Google and EDF Partner to Map Natural Gas Leaks
Natural gas is leaking beneath streets near you, though you might not realize it.
While the leaks might not show obvious effects right away, the methane within natural gas warms the planet about 120 more than carbon dioxide. Google and the Environmental Defense Fund entered a partnership to track pipe leak risks with innovative online maps. The maps are part of a pilot project that uses specially equipped Google Street View mapping cars in hopes of gauging the potential of new sensing and analytical technologies to measure environmental indicators in ways that previously too difficult or impossible.
Google and the EDF began their project observing natural gas pipes in Boston, MA;, Indianapolis, IN; and Staten Island, NY.
“New technology has given us vastly greater ability to make environmental data available for everyone to see, and to use that information to solve environmental problems by making better decisions,” said Steven Hamburg, EDF’s chief scientist. “Methane leaks are a pervasive challenge throughout the natural gas industry. This is an ideal chance to put new science to work and to solve a major real-world challenge.”
The EDF and researchers at Colorado State University developed and tested the system for two years to the point that it could assess the amount of gas escaping from leaks of all sizes detected amid 15 million individual readings that were collected under thousands of miles of roads. The two entities believe natural gas companies fail to do such monitoring themselves, putting the public at risk.
"Environmental quality is an issue that affects everyone. Making this information more accessible can make a meaningful difference in people’s quality of life,” said Karin Tuxen-Bettman, program manager for Google Earth Outreach. “This pilot project is meant to explore and understand the potential for EDF and others to map and visualize important environmental information in ways that help people understand both problems and solutions.”
The EDF and Google plan on detecting other pollutants and in more cities. Click here to nominate your city.
Disturbing footage of a snake in Goa, India vomiting an empty soft drink bottle highlights the world's mounting plastic pollution crisis.
By Melissa Hellmann
When her eldest son was in elementary school in the Oakland Unified School District, Ruth Woodruff became alarmed by the meals he was being served at school. A lot of it was frozen, processed foods, packed with preservatives. At home, she was feeding her children locally sourced, organic foods.
By James O'Hare
There are 20 million people in the world facing famine in South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen. In developed nations, too, people go hungry. Venezuela, for instance, is enduring food insecurity on a national level as a result of economic crisis and political corruption. In the U.S., the land of supposed excess, 12.7 percent of households were food insecure in 2015, meaning they didn't know where their next meal would come from.
Artists are taking the climate crisis into frame and the results are emotional, beautiful and stirring.
So you've seen the best climate change cartoons and shared them with your friends. You've showed your family the infographics on climate change and health, infographics on how the grid works and infographics about clean, renewable energy. You've even forwarded these official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration graphs that explain the 10 clear indicators of climate change to your colleagues at the office.
As the Trump administration moves full speed ahead on boosting the oil and fossil fuel industry, opposition to increased pipeline construction is cropping up in different communities around the country.
By Simon Evans
Last Saturday, two dead whales washed up on the coast of Suffolk, in eastern England, and a third was spotted floating at sea.
What happened next illustrates how news can spread and evolve into misinformation, when reported by journalists rushing to publish before confirming basic facts or sourcing their own quotes.
By Monica Amarelo and Paul Pestano
Sun safety is a crucial part of any outdoor activity for kids, and sunscreen can help protect children's skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. Kids often get sunburned when they're outside unprotected for longer than expected. Parents need to plan ahead and keep sun protection handy in their cars or bags.
By Joe McCarthy
A lot of people take part in community clean-up efforts—spending a Saturday morning picking up litter in a park, mowing an overgrown field or painting a fence.