Eco-news in brief 5-1
By CG News Editor April Jaynes
U.S. air pollution at lowest level in a decade
The American Lung Association reported last Wednesday that the air quality in America is at its highest level since the group started gathering data in 2000. The ALA, a nonprofit organization, attributes this to recent higher environmental standards set regarding smog and sot levels in the air. Charles Connor, ALA president and CEO said that the ongoing protection of the Clean Air Act is to be credited as well. According to ALA data, as of 2010 nationwide ozone levels have dropped 13 percent since 2000 and particle pollution has dropped 24 percent. ALA Assistant Vice President Janice Nolen said she believes the U.S. is on the right track to improving air quality because of this significant reduction in pollution despite economic growth.
Mini Athens Farmers Market held at OU
Last Friday morning OU Graduate Student Senate and the Office of Sustainability partnered together to bring the Mini Farmers Market to the campus’ Howard Park. This is the second time during this academic year that the event was made possible after its initial occurrence in the fall. The Mini Farmers Market featured booths of local vendors and enabled students to experience what options the Athens area has to offer in sustainable food businesses. Additionally, Tracy Kelly, president of Graduate Student Senate, said that discussions about the possibility of a monthly Mini Farmers Market have occurred.
Largest fossil forest ever found to offer insight into climate change
Scientists are currently exploring a 307 million-year-old fossil forest in the Springfield Coal mines in southern Illinois. The forest lies within eight active mines, has differing depths of 250 to 800 feet and researches estimate it may extend for more than 100 miles, making it the largest fossilized forest ever found. With this rare, vast amount of fossilized organisms clumped together, team members of the Illinois State Geological Survey say they will be able to analyze this ecosystem in a way that much smaller remains wouldn’t allow them to. Scientists also say that studies such as this have often enabled them to learn about, and predict, the effects of global warming, making this large discovery significant in climate change research.