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15 January 2020
Low-cost sensors provide localized air quality data By Jerimiah Oetting Wildfire smoke regularly threatens air quality over vast regions of places like California. But a new study finds a network of low-cost sensors placed in private homes could paint a more detailed picture of localized pollution, especially in areas where data on air quality is limited. “[The low cost sensors are] unlikely to replace our reliable regulatory monitoring networks,” said …
Between 2007 and 2019, across much of the United States, nitrogen dioxide pollution levels dropped because of cleaner cars and power plants, the team found, confirming findings reported previously. The clean air trend in satellite data was most obvious in urban areas of California, Washington and Oregon and in the eastern half of the continental United States… However, several areas stuck out with increased emissions of nitrogen dioxide: The Permian, Bakken and Eagle Ford oil and gas basins, in Texas and New Mexico, North Dakota, and Texas, respectively.
5 November 2019
By matching the movement of ships to the changes in clouds caused by their emissions, researchers have shown how strongly the two are connected.
8 May 2019
The processes that create ozone pollution in the summer can also trigger the formation of wintertime air pollution, according to a new study led by CIRES and NOAA researchers. The team’s unexpected finding suggests that in the U.S. West and elsewhere, certain efforts to reduce harmful wintertime air pollution could backfire.
7 May 2019
Roman-era mining activities increased atmospheric lead concentrations by at least a factor of 10, polluting air over Europe more heavily and for longer than previously thought, according to a new analysis of ice cores taken from glaciers on France’s Mont Blanc.
30 August 2016
Plumes of wildfire smoke envelop and alter clouds, potentially affecting local weather, according to new research based on serendipitous airborne measurements of clouds in smoke from Canadian fires. The new data confirms clouds embedded in smoke are likely to warm up the atmosphere around clouds, causing the clouds to dissipate faster.
26 April 2016
New research finds exhaust from idling diesel engines produces a significant amount of isocyanic acid when photons from sunlight help it react with other compounds in the atmosphere. The amount of this secondary photochemical isocyanic acid produced by non-road, idling diesel engines, like those in tractors, loaders, and other heavy construction and farm equipment, was 50 to 230 milligrams per kilogram of diesel burned.
6 October 2015
By Larry O’Hanlon Something strange has happened to the atmospheric concentration of a newly discovered, human-made, ozone-destroying gas: it has suddenly dropped and nobody knows why. The gas, HCFC-133a, is a type of hydrochlorofluorocarbon, ozone-destroying compounds used in some industrial processes, including the manufacturing of refrigerants. The use of HCFCs, which are also powerful greenhouse gases, is restricted under the Montreal Protocol. A study last year first identified HCFC-133a as …
8 July 2014
Livestock were the single largest source of methane gas emissions in the United States in 2004, releasing 70 percent more of the powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere than the oil and gas industry, according to a new study.
The new study based on satellite data from 2004 provides the clearest picture yet of methane emissions over the entire U.S. It shows human activities released more of the gas into the atmosphere than previously thought and the sources of these emissions could be much different than government estimates.
9 August 2013
In Utah’s Uintah Basin, scientists testing a new way to measure methane emissions from a natural gas production field found leakage of 6 to 12 percent of the methane produced, on average, there on February days. A recent federal report estimated that methane’s leak rate, nationally, is less than 1 percent of production. But another report noted that emissions in the Uintah Basin may have higher emissions than typical for western gas fields. The Uintah Basin produces about 1 percent of total U.S. natural gas,