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Posts Tagged "pollution"

Culturing Science

Cigarette Butts in Nests Deter Bird Parasites

Urban house sparrows nest with cigarette butts.

The sight of cigarette butts delicately woven into birds’ nests sparks an array of reactions, from relief that birds are adapting to urban environments to disgust at the display of human disregard for wildlife. But a new study suggests that some birds may benefit from nesting with cigarette butts. The nicotine lingering in filters may [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Banned Pesticide DDT Is Still Killing California Condors

california condor

Just one week after the California legislature voted to ban lead ammunition to protect California condors from the toxic substance, which they can consume via carcasses shot by hunters, new research shows that the critically endangered birds are also still at risk from another long-banned toxic substance: the pesticide DDT. The U.S. banned the use [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Hellbender Head Start: Raising Giant Salamanders in the Bronx

Eastern Hellbender sq

Four years ago 41 hellbender salamander larvae from western New York State arrived at their temporary home in New York City. Originally collected as eggs near the Allegheny River, the hellbenders—also known as snot otters or devil dogs—were hatched at the Buffalo Zoo and then transferred to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, where they [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Philippines Cancels Planned Burn of Confiscated Elephant Tusks after Clean-Air Groups Object

elephant with tusks

This Philippine government this weekend cancelled plans to burn $10 million worth of seized elephant tusks after several clean-air groups cried foul. The Philippines isn’t the only country trying to destroy its ivory stockpiles. Gabon conducted a massive ivory burn last year—an act that  their government said sent a message to poachers in that country [...]

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Extinction Countdown

China Feeds Extra Fish to Finless Porpoises to Save Them from Starvation

Chinese officials added an extra 50,000 carp to the waters of Poyang Lake this week to help feed the endangered Yangtze finless porpoises (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis) that live there, according to a report from the Xinhua news agency. Around 300 to 500 porpoises live in Poyang Lake in northern Jiangxi Province, representing between one third [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Hellbender Salamander Gets Endangered Species Designation, but No Habitat Protection—and That May Be a Good Thing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) this week granted the Ozark hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishopi) protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) but made the unusual decision not to declare critical habitat for the rare, giant salamanders because, it said, doing so could open it to threats from those who would illegally collect the [...]

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Extinction Countdown

China’s Yangtze Finless Porpoise Faces 80 Percent Decrease in 30 Years

finless_porpoise

The already rare Yangtze finless porpoise (Neophocaena phocaenoides asiaeorientalis) faces an 80 percent drop in its population over the next 30 years, according to research by the Institute of Hydrobiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Currently, around 1,000 of the freshwater porpoises live in China’s Yangtze River and its surrounding lakes, down from 2,700 [...]

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Not bad science

Human Noise Disturbs Different Fish in Different Ways

The three-spined stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus

It is well known that animals are affected by human noise pollution. For example, dark-eyed junco birds that live in cities sing both louder and with a different song than their countryside counterparts. However, human noise pollution is not contained to cities, and even our oceans are filled with the noise from ships, motorboats and [...]

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Observations

Keystone Pipeline Will Impact Climate Change, State Department Reports

oil-sands-refinery

How much can one oil pipeline affect global climate change? That’s one of the fundamental questions probed by a new, final environmental impact assessment released January 31 by the U.S. State Department. At issue is the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry 730,000 barrels a day of oil from western Canada, mostly from Alberta’s tar [...]

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Observations

12 Graphics That Contain Everything You Need to Know about Climate Change

earth-energy-heat-budget

Climate change is real, it’s here and it will be affecting the planet for a long, long time. That’s the lesson of the latest iteration of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change‘s state of climate science report, released in its entirety on January 30. Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have now touched 400 [...]

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Observations

What Do China’s New Policies Mean for the Environment?

china-high-speed-train

BEIJING—A Chinese high speed train whispers into the station, before finally engaging the brakes and coming to a stop with a sound like the tinkling of breaking glass. Five years ago, such trains hardly existed. In the span of one Communist-style planning period, China has built a high-speed train network that now crosses the entire [...]

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Observations

Smog Blog: World-Class Pollution Brings Tehran to a Halt

Tehran, smog, Tehran smog

During the first weeks of 2013, Tehran was often blanketed in a stagnant, brown layer of smog so thick and obtrusive that it was difficult to make out the conspicuous mountain ranges that encircle the city. After trying to regulate the number of cars on the streets, a measure that failed to reduce the noxious [...]

