pollution

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Philippines Horror: 'Most Plastic We Have Ever Seen in a Whale'

88 pounds of plastic found in dead whale that washed up on beach

(Newser) - A dead whale washed up on a Philippine beach was distressing enough, but museum workers have deemed what they found inside the creature's gut "disgusting." The BBC reports that the Cuvier's beaked whale turned up on the shoreline east of Davao City on Saturday, and when... More »

UN Environment Report Names Our 2 Most Pressing Problems

Report uses word 'risk' 561 times in 740 pages

(Newser) - Earth is sick with multiple and worsening environmental ills killing millions of people yearly, a new UN report says. Climate change, a global major extinction of animals and plants, a human population soaring toward 10 billion, degraded land, polluted air, and plastics, pesticides, and hormone-changing chemicals in the water are... More »

'We're Piling Our Crap' in the Ocean's Depths

Shrimp in the deepest ocean trenches found to be contaminated by plastic

(Newser) - With more than 300 million tons of plastics produced each year, it's perhaps no surprise that some has made its way to the bottom of the world’s oceans. New deep-sea research published in the Royal Society Open Science journal has pulled up fragments of plastics in the deepest... More »

See What's Dumping 50M Gallons of Bad Water Daily

US mines are behind the ghastly pollution

(Newser) - Every day many millions of gallons of water loaded with arsenic, lead, and other toxic metals flow from some of the most contaminated mining sites in the US and into surrounding streams and ponds without being treated, the AP has found. That torrent is poisoning aquatic life and tainting drinking... More »

Lake Erie the Subject of Unusual Ballot Question

Residents of Toledo will vote on whether it deserves the same rights as a person

(Newser) - Next week, residents of Toledo, Ohio, will vote on what the New York Times describes as one of the most unusual ballot questions ever to appear in the US—whether to grant Lake Erie the same rights as a human. Specifically, residents will vote on whether to accept the Lake... More »

Insects Could Disappear Within a Century

New global survey provides doomsday warning to world's ecosystem

(Newser) - Insects could completely disappear within the next 100 years, dragging global ecosystems into a catastrophic collapse. The world is embarking on its sixth mass extinction , and the first global scientific review points to a grim outlook for the planet's insects, reports the Guardian . Massive declines have already been seen... More »

'People Would Be Outraged' by Teen's Find Off Calif. Coast

Alex Weber has pulled out more than 50K golf balls over the last two years

(Newser) - Two years ago, a central California teen began what NPR calls a "Sisyphean task"—hauling hundreds of pounds of golf balls off the ocean floor, only to have them reenter the sea as golfers from five nearby golf courses (including Pebble Beach) hit them right back in. Alex... More »

24-Year-Old's Plan to Clean Up Ocean Plastic Gets a Tweak

Boyan Slat says a fix is in the works

(Newser) - A floating device sent to corral a swirling island of trash between California and Hawaii has not swept up any plastic waste—but the young innovator behind the project said Monday that a fix is in the works. Boyan Slat, 24, who launched the Pacific Ocean cleanup project, said the... More »

When You Sprinkle Salt, You're Getting More Than Salt

Microplastics infiltrate 90% of it, especially the stuff from Asia, say researchers

(Newser) - Just like with bottled water , over 90% of the world's table salt contains microplastics—enough that the average human ingests 2,000 pieces each year from salt alone, according to new research. It's been known for years that microplastics are present in salt, per Quartz , but the surprise... More »

Solution to Plastic Pollution Isn't a 'Sexy' One

'We need to just collect the trash,' says one resource economist

(Newser) - You want big picture? National Geographic provides it on the issue of plastic choking the world's waterways. Invented in the late 19th century, plastic didn't truly take off in terms of production until around 1950, when scientists began making it out of petroleum in earnest. Now, we have... More »

Scientists 'Astounded' by Mysterious Rise in Banned Chemical

Source of CFC-11 is somewhere in East Asia

(Newser) - More than 30 years ago, world governments dealt with an alarming hole in the ozone layer with the Montreal Protocol, which banned damaging chemicals including the chlorofluorocarbon CFC-11. But it looks like somebody failed to get the memo. Scientists say they've detected a mysterious rise in emissions of the... More »

Plastic Bag Found in Truly Depressing Spot

Not even the bottom of the Mariana Trench is safe from our trash

(Newser) - "Single-use plastic reached the world's deepest ocean trench at 10,898 m," states the study plainly, referring to that great scourge: the plastic bag. National Geographic reports that a review of the Deep-Sea Debris Database, an assemblage of photos and videos taken during roughly 5,000 dives... More »

Mutant Enzyme Munches Plastic

This could massively reduce waste, scientists say

(Newser) - Some rare good news in the fight against plastic pollution: Scientists working with a plastic-eating microbe discovered in Japan two years ago accidentally created a mutant enzyme that sounds like an environmentalist's dream, the Guardian reports. The enzyme breaks down the PET—polyethylene terephthalate—used in plastic bottles even... More »

Study Shows Depressing Scope of Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Mass of floating garbage is 'increasing exponentially'

(Newser) - Already the largest floating trash island in the world, researchers have found the mass of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is "increasing exponentially," the Washington Post reports. “I’ve been doing this research for a while, but it was depressing to see,” the Guardian quotes... More »

This Is What the Air in India's Capital Looks Like

Air pollution hit 'severe' level on air quality index in New Delhi

(Newser) - Over the past two years, New Delhi has earned the dubious distinction of being one of the world's most polluted cities, and that reputation doesn't seem to be changing. A thick gray haze enveloped India's capital on Tuesday as air pollution hit hazardous levels, prompting local officials... More »

This Kills More People Than War, AIDS, or Smoking

Pollution, responsible for 9M premature deaths in 2015: study

(Newser) - Environmental pollution—from filthy air to contaminated water—is killing more people every year than all war and violence in the world. More than smoking, hunger, or natural disasters. More than AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined, reports the AP . One out of every six premature deaths in the world in... More »

The 10 Things Americans Fear the Most

Corruption and ... TrumpCare

(Newser) - 2017 marked "a pronounced shift" in American fears. Christopher Bader of Chapman University, which has released its fourth annual Survey of American Fears , notes "environmental fears" are prominent in the 10 biggest fears of Americans for the first time, per a release . For the third year in a... More »

Harvey's Environmental Effects Are 'Terrifying'

Toxins are leaching into floodwaters and spewing into the air

(Newser) - "This is going to be a travesty. The contamination could be going anywhere," says a Houston-area resident who lives a block away from an old wood-treating facility flooded by Hurricane Harvey. The New York Times reports the facility is one of two dozen Superfund sites potentially leaking lead,... More »

Gulf of Mexico's Dead Zone Is Now Bigger Than Ever

Heavy rains in Midwest increased agricultural runoff this year

(Newser) - In 2014, the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico was found to have shrunk to the size of Connecticut. To the ire of environmentalists, it has since ballooned to its largest size since mapping began in 1985, says NOAA . Covering 8,776 square miles—that's the size... More »

Is It a Forest or a City? Actually, It's Both

Experimental 'Forest City' to be complete in China in 2020

(Newser) - A new city being built along the Liujiang River in China's Guangxi Province will include houses, recreational spaces, offices, hotels, schools, and a hospital—and yet it's "unlike any before," per Inhabitat . The Liuzhou Forest City, to be connected to the much larger city of Liuzhou... More »

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