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.
On many days Canberra has the worst air quality of any major international city. Even in the best buildings it’s not good.
Plugging ventilation holes in walls helps, but there are dangers.
Pregnant women should try to stay inside when the air pollution is high.
Pregnant women exposed to bushfire smoke face a higher risk of complications including gestational diabetes, high blood pressure and giving birth prematurely.
People in Sydney have this week been donning face masks. But they’re unlikely to prevent smoke inhalation.
With smoke haze this week at its most hazardous level yet, people on Australia's east coast have been taking precautions to protect their health. But some methods are more effective than others.
On Thursday air pollution levels in Sydney reached hazardous levels for the second time in a week.
Smoke haze appears to make it hard for participants in financial markets to make the right decisions. The finding has far-reaching implications.
Living near green spaces is associated with better cognition.
Some previous research suggests people living in rural areas may be at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. But these results tell a different story.
The dangers of outdoor air pollution are now well known, but those related to the air we breathe at homes and at work are much less so, according to an international study.
Chayatorn Laorattanavech / shutterstock
Filtering air uses lots of energy and concentrates harmful chemicals in landfills.
Hazardous air quality is when fine dust levels are significantly elevated relative to Australian air quality standards.
PAUL BRAVEN/AAP Image
Even as the dust storm over NSW subsides, the unseen fine particles outside, or even inside your house, can still present a health risk.
The Big Brown coal plant in Fairfield is among the Texas power stations that have been shut down.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
A study of the social cost of carbon emitted by the shrinking fleet of Texan coal plants suggests that closing more of them down would be good for the climate and public health.
Fire burns the hillsides along Highway 129 near Lake Berryessa in Yolo County, California, on July 3, 2018.
(Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee via AP)
And wildfires rage along the West Coast of North America, parents should know the impact on their children's health, and how to protect them.