Gallery: Does Pollution Actually Fight Global Warming?

photo by iStockphoto/George Clerk

At first listen, it sounds like something that would go against the core beliefs of any eco-expert, but recent research shows that air polluted skies are helping plants to reduce global warming. A study from 1960 to 1999, led by Dr. Lina Mercado from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, was published earlier this year in the Nature scientific journal reporting that plants stored 23.7 percent more CO2—the leading greenhouse gas causing climate change—thanks to more efficient photosynthesis in plants shaded by smog. Does this mean that burning fossil fuels might actually be the solution to cooling the earth?

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  1. hsr0601 September 6, 2009 at 1:24 am

    The sky in Beijing & man-made climate change.

  2. TimGraf September 4, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Actually I am mistaken. That is a coal powered plant. I should have looked at the larger picture. Completely disregard my last comment.

  3. TimGraf September 3, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    By the way the fifth picture in that set is of steam rising from a nuclear power plant. I’m not sure if that picture was meant to be a menacing picture of air pollution but since the article does discus air pollution and global warming I’ll assume it was meant that way. Nuclear power plants emit no air pollution. What is pictured there is steam rising from the cooling towers. While water vapor does contribute to the green house effect, clouds are also water vapor. While I am very much an antipollution proponent I think it’s import to understand the issues and not use potentially misleading imagery or information.

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