Does Air Pollution Help Reduce Global Warming?

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In the article Does Air Pollution Help Reduce Global Warming by Evan Galloway, the author starts off with naming some of the many contributors to global warming. One example he uses is a fossil fuel that we know as coal. Galloway goes on to describe what is released from the coal when it is burned (which is carbon dioxide and sulfate) and the affect it has on our atmosphere. When sulfate is released into the air it forms aerosols, which contribute to our pollution and acid rain. (Galloway, 2009) Lina M. Mercado of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the United Kingdom and other colleagues, discovered new evidence that suggest aerosols might actually help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. The new research presented by…show more content…
There is no doubt that these effects contribute to global dimming. However when a model of the effect of aerosols were performed by Mercado and colleagues, they found that aerosols increase the use of sunlight. An example used by Galloway explains the concept of aerosols increasing the use of sunlight: if you let a water hose flow freely, the first few buckets will get full and overflow, but the other buckets would get no water at all. When a spray attachment is added all buckets would receive water and none will overflow, so no water is wasted. (Galloway, 2009) The example used by Galloway above is the same way plants work. When light is shining on one leaf, its receiving more sunlight than it actually needs. If the light is scattered, more leaves will have a chance of receiving sunlight, exposing shadowed leaves to more light as well. Although the leaves will be getting less light, the rest would be used for photosynthesis. None of the sunlight goes wasted. It is known that most climate models take only global dimming into account. Those models show us that increasing levels of aerosol in our atmosphere have caused a 15% loss in carbon dioxide intake by plants. But when Mercado and colleagues included the aerosols effect of light scattering, they found instead a 10 % increase in the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by plants. (Galloway, 2009) Galloway concludes the article with saying that the conclusion shouldn’t be that

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