Arizona Sky Village’s residents have one rule: ‘Turn off your goddamned lights’

Nearly every house in this rural 450-acre development of stargazers is equipped with its own domed observatory, and outdoor lights are strictly forbidden. Does it also hold answers for combatting America’s problem with light pollution?

Tipping point: revealing the cities where exercise does more harm than good

In at least 15 cities, air pollution has now become so bad that the danger to health of just 30 minutes of cycling each way outweighs the benefits of exercise altogether, according to new research

‘Extraordinary’ levels of pollutants found in 10km deep Mariana trench

Presence of manmade chemicals in most remote place on planet shows nowhere is safe from human impact, say scientists

Volkswagen and Nox emissions from its cars

NOₓ is a generic term for the mono-nitrogen oxides NO and NO₂. They are produced from the reaction of nitrogen and oxygen gases in the air during combustion, especially at high temperatures.

You may have read Volkswagen (VW) has been cheating in emission tests by making its cars appear far less polluting than they are. The US Environmental Protection Agency discovered that 482,000 VW diesel cars on American roads were emitting up to 40 times more toxic fumes than permitted – and VW has since admitted the cheat affects 11m cars worldwide. Apparently, the programming software in the car’s onboard computer could detect when the car was being tested for emissions and when this occurred the computer altered the way the engine processed the NOx so as to adhere to the safety standards.

It means far more harmful NOx emissions, including nitrogen dioxide, have been pumped into the air than was thought – on one analysis, between 250,000 to 1m extra tonnes every year. The hidden damage from these VW vehicles could equate to all of the UK’s NOx emissions from all power stations, vehicles, industry and agriculture.

Hopefully, the fines imposed on Volkswagen will destroy its credibility and make other manufacturers think twice before deciding to follow the makers of Das Auto.