See How Wildfires Are Affecting Air Quality in the American West

< Blog By Sarah Parsons and Seth Contreras Dozens of wildfires are blazing across the American West, including in California, Oregon, Nevada and Colorado. In addition to burning homes and large areas of forests, fires are causing dangerous levels of air pollution in some areas. The map below shows near-real time air quality data from OpenAQ and fire alerts from […]

Independence Haze: Data Shows Air Pollution Spikes from July 4th Fireworks

< Blog By Seth Contreras and Rexon Carvalho Fireworks, block parties and barbeques: Those are the first things that come to mind when the 4th of July rolls around. But what’s least talked about is the quality of breathable air on the nation’s birthday. Data shows that levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), a pollutant linked to […]

Which Foods Produce the Most Emissions?

< Blog By Sarah Parsons and Peter Kerins Fourth of July is synonymous with cookouts—more specifically, grilled meats. Americans typically consume about 150 million hot dogs over the holiday weekend—more than any other time of year—and purchase 700 million pounds of chicken and 190 million pounds of beef in the weeks preceding July 4th. Not all these foods are […]

Satellite Images at Night Reveal Surprising Stories About the World’s Roads

By Rosie Gilroy and Raj Bhagat Palanichamy Roads are critical to human life. You probably traveled on one today, whether you were walking down a dirt path to your farm in the morning or commuting to work on a bumper-to-bumper expressway. Roads link us both literally and figuratively: Even as they transport us from place […]

6 Things to Know About Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Eruption

< Blog By Sarah Parsons, Liz Saccoccia and Francis Gassert Hawaii’s Kilauea eruption continues to make headlines, as new fissures open and lava engulfs trees, cars and homes in the Big Island’s Leilani Estates area. But there’s more to this story. Satellite and other near-real time data on Resource Watch provide context about volcanoes and the Kilauea eruption: 1.) Kilauea […]

It’s Not Just Cape Town: 4 Shrinking Reservoirs to Watch

By Charlie Iceland, Tianyi Luo, and Gennadii Donchyts Cape Town, South Africa has been in the news a lot lately. The region has suffered a devastating three-year drought, and the city’s reservoirs are close to running out of water. The city has so far avoided reaching “Day Zero,” when it would turn off taps and start rationing water for […]

Water Stress Threatens Nearly Half the World’s Thermal Power Plant Capacity

< Blog Water Stress Threatens Nearly Half the World’s Thermal Power Plant Capacity By Aaron Kressig, Logan Byers, Johannes Friedrich, Colin McCormick and Tianyi Luo Many people point to renewable energy as the greatest threat facing fossil fuel power plants. New WRI research finds that the real threat may be water. When we overlaid areas of current […]