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Tag: pollution

Cleanup, waste management aren’t enough to save ecosystems from plastic pollution

Cleanup, waste management aren’t enough to save ecosystems from plastic pollution

Science
Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Even if countries fund massive cleanup efforts and dramatically improve waste management infrastructure, two studies published Thursday in the journal Science suggest it won't be enough to save Earth's ecosystems from plastic pollution. "We simply make too much plastic waste to handle with current waste management infrastructure, and eventually we are going to run out of land to put landfills," ecologist Stephanie Borrelle, research fellow at the University of Toronto, told UPI in an email. Advertisement Plastic pollution is a growing problem for the planet's many ecosystems. From the island reefs and deep sea valleys to polar glaciers and the world's tallest peaks, pieces of plastic, big and small, are showing up everywhere. And it's not just ecosystems. Scientists have...
Plastic pollution: Washed clothing’s synthetic mountain of ‘fluff’

Plastic pollution: Washed clothing’s synthetic mountain of ‘fluff’

Science
When you add it up, the total amount of synthetic microfibres going into the wider environment as we wash our clothes is an astonishing number.US scientists estimate it to be 5.6 million tonnes since we first started wearing those polyester and nylon garments in a big way in the 1950s.Just over half this mass - 2.9 million tonnes - has likely ended up in our rivers and seas.That's the equivalent of seven billion fleece jackets, the researchers say.But while we fret about water pollution, and rightly so, increasingly this synthetic "fluff" issue is one that affects the land.The University of California, Santa Barbara, team which did the calculations found that emission to the terrestrial environm...
Plastic pollution to weigh 1.3 billion tonnes by 2040

Plastic pollution to weigh 1.3 billion tonnes by 2040

Science
An estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of plastic is destined for our environment - both land and water - by 2040, unless global action is taken. That's according to a global projection of the scale of the problem over the next 20 years. Dr Costas Velis from the University of Leeds said the number was "staggering" but that we had "the technology and the opportunity to stem the tide". The report is published in the journal Science. "This is the first comprehensive assessment of what the picture could be in 20 years time," Dr Velis explained. "It's difficult to picture an amount that large, but if you could imagine laying out all that plastic across a flat surface, it would cover the area of the UK 1.5 times." ...
Pollution: Birds ‘ingesting hundreds of bits of plastic a day’

Pollution: Birds ‘ingesting hundreds of bits of plastic a day’

Science
Birds living on river banks are ingesting plastic at the rate of hundreds of tiny fragments a day, according to a new study.Scientists say this is the first clear evidence that plastic pollutants in rivers are finding their way into wildlife and moving up the food chain.Pieces of plastic 5mm or smaller (microplastics), including polyester, polypropylene and nylon, are known to pollute rivers. The impacts on wildlife are unclear. Researchers at Cardiff University looked at plastic pollutants found in a bird known as a dipper, which wades or dives into rivers in search of underwater insects."These iconic birds, the dippers, are ingesting hundreds of pieces of plastic every day," said Prof Steve Ormerod of Cardiff University's Water...
Study: World carbon pollution falls 17% during pandemic peak

Study: World carbon pollution falls 17% during pandemic peak

Technology
A new study calculates global carbon emissions declined by 17% at the height of the pandemic shutdownBy SETH BORENSTEIN AP Science WriterMay 19, 2020, 10:04 PM4 min read4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleKENSINGTON, Maryland -- The world cut its daily carbon dioxide emissions by 17% at the peak of the pandemic shutdown last month, a new study found. But with life and heat-trapping gas levels inching back toward normal, the brief pollution break will likely be “a drop in the ocean" when it comes to climate change, scientists said. In their study of carbon dioxide emissions during the coronavirus pandemic, an international team of scientists calculated that pollution levels are heading back up — and for the year will end up between 4% and 7% lower than 2019 levels