Reduced traffic during lockdowns led to decreases in air pollution in many major cities in Europe.
(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
While most areas experienced a reduction in air pollution in response to lockdown measures, other areas saw only small improvements or even an air quality deterioration.
This is not an imaginary future dystopia. It’s a scientific projection of Australia under 3℃ of global warming – a future we must both strenuously try to avoid, but also prepare for.
Older homes can have a variety of environmental health risks.
Kerry F. Thompson and Ryan T. Wilson
Poor indoor air on tribal lands can cause a range of respiratory illnesses, including viral infections. Here’s how people are fixing the problem while preserving traditional ways.
London’s Piccadilly Circus falls silent. April 2020.
Exaggerating how much lockdown improved air quality could allow us to underestimate the scale of the air pollution problem.
The risk of transmitting COVID-19 is much higher indoors due to proximity to other people and building ventilation systems.
Studying how SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, travels through indoor air spaces can help reduce transmission risk.
This year’s World Soil Day theme is: ‘Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity’.
Healthy soils are vital for food, biodiversity, and a healthy planet, but this below-ground world is often overlooked. The launch of the State of Knowledge of Soil Biodiversity Report highlights this.
Open windows and doors to boost air flow and help remove airborne particles.
Daniela Torres/EyeEm via Getty Images
Being indoors with other people is a recipe for spreading the coronavirus. But removing airborne particles through proper ventilation and air filtration can reduce some of that risk.
By opening data, monitoring and reporting on air quality can be complemented by data from various sources to create more localised and relevant decision-support solutions.
Despite this year’s coronavirus lockdowns, more CO2 has accumulated in the atmosphere than during the same period in 2017 or 2018.
Open windows are the easiest way to ventilate a room.
Justin Paget / Digital Vision via Getty Images
Good ventilation can reduce the risk of catching coronavirus. An environmental engineer explains how to know if enough outside air is getting into a room and what to do if ventilation is bad.
A vast plume of Saharan dust blankets Havana, Cuba, June 24, 2020.
Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images
From June through October, it’s not unusual for huge Saharan dust plumes to blow across the Atlantic. They can darken skies but also bring calmer weather and electric sunsets. Here’s how they form.
Much of India experiences both extreme heat and extreme air pollution, as seen in this photo of the Akshardham Hindu temple. Days with both are going to increase.
Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images
In South Asia, days with both extreme heat and extreme pollution are expected to increase 175% by 2050. Separately, the health effects are bad; together they will likely be worse.
Removing engine idling would be like removing up to 1.6 million cars from the road.
CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON / EPA
Yes, poor air quality is bad for your health – but beware simplistic correlations with COVID-19.
FABRIZIO BENSCH/ Reuters
Researchers built cheap air quality monitors using parts found at hardware and electronics scores. The results have big implications for anyone who travels outside near busy roads.
The data shows a big improvement of pollution levels over some cities – but in others, pollution has, perhaps surprisingly, increased.
Smoke from recent bushfires has shrouded major Australian cities.
Bushfire smoke accumulating over Australian cities contains a complex chemical mix which does all sorts of things to the human body.
Throughout history, Australian bushfires have spread smoke over our cities. But this time it’s different.
This is not the first time Australia’s major cities have been shrouded in bushfire smoke. But this time, the culprits must held to account.
What was short-term exposure has now become medium-term exposure to bushfire smoke in some parts of the country.
Smoke haze almost seems to be the new normal in parts of Australia. But what do we know about the dangers to our health in the longer term?
A rural fire service crew attempts to protect a property in New South Wales in December 2019.
Dean Lewins/AAP Images via AP
Wildfire smoke can damage animals’ respiratory tract and lead to breathing problems and even death.