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Observations

How Would Fish Vote in the 2012 Election?

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

This week’s look at the ScienceDebate answers provided by Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama focuses on their replies to a question about the health of our oceans and coastlines. Two areas in particular—declining fisheries and pollution—were highlighted for special consideration. Of course, the oceans also play a major role in driving weather systems [...]

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Observations

Recycling Reality: Humans Set to Trash Most Elements on the Periodic Table

metal-cycle

Almost all lead is recycled, among the only elements on the periodic table to earn that distinction. With good reason, mind you: the soft metal is a potent neurotoxic known to impact children’s brain development, among other nasty health effects. Today, nearly all lead is used in batteries (though it was once put into gasoline, [...]

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Observations

GMO Bonus: Genetically Engineered Cotton Benefits Farmers, Predatory Insects

Bt-cotton

Cotton genetically engineered to produce a natural pest killer not only reduces the spraying of pesticides, but has also boosted the populations of beneficial insects, according to a new study. The study monitored the impacts of so-called Bt cotton over more than 20 years and 2.6 million hectares of farmland in northern China and found [...]

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Observations

Smog Levels to Remain Higher than Scientists Suggest Safe for Public Health

houston smog

The Obama administration has withdrawn regulations that would have prevented at least 1,500 deaths per year from unhealthy levels of smog in the air. Citing “regulatory uncertainty and regulatory burden” (read: jobs), the President stated on September 2 that he will not update a 2008 standard until 2013 (read: after the next presidential election, if [...]

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Observations

Disease-Causing Compound Found in Air Clogged with Smoke from Cigarettes, Fires or Air Pollution

smoke compound health impacts

Inhaling cigarette smoke or smoggy air is clearly not great for your health. And exposure to various kinds of smoke has been associated with cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and cataracts. Researchers have now pinpointed a compound common in disparate forms of smoke that might explain some of the frequent ills associated with it. The findings [...]

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Observations

Climate change drives (micro)evolution in Finland

For want of snow, the tawny owl of Finland has become more brown in the past half-century, according to new research published February 22 in Nature Communications. Finnish researchers scored tawny owls (Strix aluco)—a raptor common to all of Europe—on the color of their plumage, specifically how brown (dark) or gray (pale) their feathers were. [...]

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Plugged In

Smog shuts down Harbin, China, as seen from space.

Harbin_smog_385

NASA’s Aqua satellite captured an image of smog that paralyzed the northeastern Chinese city of 10 million.

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Plugged In

China enveloped in smog, as seen from space. Again.

China_smog_Oct_2013_385

Heavy smog that paralyzed eastern China is visible from space in this satellite image from NASA.

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Plugged In

Maybe … a Half of a Cheer for Shale Gas? Maybe?

I had a whole post prepared about how the Geographic Information Services people helped in the response to the April tornados that devastated Raleigh, which seemed like a good way to introduce the infrastructure-plus-connectivity-plus-how-do-they-DO-that? applied science take I hope to bring to this blog, but then I came back from vacation and opened the newspapers [...]

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Symbiartic

If Anime Can Save Science Outreach, It Will Look Like This

Guilty_Yuumei_mini

Guilty, by Yummei a.k.a. Wenquing Yan is simply a stunning and extraordinary work of art in an attempt to raise ecological awareness about pollution in the oceans. Painted in a realistic and anime blended style, the lighting, complicated colours create an almost idealized version of reality. Yuumei says about the piece, “Education is the best [...]

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Symbiartic

Something in the Air: Smog on Display

Abeles-bike-220

Today on Symbiartic, we’re happy to present a Guest Post by Lisa Gardiner. – - In an effort to turn the proverbial lemons into lemonade, Los Angeles-based artist Kim Abeles is turning air pollution into art. For her current exhibit in Boulder, Colorado, Kim worked with middle school students to capture and create art from [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Oil Pollution is Making Gulf Dolphins Sick

For eighty-seven days in 2010, 210 million gallons of oil from wells below the Deepwater Horizon poured into the Gulf of Mexico. Researchers announced recently that as a result, Bottlenose dolphins in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay are suffering from a host of maladies, including lung disease and adrenal problems. They’re also losing their teeth. The research [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Intelligence, Cancer, and Eyjafjallaj

ResearchBlogging.org

This seems to have become unofficial volcano week, here at ScienceBlogs. If you haven’t been following the coverage of the Eyjafjallaj

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