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Articles on pollutants

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Smaller animals that feed lower in the food web might be at greater risk from microplastic exposure than larger ones. (Shutterstock)

Microplastics may pose a greater threat to the base of marine food webs

We need to advance our understanding of the effects of microplastics on aquatic ecosystems, especially on small animals at the base of food webs that might be ingesting more of these particles.
Sandstorm approaching Merzouga Settlement in Erg Chebbi Desert, Morocco. Pavliha/Getty Images

Six areas where action must focus to rescue this planet

Humanity’s biggest challenges are not technical, but social, economic, political and behavioural. Effective actions are still possible to stabilise the climate and the planet, but must be taken now.
Plastic bottles, containers and other waste washed up from the Lagos lagoon at one of the waterfront jetties Stefan Harris/AFP via Getty Images

How we learnt more about dangerous pollutants in Lagos lagoon

Pollutants from industrial and domestic sources in the Lagos lagoon represent a cocktail of environmental contaminants.
Visitors walk through Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s installation ‘Fireflies on the Water.’ maurizio mucciola/flickr

In dandelions and fireflies, artists try to make sense of climate change

Images of wildfires are powerful, but can make climate catastrophe seem like something spectacular and distant. So some artists are focusing on the plants and bugs in our immediate surroundings.
In Paris’s André-Citroën Park, a balloon is used to measure air pollution. Bertrand Guay/AFP

The contest for the worst air pollutant

The number of substances emitted into the atmosphere is immense and growing, but some are particularly harmful to health and are subject to increased monitoring.

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