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China charges 9 people for dumping toxic waste

Pollution has become a major issue for China’s growing middle class, frustrated with years of grey skies and polluted rivers, and the government is anxious to show it is addressing the problem. Chinese authorities have charged nine people from a waste treatment facility with the dumping tens of thousands of tons of toxic waste into a section of the Yangtze River near Shanghai. The charges were filed Friday in the city of Changshu, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The nine are accused of sending garbage from Haiyan County, near Shanghai, to “unqualified” individuals who then dumped the waste in the river or buried it, Xinhua said. The dumping occurred between August and December of last year. The... »

Are countries being honest about their carbon emissions? Satellites could tel

By Sid Perkins It’s all fine and good to sign a climate treaty, but how do you know whether a country is keeping its word? Track it from space. Researchers have shown that observations by Earth-orbiting instruments can be used to estimate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from individual power plants. NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2; artist’s concept above), which was launched in July 2014, was designed to monitor the movement of CO2 in and out of ecosystems worldwide. Despite the satellite’s generally broad focus, its sensors are able to measure CO2 concentrations in the air to within about 1 part per million in areas covering 3 square kilometers or less. When the team combined OCO-2 data from selected... »

Climate Change Is Complex. We’ve Got Answers to Your Questions.

We know. Global warming is daunting. So here’s a place to start: 17 often-asked questions with some straightforward answers. Climate change? Global warming? What do we call it? Both are accurate, but they mean different things. You can think of global warming as one type of climate change. The broader term covers changes beyond warmer temperatures, such as shifting rainfall patterns. President Trump has claimed that scientists stopped referring to global warming and started calling it climate change because “the weather has been so cold” in winter. But the claim is false. Scientists have used both terms for decades. 2.How much is the Earth heating up? Two degrees is more significant than it sounds. As of early 2017,... »