pollution

416 posts
Animated map of microplastics in the ocean

Using estimates based on satellite data, Joshua Stevens for NASA Earth Observatory mapped the concentration of microplastics in the ocean over time: Researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) recently developed a new method to map the concentration of ocean microplastics around the world. The researchers used data from eight microsatellites that are part of the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) mission. Radio signals from GPS satellites reflect off...

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Where cancer risk is greater due to air pollution

Based on five years of data from EPA models, ProPublica mapped areas in the United States where cancer risk is higher due to air pollution: In all, ProPublica identified more than a thousand hot spots of cancer-causing air. They are not equally distributed across the country. A quarter of the 20 hot spots with the highest levels of excess risk are in Texas, and almost all of them are in...

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Pollution exposure plotted, a comparison between two kids’ day

The New York Times measured pollution exposure during the day for two kids who live in New Delhi. Usually just described in terms of micrograms of particulate matter, the piece puts in more effort to give a feel for each person’s day-to-day. Side-by-side video along with a scrolling line chart provide a clear contrast between the two lives. Tags: India, New York Times, pollution

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Making invisible gas leaks visible

For The New York Times, Jonah M. Kessel and Hiroko Tabuchi went to oilfields in Texas with an infrared camera to look for methane leaks. Okay, important topic here, and the contrast between regular photograph and infrared video is alarming, but I may have been drawn to the methodology at the end: To create images of methane emissions in the Permian Basin, The Times used a custom-built FLIR camera that...

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Compare your city’s air pollution to the rest of the world

High air pollution can lead to serious health risks, but you can’t usually see particulate matter floating in the air around you. So we have no base for comparison and only an abstract sense of what’s bad and okay. The New York Times tries to make the pollution more visible. They lead with moving particles across your screen at a density that matches approximately to what the Environmental Protection Agency...

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Mapping chemical plants, the pollution around them, and more chemical plants

ProPublica, with The Advocate and The Times-Picayune, estimated chemical concentrations in a highly polluted area along the Mississippi River that will probably get worse soon: The industrial stretch of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, a region known as “Cancer Alley,” is one of the most highly polluted areas in the country. A ProPublica analysis using a scientific model developed by the Environmental Protection Agency shows that...

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Years of life lost due to breathing bad air

Researchers at the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute estimated the number of years lost and the number of people affected due to particulate matter in the air. They estimated per country. The Washington Post used a mosaic plot, aka a Marimekko chart, to show the differences. The width of each column represents total population for a country. The sections in each columns represent the number of people who will...

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Turning water pollution into audiolized awareness

Brian House collected polluted water with acid mine drainage in the Tshimologong Precinct, Johannesburg and translated pollution levels to sound: Acid Love comprises vessels of AMD gathered from a mine on the outskirts of the city. These are connected in an electrical circuit that measures the conductivity from the metals of the water and coverts it into sound. The sound is further modulated by data gathered from remediation efforts at...

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Time-lapse shows night sky at varying levels of light pollution

One of my favorite childhood memories is the time I went camping and saw the Big Dipper for the first time. There weren’t any lights in the mountains to diffuse the view of the sky. Sriram Murali uses time-lapse to demonstrate. Queue the ethereal music: [via kottke] Tags: light, pollution, time-lapse

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Pollution popsicles

Students at the National Taiwan University of Arts made popsicles using sewage runoff to highlight pollution problems in their area. Then they replicated the popsicles and made stylish wrappers for a longer-lasting display. Mmm, sewage. [via Mashable] Tags: pollution, popsicles

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