How do volcano and industry pollution compare?

21 January 2007

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Question

With so many active volcanoes around the world how does the pollution from industry over the last 150 years compare with the number of things in the because of volcanoes?

Answer

We do actually have our own volcanic effect because industry also puts sulfate aerosols a little bit like a volcano into the atmosphere and that is actually helping to keep us a little bit cooler than we would be otherwise. And so that's actually a concern. When we stop burning dirty coal, which produces sulfur dioxide we'll actually make things a bit worse for a while before they get better.

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