The largest source of deadly air pollution in many parts of the world isn’t cars or power plants—it’s farms. That’s the unsettling conclusion of a study conducted by researchers at Columbia University, who found that agricultural nitrogen emissions are a major contributor to fine particulate matter, tiny particles…
The leading cause of death worldwide isn’t an infectious disease or cancer. It’s air pollution. And despite our best efforts to control it, smog is still increasing at an alarming rate worldwide, posing a health risk to over 80 percent of all city dwellers.
The American Lung Association has an annual report out today on the troubling state of US air quality. While you might think of smog-shrouded cities as the biggest offenders when it comes to air pollution, in the United States the most dangerous air to breathe is actually found far outside of its biggest metropolises.…
A plan to restrict private vehicles from Mexico City’s downtown hasn’t done enough to reduce air pollution, so the city is now asking twice as many cars to stay off the roads.
It’s no secret that living in a dense city—with cars pumping out endless amounts of pollution —isn’t going to do wonders for your lungs. But one London tech company wants to know exactly how carcinogenic that air is, and it’s recruiting pigeons as part of its air-monitoring arsenal.
In research that adds new truth to the phrase “every cloud has a silver lining,” scientists are reporting that sulfate aerosol emissions have offset roughly a third of global warming over the Earth’s land, by scattering sunlight back into space.
Earlier this year Delhi’s air pollution was so bad that the government temporarily banned half its cars from streets. The policymaker who came up with the idea says the ban should be 365 days a year—but not because it improved air quality all that much.
The smog hovering over many major cities is not just an unhealthy inconvenience. Breathing that air is killing millions of people. A recent study in Nature estimated three million people died annually due to air quality. That number may be closer to 5.5 million premature deaths per year, according to a new study being…
Thanks to a super-sensitive new tool, NASA can now see exactly where air pollution is increasing and decreasing–down to the level of neighborhoods–and in some cases, the results are surprising.
The red-alert issued by Beijing was lifted today as shifting weather patterns improved air quality for the first time in weeks. Although the world’s focus was on China’s skies, a dense smog is currently rendering India’s cities unrecognizable—and it’s way more dangerous.
The “airpocalypse” of smog swirling over Chinese cities has reached its most dangerous levels yet. Beijing issued its first-ever red alert today, closing schools and taking cars off the road. How bad is it? According to EPA guidelines levels are at 6: “Everyone should avoid all outdoor exertion.”
Pedestrians and bicyclists took over the streets of Paris today for the Journée Sans Voiture (Day Without Cars) event. Paris banned cars from large parts of the city center, including the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées, as part of an effort to draw attention to the city’s dire pollution problem, especially in…
What’s 23 feet tall, eats smog, and makes jewelry for fun?
The layer of thick smog that blankets many of China’s cities is not just making residents sick, it’s also causing premature death. Up to 4,000 people a day are dying due to China’s air pollution.
The deadly heatwave that swept through India this week has melted streets with its searing 118-degree temperatures. But it’s also making life even worse for its cities’ most vulnerable residents—the millions of Indian children suffering from lung damage due to the toxic urban air.
The worst smog of the year so far swept into Beijing this week, coating the city in a grainy, deep grey murk on par with what the city endured in 2013, pictured above (though you'll see it's popping up again today). China is trying, hard, to get its air quality problem under control, and is considering some seriously…
Long-suffering pinball fans can finally play free in Oakland. Swords are being returned to their rightful owners in New York City. And America is breathing better air than we have in a decade. Sometimes we like to look at the brighter side of urban life. It's our peek at What's Not Ruining Our Cities Anymore.
When smog first descended on Los Angeles as a thick, grey mist in the 1940s, it caught the city unprepared. What were Angelenos—their eyes watery, their breathing labored—to do? Don plastic helmets and walk around in their own private atmospheres, like astronauts on a alien planet?
Billboards of the world, you can aspire to be more than signs pointing to cheap motels and sleazy roadside attractions. An engineering team in Peru has created a billboard that they say can purify 100,000 cubic meters of air everyday—taking in pollution and spewing out sweet, fresh air for the city.
Air pollution in the U.S. is better than it was a decade ago, but a staggering 147.6 million Americans—47 percent of the country—live in places where air quality is often too dangerous to breathe, according to the American Lung Association's State of the Air report.