Twenty thousand years ago, when humans were still nomadic hunters and gatherers, low concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere allowed the earth to fall into the grip of an ice age. But despite decades of research, the reasons why levels of the greenhouse gas were so low then have been difficult to piece together.
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Because Volkswagen has committed large-scale fraud with the software in diesel engines, nine million fraudulent cars, sold in Europe and the US from 2009 to 2015, have emitted a cumulative amount of 526 kilo tonnes of nitrogen oxides more than was legally allowed. The Volkswagen fraud has had an even larger environmental impact in Europe than in the US: more Volkswagens were sold and the population density is higher. Environmental scientists from Radboud University in the Netherlands have provided an estimate of the public health consequences caused by this fraud in the scientific magazine Environmental Pollution.