Mother Jones: How Trees Can Help Us Fight a Pandemic

Mother Jones: How Trees Can Help Us Fight a Pandemic. “As the world grapples with the devastation of the coronavirus, one thing is clear: The United States simply wasn’t prepared. Despite repeated warnings from infectious disease experts over the years, we lacked essential beds, equipment, and medication; public health advice was confusing, and our leadership offered no clear direction while sidelining credible health professionals and institutions. Infectious disease experts agree that it’s only a matter of time before the next pandemic hits, and that could be even deadlier. How do we fix what COVID-19 has shown was broken? In this Mother Jones series, we’re asking experts from a wide range of disciplines one question: What are the most important steps we can take to make sure we’re better prepared next time?”

Phys .org: COVID-19 lockdown reduced dangerous air pollutants in five Indian cities by up to 54 percent

Phys .org: COVID-19 lockdown reduced dangerous air pollutants in five Indian cities by up to 54 percent. “The COVID-19 crisis and subsequent lockdown measures have led to a dramatic reduction of harmful air pollutants across major cities in India, finds a new study from the University of Surrey.”

Phys .org: EPA’s relaxed enforcement of pollution reporting due to COVID-19 ends in August

Phys .org: EPA’s relaxed enforcement of pollution reporting due to COVID-19 ends in August. “The Environmental Protection Agency will end a temporary policy that relaxed reporting requirements on pollutants due to the coronavirus at the end of August, amid criticism that the pandemic policy has jeopardized public health.”

Fast Company: Masks, gloves, and other coronavirus waste are starting to fill up our oceans

Fast Company: Masks, gloves, and other coronavirus waste are starting to fill up our oceans. “It’s not news that our trash eventually finds its way to the ocean. Because oceans are downstream, litter will eventually find a pathway into our bodies of water if it’s not discarded properly—and often even if it is. But as the COVID-19 crisis slowly generates a new kind of waste, made up of disposable masks and other PPE items, it’s posing new problems for the Earth’s oceans. The flood of PPE could cause immediate danger to wildlife and long-term plastic pollution that threatens to contaminate food supplies.”

TechCrunch: Aclima and Google release a new air quality data set for researchers to investigate California pollution

TechCrunch: Aclima and Google release a new air quality data set for researchers to investigate California pollution. “As part of the Collision from Home conference, Aclima chief executive Davida Herzl released a new data set made in conjunction with Google. Free to the scientific community, the data is the culmination of four years of data collection and aggregation resulting in 42 million air quality measurements throughout the state of California.”

Caltech: Even During Pandemic Lockdown, Air Quality Remained Poor in Parts of China

Caltech: Even During Pandemic Lockdown, Air Quality Remained Poor in Parts of China. “The viral before-and-after images of improved air quality around the world resulting from the COVID-19 lockdown may not paint an entirely accurate picture, at least not in China. According to a new study published on June 17 in the journal Science, although there was a dramatic reduction in pollution emission during the lockdown that far outstripped the ‘Olympic Blue’ efforts the nation used to temporarily combat air pollution ahead of the Beijing Olympics, other factors involving complex atmospheric chemistry and meteorological variations have offset the influence of emission reduction. This has led to a counterintuitive deterioration in air quality in Beijing and other cities in northern China during the COVID-19 lockdown.”

International Atomic Energy Agency: New IAEA Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Database Facilitates National Data Reporting and Sharing

International Atomic Energy Agency: New IAEA Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Database Facilitates National Data Reporting and Sharing . “The Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste Information System (SRIS) will provide an authoritative and integrated view of national and global spent fuel and radioactive waste inventories as well as relevant laws, regulations, policies, plans and activities. The IAEA is encouraging national authorities to take advantage of this important new tool by nominating representatives responsible for submitting data to SRIS, part of which will be available to the public and other countries using the system. So far, 38 countries have done so.”

Tallahassee Reports: New Website Provides Sewage Spill Information for Florida Counties

Tallahassee Reports: New Website Provides Sewage Spill Information for Florida Counties. “The Tallahassee Sewage Advocacy Group released the website in May. The website uses Florida Department of Environmental Protection data on spills throughout Florida from 2000 to 2020. Users can input their county to calculate gallons spilled per capita. The generated report also lists the date and volume of each recorded spill.”

ScienceBlog: How Airborne Is The Virus?

ScienceBlog: How Airborne Is The Virus?. “In March, an Italian study claiming that pollution particles could be a vector for spreading SARS-CoV-2 made the headlines. The physicist and chemist Jean-François Doussin explains why this thesis does not hold up and tells us what we know about the spread of the virus through the air.”

Air Quality News: New database for carbuyers reveals vehicle pollution levels

Air Quality News: New database for carbuyers reveals vehicle pollution levels. “The AIR Alliance has created a database for car buyers that reveals the levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions created by a particular vehicle. Covering hundreds of models, the AIR Index details vehicle emissions information and rates each from A (the best) to E (the worst). The database is the result of rigorous on-road testing according to the legal standard method, CWA17379.”

Coronavirus: France offers subsidy to tempt lockdown cyclists (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: France offers subsidy to tempt lockdown cyclists. “France is encouraging people to cycle to keep pollution levels low once lockdown restrictions end. Under the €20 million (£17m; $21.7m) scheme, everyone will be eligible for bike repairs of up to €50 at registered mechanics. The funding will also help pay for cycle training and temporary parking spaces.”

Michigan Live: How to ‘look up together’ while social distancing during International Dark Sky Week

Michigan Live: How to ‘look up together’ while social distancing during International Dark Sky Week. “During International Dark Sky Week, recognized this year from April 19-26, the International Dark-Sky Association is encouraging everyone who’s homebound to ‘look up together’ and learn more about astronomy, cultural connections to the stars, and the importance of limiting light pollution — an increasing threat which has impacted everything from firefly populations and bird migration to human circadian rhythms.”

Slashgear: NASA wants the public to help track light pollution from VLEO satellites

Slashgear: NASA wants the public to help track light pollution from VLEO satellites. “NASA wants the public to help it track very-low Earth orbit (VLEO) satellites and the potential light pollution issues they may cause. The space agency launched a public science project that anyone can participate in, stating that it only requires a tripod, smartphone, and the use of a website that reveals when satellites will be overhead.”

New York Times: Cloud Computing Is Not the Energy Hog That Had Been Feared

New York Times: Cloud Computing Is Not the Energy Hog That Had Been Feared. “The computer engine rooms that power the digital economy have become surprisingly energy efficient. A new study of data centers globally found that while their computing output jumped sixfold from 2010 to 2018, their energy consumption rose only 6 percent. The scientists’ findings suggest concerns that the rise of mammoth data centers would generate a surge in electricity demand and pollution have been greatly overstated.”