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Pollution

Science

Buoys warn swimmers of dirty water

Is the water in your local lake clean enough to swim in today? Currently, the only way to find out is for someone to take a water sample, bring it back to a lab, then report the analysis 24 to 48 hours later. Soon, however, water-sampling buoys anchored off of beaches could provide readings in real time.Read More

Environment

Planes, ships and ground stations working together to study pollution

Next week, an international effort between NASA and the Republic of Korea's National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) will see the two bodies working together on an ambitious, six-week set of observations designed to improve our understanding of air pollution. The project will include the use of three planes housing 37 different instruments, and more than 300 ground sites, working together to gather data that help in the development of new solution to combat poor air quality across the globe.Read More

Environment

Backpack-wearing pigeons tweet London air quality readings

Wondering what the air quality is like in London? Well, over the next three days, you can ask a pigeon. More specifically, you can tweet your location to 10 pigeons located throughout the city, each one of which is equipped with a lightweight backpack that monitors ozone, nitrogen dioxide and volatile compounds. You'll receive a tweet back, letting you know just how safe it is to breathe the air in your region.Read More

Environment

Ocean-friendly Seabin sucks up surrounding sea trash

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.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Atmotube personal pollution monitor tracks air quality on the go

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.Read More

Environment

Claimed darkening of ice sheet could actually be down to aging satellite sensors

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.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Smartphones may soon detect air pollution

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.Read More

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