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University students at Anyang Normal University, Christmas Day, 2013, Henan Province, China. Cognitive impacts air pollution.

Air Pollution Linked to Cognitive Impairment: A Review of the Research Evidence

A growing body of research demonstrates that air pollution affects the brain and causes cognitive deficits. When inhaled, fine particulate matter has been shown to be bad for your heart, lungs, and brain. While we have known that air pollution compromises cardiovascular and respiratory health since the 70s, the connection with impaired cognition is a more recent discovery. Inhaled fine…

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Smog continues as the principal threat to air quality. The Los Angeles Skyline approaching LAX

EarthTalk: Threats to Air Quality

EarthTalk® is a weekly environmental column made available to our readers from the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: What are some of the more dangerous threats to our air quality and what can be done to eliminate them so we can all breathe more easily?                        — Melanie Smith, Pomfret, CT The main threats to local air quality…

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Earth's 9 planetary boundaries

The Nine Planetary Boundaries

Mark Lynas is a journalist  climate activist, and author of The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans. Speaking at a Long Now Foundation seminar last month, Lynas speaks of the nine planetary boundaries human society now faces as we struggle to find a path for a sustainable future. These boundaries include biodiversity loss,  biosphere and oceanic inputs of nitrogen…

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Global dimming occurs when particulate pollution (primarily sulphur dioxide, soot and ash) from the burning of fossil fuels absorbs solar energy and reflects sunlight otherwise bound for the Earth’s surface back into space. Some scientists blame the phenomenon for causing the droughts in Ethiopia in the 1970s and 80s because the northern hemisphere oceans were not warm enough to allow rain formation. Pictured: Particulate pollution over Mexico City.

EarthTalk: What is Global Dimming?

EarthTalk® is a weekly environmental column made available to our readers from the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard of global warming, of course, but what on Earth is “global dimming?” – Max S., Seattle, WA Global dimming is a less well-known but real phenomenon resulting from atmospheric pollution. The burning of fossil fuels by industry and…

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