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Posts Tagged ‘Veerabhadran Ramanathan

Interconnectedness, or it’s either cleaner air in Beijing

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and more global warming, or enough polluted air to balance the causes of global warming. The 2008 Olympics have some interesting side effects and here is the link.

But to Veerabhadran Ramanathan, an atmospheric scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, the sporting events are just a sideshow to the real excitement: air pollution studies.

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That means that as developing nations like China clean up their conventional air pollution — as the world is seeing now in Beijing — it could paradoxically release one of the last restraints on global warming. “How large and how rapid global warming is going to be over the next few decades may depend on how fast we unmask the pollution,” says Ramanathan. “That’s the uncertainty we’re trying to narrow down.” It’s a scary thought: in making our air cleaner, we could be making the planet warmer.

Beijing Smog Cleanup_ Has It Worked? - TIME.jpg

So the next time some know-it-all or political blowhard announces he/she has the solution to our pollution dilemmas, just tell him to take many steps back. In our world almost all is interconnected. Make one worse and the other suffers. But what is more upsetting, make one better and you can make the other worse! Simple solutions are the best and least expensive, but they aren’t obvious.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/08/16 at 08:14