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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Lead Pollution may have Limited Warming in The 70s and 80s

Higher levels of lead pollution in the air during the 1970's and 1980's likely led to global inhibition of rises in temperature to some extent, whereas today almost the full greenhouse effect is kicking in, as there has been a continuing decrease in the rate of anthropogenic lead emissions over the past 20 years, according to professor Joachim Curtius of the Institute for Atmosphere and Environment at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.

According to the ScienceDaily article, an international team of scientists has found that particles containing lead are excellent seeds for the formation of ice crystals in clouds.

Heat given off from the earth's surface is more efficiently radiated into space by ice clouds (cirrus) with lead-containing particles than has been hitherto realized. In comparison to clouds with a low lead content, clouds with a high lead content thus actually help cool the earth.

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