Does the healthy air worsen global warming?

Research has found that clean air lacks aerosol particles that reflect sunlight and reduce Earth’s temperature

Big Zero Report 2022

Could the global actions to reduce harmful air pollutants in the atmosphere be deemed futile?

New research has found that clean air is fostering global warming while pollution keeps our planet cool.

Researchers have estimated that current pollution rates are 30% lower than what they were in 2000.

However, warming from carbon dioxide emissions has increased by up to 50% during the same period.

Pollution particles, including sulfates or nitrates, are known for reflective properties – it is believed that these particles reflect nearly all radiation they encounter, cooling the atmosphere.

In their study, some findings of which were presented on, the scientific team suggests turning to aerosols with the help of what they call “solar engineering”.

This means that technology could launch sulfate particles into the stratosphere – that would create a type of protection for the planet against rising temperatures.

A climate scientist at Leipzig University and the Lead Author of the study told that the research was conducted deploying special technology on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites, which both collect data from Earth’s atmosphere.

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast