July 22, 2012 |
The gleaming white Sapphire Princess docked in this deep-water port this month, unloading its passengers and taking on another 2,600 guests headed first to Glacier Bay and, eventually, Vancouver, B.C. Every day of that trip the cruise ship — whose Web site invites passengers to see Alaska's "pristine landscapes" — will emit the same amount of sulfur dioxide as 13.1 million cars, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and as much soot...
July 2, 2012 |
The story of acid rain from the 1970s is preserved in newspaper headlines, textbooks and, it turns out, the soils of the Northeast. Forty years after humans began tackling the problem, the impact of acid rain lingers in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, according to a new study. But the research also shows the first signs of recovery. At the height of the acid rain problem, sulfur dioxide from burning coal drifted into the atmosphere and lowered the pH of rainwater. When this...
July 21, 2011 |
Tiny solid and liquid particles in the atmosphere, including volcanic ash and soot from fossil fuel burning, have kept the Earth from warming as fast as it otherwise would have in the past dozen years, according to a new study published online Thursday in the journal Science. The findings show that both natural and human factors have slowed the rate of global warming 20 percent since 1998. Small particles, otherwise known as aerosols, help cool the Earth's climate by blocking out sunlight.
July 7, 2011 |
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it finalized rules that compel 27 states and the District to curb air pollution that travels across states by wind and weather, the first in a series of federal restrictions aimed at improving the air Americans breathe. The Cross State Air Pollution Rule , which replaces a Bush-era regulation thrown out by federal courts in 2008, targets coal-fired power plants mainly in the eastern United States. The measure, along with a proposal aimed at cutting summertime smog...
April 25, 2011 |
America is mired in three wars. The past decade was the hottest on record. Unemployment remains stuck near 9 percent, and there's a small, albeit real, possibility that the U.S. government will default on its debt. So what's dominating the news? A reality-television star who can't persuade anyone that his hair is real is alleging that the president of the United States was born in Kenya. Perhaps this is just the logical endpoint of two years spent arguing over what Barack Obama is — or isn't.
March 26, 2011 |
A S THE CRISIS at Japan's stricken reactors wears on, it's increasingly clear what a step away from nuclear power will mean for Europe and Asia: more coal, which means more nasty particulates, carcinogens, carbon dioxide and other dangerous effluences spewing from sooty smokestacks around the world. As radiation levels outside the Fukushima Daiichi plant rise, so did the value of stocks of American companies that mine and export the black stuff. Business analysts expect demand for U.S. coal to jump , along with...