Despite the impact it can have on our health, we rarely monitor the quality of air that we are breathing. The new AirVisual Node keeps tabs on both indoor and outdoor air quality. It also provides recommendations to help improve the wellbeing of its users.
Initial results of Peugeot 208 and 508 model testing by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy comply with new regulations thanks to new technology. The results, says Peugeot Citroen, confirm the effectiveness of the BlueHDi after-treatment system for diesel exhaust.
The mounting plastic waste in the world's oceans has been the subject of of some pretty bold environmental undertakings, perhaps none more so than the Ocean Cleanup Project aiming to eradicate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Seabin Project represents a smaller-scale approach, but it is noble in its aspirations all the same. Installation in ports and marinas sees this ocean-friendly trash can suck up the surrounding debris and even remove oil from the water.
London, UK, has embarked on what is described as a "one in one-hundred-and-fifty-year project." The maneuvering of a crane into place at Blackfriars on the River Thames marks the start of major work on the Thames Tideway Tunnel, a "super sewer" that will drastically reduce sewage overflow into the river.
Life in many of today's big cities unfortunately brings with it exposure to dense particle pollution. As a result, urban residents from Beijing, China to Santiago, Chile face serious health risks, such as heart and lung disease and premature death. A new US-based startup has developed a pocket-sized pollution monitor it hopes will serve as a warning system, by constantly assessing the environment while the user is on the go and alerting them when air quality drops to unacceptable levels.
In recent years, satellite photos of Greenland's ice sheet have shown what appears to be a darkening of the ice's surface. A number of scientists have suggested that this could be due to settled soot particles from fossil fuel production and/or forest fires, and that their presence could result in accelerated melting of the ice. Now, however, researchers from Dartmouth College believe that the ice may still still be relatively clean, and that its darkness in the photos could just be due to faulty sensors on the satellites.
According to the World Health Organization, nitrogen dioxide (NO2)-based air pollution contributes to over 7 million deaths per year – children and the elderly are particularly at risk. Thanks to research being carried out at Australia's RMIT University, however, it may soon be possible to receive early warnings of dangerous NO2 levels in the air around you … via a sensor in your smartphone.
Since the beginning of the industrial age, mercury pollution has
increased steadily in our environment, particularly in rivers and
oceans. As a result, high-level predators in our waterways often contain
very high levels of mercury, and eating fish containing this neurotoxin
can lead to serious health issues. Now Australian scientists working at
Flinders University have discovered a simple and efficient way to remove
mercury from the environment by using a material made from recycled
waste citrus peel.
A recent study carried out by MIT has characterized the cleansing effect that raindrops have on our atmosphere in removing aerosol and other pollutants from the air. The results of the research could be instrumental in creating reliable forecasts for air quality, and creating more accurate models of climate change impact due to clouds.
In May, the Ocean Cleanup project announced that its first deployment would be delivered in the Korea Strait next year. That will pave the way for its ultimate goal of cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. With that in mind, a research expedition at the Garbage Patch has just been completed.