Air Quality

Historically, the campfire was a necessity for warmth and cooking, while today it’s become culturally synonymous with the outdoor experience. But the proliferation of lightweight and high-quality camp stoves, combined with deeper knowledge about the ecological impacts fires have on natural spaces and the environment, mean that fires are no longer a necessity in most…

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A photo posted on the Mount Washington Observatory’s Facebook page this month shows a particularly hazy sunrise resulting from smoke that drifted east from West Coast wildfires.  In 2018, California’s wildfire season brought higher death counts, greater financial destruction, and longer burning seasons—a record that has now been surpassed by this year’s devastating West Coast…

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  Released from factories, powerplants, and vehicles, toxic particles and chemicals can have detrimental effects on both human health and the environment—yet it wasn’t until 1970 that the United States started regulating how much of these pollutants can be emitted into the atmosphere. Today, scientists are still learning about the long-term effects of air pollution,…

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  Fifty years ago, Congress passed arguably the most important environmental and public health legislation to date: the Clean Air Act (CAA). By setting emissions standards for vehicles and industrial factories, the act has removed harmful, airborne pollutants in and around cities, as well as improved the air high above sea level. Georgia Murray, AMC’s…

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  Since taking office, the Trump administration has, through the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies, been hard at work dismantling more than 100 environmental rules that protect and preserve American land, water, and wildlife from pollution, development, and oil and gas drilling. Environmental regulations help prevent “haphazard and harmful and random and unfair…

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The greenhouse effect has caused the Earth’s average temperature to rise 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since such records were first kept in the late 19th century. This may not seem like a significant increase, but even incremental climate fluctuations can and do affect many facets of life on Earth, from where we live to where we…

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  Nearly all scientists agree: the global climate is getting warmer. According to NASA records, Earth’s average surface temperature has risen 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century. All but one of the 16 hottest years in NASA’s 134-year record have occurred since 2000. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which includes more…

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  Measuring a person’s carbon footprint includes a number of factors. Choices we make, from the food we eat, to the products we use and industries we support, to the distances we travel, play into the amount of greenhouse gases we add into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide,…

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I’ve always understood AMC first as a pragmatic place—built for fun and adventure, but also deeply invested in plans, safety protocols, good maps, and the right gear. Look around you during one of our outdoor leadership, wilderness first aid, or avalanche safety training courses, and you’ll see very plainly the kinds of situations in which…

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Dr. Sarah Nelson brings more than two decades of scientific scholarship to her role as AMC’s director of research. Before joining AMC in September 2019, Nelson spent 21 years at the University of Maine, most recently directing the Ecology and Environmental Sciences program and serving as associate research professor in the School of Forest Resources….

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