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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

A record-sized hole has opened in the ozone layer over the Arctic, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

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Heavy industry on the lower Mississippi helps to create dead zones. AJ Wallace on Unsplash.

Cutting out coal-burning and other sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from heavy industry, electricity production and traffic will reduce the size of the world's dead zones along coasts where all fish life is vanishing because of a lack of oxygen.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A gas flare from the Shell Chemical LP petroleum refinery illuminates the sky on August 21, 2019 in Norco, Louisiana. Drew Angerer / Getty Images.

Methane levels in the atmosphere experienced a dramatic rise in 2019, preliminary data released Sunday shows.

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The buildings of downtown Los Angeles are partially obscured at midday on November 5, 2019 as seen from Pasadena, California. Mario Tama / Getty Images.

By Ajit Niranjan

Two main risk factors are currently known to raise the chance of dying from the novel coronavirus that has brought the world to a halt: being old and having a weak immune system.

Air pollution makes the second of those more likely.

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ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

By Dave Cooke

So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a policy memo yesterday that is an expansive relaxation of legally mandated regulations on polluting industries, saying that industries may have trouble adhering to the regulations while they are short-staffed during the coronavirus global pandemic, according to the AP.

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The Ocean Cleanup

By Rachael Meyer, Basten Gokkon

It had rained all morning across Jakarta on the first Tuesday in February. The rivers in the Indonesian capital quickly filled up, carrying all kinds of debris toward the Java Sea. In one of the city's largest waterways, a Dutch-made device was trapping some of the trash to prevent it from washing out into the ocean.

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Oregon's Gov. Kate Brown (seen above) signed what she said was the most ambitious emissions target in the country. Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call / Getty Images

At the end of Oregon's legislative session, Republicans fled the state to kill a cap-and-trade bill designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, effectively killing 100 other pieces of legislation as the short legislative session expired. Now that the state house is in recess, the governor found a work around, signing a sweeping executive order to reduce carbon emissions to at least 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2035 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, as the AP reported.

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Margot Chirayath holds open the lid to a recycling container as Interns peer inside during a walk in South Portland Thursday, June 13, 2019. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Portland Press Herald / Getty Images

Just because that plastic item you rinsed out and placed in your blue bin says it is recyclable doesn't mean it actually is.

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Earthjustice says Louisiana has violated the Clean Water Act and given Formosa Plastics Group the "greenlight to double toxic air pollution in St. James" (seen above). Louisiana Bucket Brigade

By Jessica Corbett

A coalition of local and national groups on Friday launched a legal challenge to a Louisiana state agency's decision to approve air permits for a $9.4 billion petrochemical complex that Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group plans to build in the region nationally known as "Cancer Alley."

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Researchers found byproduct of coal in an ice core extracted from Shishapangma Mountain in the Himalayas, seen above. ccdoh1 / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

New research has found that soot dating back to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution made its way across Europe to settle on the top of the Himalayas, according to a new study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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