North Carolina developed a model capable of estimating the number of deaths caused by air pollution each year. The statistical model relies on previous research into the health effects of air pollution. The model is populated using measurements of PM2.5 and ozone. Particulate matter measuring less than 2.5 microns across can be inhaled deep into the lungs. The pollution has been linked with a variety of human ailments, including ...
Pollution threatens the future of killer whales

Pollution threatens the future of killer whales

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your device Killer whales are in deep trouble because of persistent chemical pollution in the environment, researchers say. A new study suggests the long-term viability of more than half of the different orca groups around the globe is now in question. Some populations, such as those around the UK, the Strait of Gibraltar, off Brazil, Japan and California, are almost certainly doomed. The assessment is in Science magazine. The issue is polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. These chemical compounds were once manufactured in vast quantities, and used in everything from plastics and paints to electrical equipment and sealants. But they are highly toxic and although banned decades ago have amassed in the environment,...
Light pollution inspires boldness in fish

Light pollution inspires boldness in fish

Science
Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Researchers in Germany found fish exposed to artificial light during the night were bolder during the day. In the lab, light pollution caused the test fish, guppies, to be more active at night. The artificial light also cause fish to emerge from their hiding places more quickly during the daytime. The fish didn't become slower or lazier as a result of the increase in nighttime activity. Researchers found the guppies' swimming speed and social behavior was unaltered by light pollution. A number of studies have documented the impacts of light pollution on animals and their ecosystems. The allure of a big city's bright lights can alter a bird's migration pattern. Light pollution can also interfere with coral's ability to spawn. For the experiment, scientists exposed three ...