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New York Times

Institute Professor Emeritus Mario Molina, who former Vice President Al Gore called a “trailblazing pioneer of the climate movement,” has died at age 77, reports John Schwartz for The New York Times. Molina shared a “Nobel Prize for work showing the damage that chemicals used in hair spray and refrigerators wreak on the ozone layer, which led to one of the most successful international efforts to combat environmental risk.”

The Guardian

Guardian reporter Fiona Harvey memorializes the life and work of Institute Professor Emeritus Mario Molina, known for his research uncovering the impact of CFCs on the ozone layer. Harvey notes that Molina’s work, “will also help to avert ruin from that other dire emergency, the climate crisis.”

The Washington Post

Institute Professor Emeritus Mario Molina, known for his work demonstrating the risk of CFCs to the ozone layer, has died at age 77, reports Emily Langer for The Washington Post. Langer notes that Molina was also “a prominent voice in debates about how best to combat climate change.” 

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Kristin Toussaint writes that a study by MIT researchers finds shutdowns and lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic led to clearer skies and increased solar output in Delhi. “I think we’ve been able to get a glimpse of how the world can look like if we actually have clean air,” says research scientist Ian Marius Peters.

The Verge

Verge reporter Justine Calma writes that states in the Midwest and Great Lakes region could see $4.7 billion in health benefits by maintaining current renewable energy standards. “This research shows that renewables pay for themselves through health benefits alone,” explains Emil Dimanchev, senior research associate at MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.

Axios

A new study by MIT researchers examining the impact of energy policies that reduce fine particulates in the air finds that there are “substantial health benefits in Rust Belt states when utilities are required to supply escalating amounts of renewable power,” reports Ben Geman for Axios.

E&E News

A new MIT study shows that “China’s move away from fossil fuels would mean 2,000 fewer premature deaths in the U.S. by 2030,” reports John Fialka for E&E News. "It reminds us that air pollution doesn't stop at national boundaries," said Prof. Valerie Karplus, a co-leader of the paper. 

BBC

The BBC series “Follow the Food” spotlights how MIT researchers are tackling the issue of runoff pesticide pollution by developing a technology that helps pesticide better adhere to plant leaves. “What we are trying to do is come up with a technology that can help farmers and significantly reduce the amount [of pesticide] sprayed,” explains Prof. Kripa Varanasi.

Wired

In an article for Wired, Andrew McAfee, cofounder of MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy, argues that the increased energy use and pollution associated with new technology is actually offset by the physical concept of dematerialization. “[W]e don’t need to worry that the iPhone and its digital kin are going to gobble up the planet, or even put a big dent in it,” writes McAfee. “In fact, they’re doing the opposite.”

Smithsonian Magazine

Smithsonian reporter Rachael Lallensack spotlights how MIT alumnus Anirudh Sharma developed a commercial ink from air pollution. Sharma explains that he hopes the ink, which is now on display at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, inspires others “to start looking at new forms of waste that are lying outside, unutilized.”

Technology Review

Technology Review reporter James Temple spotlights a new study co-authored by MIT researchers that finds factories in China are using a banned compound. The finding underscores the need for monitoring adherence to pollution accords, explains Prof. Ronald Prinn. “At the end of the day, any treaty that doesn’t have an independent verification mechanism isn’t going to be successful,” he explains.

CNBC

A new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that factories in China have been emitting a compound banned under the Montreal Protocol that destroys the Earth’s ozone layer, reports Yen Nee Lee for CNBC. The researchers found that “China accounted for 40% to 60% of the global increase in trichlorofluoromethane, or CFC-11, emissions between 2014 and 2017.”

Axios

Axios reporter Andrew Freeman writes that a new study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that factories in northern China have been using the banned CFC-11 compound, which eats away at the Earth’s ozone layer. Prof. Ronald Prinn explains that CFC-11 stays in the atmosphere for 52 years and even “with no emissions, it still lingers on and on and on.”

HealthDay News

HealthDay reporter Steven Reinberg writes that a new study by Prof. Siqi Zheng finds that air pollution can make people unhappy. Zheng found that, “On days with high levels of pollution, people are more likely to engage in impulsive and risky behavior that they may later regret, possibly because of short-term depression and anxiety,” writes Reinberg.

Inverse

Inverse reporter Emma Betuel reports on a new study by MIT researchers showing that air quality impacts the happiness of people living in cities in China. “When the air is polluted people stay home, they don’t go out, and they order food delivery while staying home playing computer games and shopping online,” explains Prof. Siqi Zheng.