An Intriguing Theory That Explains This Winter's Intensely Cold Weather

In this scenario, put forth by physicists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the rise in air pollution via coal emissions from China and Southeast Asia is to blame for the relentless snows that have blanketed parts of the United States. » 3/08/15 4:15pm 3/08/15 4:15pm

This Beautiful Estuary Hides A Nasty Secret

This beautiful estuary holds a hidden secret: these dendritic tributaries carving through rock carry wastewater from the busiest industrial port in Iran and heavy metals from its petrochemical plants into the surrounding ecosystem. » 2/23/15 7:09pm 2/23/15 7:09pm

Why Do Cities Spark More Thunderstorms Than Rural Areas?

Some big cities, particularly those located in hot and humid environments, actually spawn more thunderstorms than surrounding rural areas. » 2/21/15 11:30am 2/21/15 11:30am

Absolutely Stunning Examples Of Lakes And Rivers With Unearthly Colors

When you see a bright red river or a lake that glows a vivid green color, you probably think it belongs on another planet. But these incredibly striking bodies of water are right here on Earth. Here are the most beautiful and alien-looking rivers and lakes, sporting bizarre colors. » 12/15/14 3:00pm 12/15/14 3:00pm

More than 5 trillion pieces of plastic weighing 268,940 tons are floating in the Earth's oceans, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE. This latest estimate is based on models of floating plastics data gathered from a series of 680 surface net tows and 891 visual surveys from oceans around the world. » 12/11/14 6:20am 12/11/14 6:20am

Divers Remove 57 Tons Of Junk From Hawaii's Northwestern Islands

A team of 17 divers from the NOAA has returned from a 33-day mission to remove marine debris from Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii, one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. You're not going to believe the amount of crap they had to pull out. » 10/31/14 9:20am 10/31/14 9:20am

Reservoirs and hydropower are often thought of as climate friendly, but new research suggests that we may have underestimated the amount of methane they produce. The methane—which is 35 times as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2 over the span of a century—is produced by bacteria eating nutrient-rich agricultural runoff. » 10/30/14 6:50am 10/30/14 6:50am

A Map of How Much Pollution Trees Have Scrubbed From Our Air

In 2010, trees removed more than 17 million metric tons of pollution from the air. In doing so, they saved more than $6.8 billion dollars in health care costs associated with pollution-related diseases, like bronchitis and asthma. » 8/01/14 6:07pm 8/01/14 6:07pm

Pollution Made It To The South Pole Before The First Explorers Did

The first explorer to ever set foot on the untouched South Pole did so over 100 years ago, in 1911. Although the area may have looked pristine, it had already been contaminated by lead. » 7/28/14 2:40pm 7/28/14 2:40pm

An Alarming Short Film That Will Change The Way You Think About Plastic

Plastic has become a ubiquitous part of life, though we rarely think about its impact on the environment and our health. This beautifully crafted four-minute film shows the various problems associated with plastic, along with possible solutions. » 7/16/14 1:30pm 7/16/14 1:30pm

The Same Insecticide That's Killing Bees Is Also Killing Birds

A class of pesticides linked to colony collapse disorder in bee colonies has now been linked to a dramatic decline in insectivorous bird populations. Disturbingly, this could also mean that other animals along the food chain are at risk as well. » 7/10/14 8:40am 7/10/14 8:40am

Scenes From The World's Northernmost Big City—A Polluted Hell On Earth

Located in Siberia, Norilsk is the world's northernmost city with a population of more than 100,000, and it's not just one of the coldest cities of the world—it's also one of the filthiest. Nickel ore smelting has transformed the landscape into one of the ten most polluted places on Earth. » 6/24/14 3:00pm 6/24/14 3:00pm

Illinois has become the first state to ban microbeads, those tiny round balls of plastic found in face cleansers and soaps. When microbeads are washed down the drain, they're missed by filtration systems, ending up in waterways where they become toxic and harm wildlife. » 6/12/14 5:30pm 6/12/14 5:30pm

Latest Survey Shows That Our Ocean Floors Are Covered In Garbage

A major new survey of the seafloor has found a shocking amount of litter. This garbage, which consists of bottles, plastic bags, fishing nets, and whatever else you can think of, was found throughout the Mediterranean and reaching all the way to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge — a distance of over 2,000 miles. » 5/01/14 9:00pm 5/01/14 9:00pm

Disturbing Pollution Map of California Confirms that Freeways Are Evil

Reporters at the Los Angeles Times have used data from the California EPA to put together a fascinating interactive map that shows levels of pollution, water toxicity, and ozone concentrations over California. Surprise — most of the environmental impact is around freeways. » 4/23/14 10:25am 4/23/14 10:25am

Air Pollution Killed 7 Million People in 2012

Air pollution, particularly indoors, is a leading cause of death around the world. A new report released by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that it may be one of the most critical causes of disease in our time, and its effects have been dramatically underestimated. » 3/26/14 10:20am 3/26/14 10:20am

Behold the Scough, the miraculous germ filtering scarf

Tired of the disgusting masses hacking their lung butter all over your face? Sick of inhaling poisonous chemicals during your daily commute? Then you need the Scough — part scarf, part medical filter mask. Now you can say "away germs" discreetly, while maintaining your keen fashion sense. » 3/12/14 2:24pm 3/12/14 2:24pm