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Cutting pollution wont cause Global warming spike

first_imgFears that efforts to reduce air pollution could dramatically speed up the process of global warming may be unfounded, according to a study unveiled recently.. Scientists have long worried that air pollution, while having a devastating impact on human health, may paradoxically have been acting as a ‘brake’ on the heating of the atmosphere, said researchers at the University of Reading in the UK. Pollution particles help clouds to form with more water droplets, meaning they reflect more of the Sun’s energy back into space, they said. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfUntil now, the extent to which pollution inadvertently helps to cool the planet has not been clear. If the cooling is strong, it would mean that efforts to clean up the air could actually accelerate global warming, making efforts to tackle climate change even more difficult. However, new research published in the journal Nature has shown pollution affects different clouds in different ways. While some clouds get thicker, others become thinner, meaning pollution is unlikely to offset more than half of greenhouse gas warming, researchers said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe findings offer greater hope that current plans to curb global warming by moving to cleaner sources of energy may still work without leading to an unexpected extra source of heating, they said. “Until now, it was assumed that thicker clouds form when water droplets condense around the particles in polluted air, delaying rainfall, and allowing clouds to reflect more sunlight back into space,” said Velle Toll, lead author of the study, now at the University of Tartu in Estonia. “To test this, we studied satellite data from clouds near sources of pollution. In fact, there was little change in average water content across all the polluted clouds we found, showing that pollution makes little difference overall to many types of clouds. Some clouds got thicker, but other areas thinned out,” Toll said. Th study reduces a big area of uncertainty for future forecasts of the climate. “Our study provides more evidence that cutting emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollution is a win-win situation for the health of people’s lungs and for preventing the worst impacts of climate change,” said Toll. The researchers scoured the world for clouds formed over areas of pollution using near-infrared satellite images. Clouds affected by pollution appear ‘brighter’ in these images, researchers said. They located hundreds of polluted clouds around the world, produced by tiny pollution particles from sources such as volcanoes, cities, ships, factories and wildfires. The team analysed whether changes to clouds simulated by climate models are accurate, in order to better predict future climate change. “The fear that reducing air pollution could lead to a spike in global warming has been a lingering concern for climate scientists,” said Nicolas Bellouin, study co-author from the University of Reading. The study provides assurances that polluted air has a limited ability to prevent the atmosphere from heating up, in addition to being bad for people’s health. “There is now one less excuse for us not to cut emissions of both air pollution and greenhouse gases, or we will continue to see temperature rises that put people and the natural world in danger.”last_img read more

US restores regular flights to Cuba

first_imgHAVANA — The United States and Cuba signed an agreement Tuesday authorizing daily U.S. commercial flights to the communist-ruled island for the first time in more than 50 years.The deal allows up to 110 daily flights to 10 destinations in Cuba, with about 20 of them to the capital Havana, where authorities have ordered renovations to double the capacity of José Martí airport.“Today is a historic day in the relationship between Cuba and the United States,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in Havana, where he signed the accord with his Cuban counterpart Adel Yzquierdo Rodríguez.“For the first time in more than five decades, the United States and Cuba will allow (airlines) to establish a service between our two nations.”Rodríguez said the agreement marked “the start of a new era in air transport links between Cuba and the United States, which will contribute to the deepening of ties between our two countries.”Currently, all flights between the two countries are charter flights.U.S. authorities said they would immediately invite American airlines to submit applications to operate the flights to Cuba, with routes to be set up within months.The Cuban government will also give “thorough consideration to future requests from the U.S. government to increase this level of service,” said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Transportation Affairs Thomas Engle.The agreement allows for regular flights “between any city in the U.S. and any city in Cuba,” provided it is equipped with infrastructure for international air travel, he added.Airlines in the two countries can now strike deals on code-sharing and aircraft leasing, the Cuban embassy said in December when the plan was announced.However, travel by U.S. tourists is still barred under the trade embargo that the United States slapped on Cuba in the 1960s after Fidel Castro came to power in a revolution.The U.S. Treasury Department has set 12 categories of authorized travel including for artists and journalists.Multiple destinations“Initially, the U.S. carriers will be allowed to fly 20 scheduled frequencies per day to Havana, the largest market, and remember that the current level is zero,” Engle said.They may also “fly 10 scheduled frequencies per day to any other city in Cuba that has an airport open to international service.”Besides Havana, flights will be allowed to Camaguey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Holguín, Manzanillo, Matanzas, Santa Clara and Santiago de Cuba.The agreement formally opens the door for Cuban airlines to start operating future flights into the United States.But Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs Brandon Belford said Cuban airlines will still have to obtain their own licenses from U.S. authorities.“So we do not anticipate Cuban-owned aircraft serving the U.S. in the near future,” he said.Call for applicationsOn Tuesday, the Treasury Department was to invite U.S. airlines to submit applications to be allocated the new flights to Cuba.American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines have previously expressed an interest in running regular flights to Cuba as has JetBlue, which already operates charter flights.Belford said “carriers will have 15 days to submit their applications if they want to serve Havana and the other nine airports.”All final decisions will be made in within about six months.“Our expectation is that we will be in position to make a decision and make it final sometime in the summer, in terms of which carriers and which U.S. cities will have service into Cuba,” Belford said.Commercial flights between Cuba and the United States were cancelled 53 years ago but since the mid-1970s, authorized charter flights have been allowed under certain conditions.Cuba is strengthening its foreign commercial ties after formally restoring diplomatic relations with the United States in July. Facebook Comments Related posts:How Cuba is and isn’t changing, one year after thaw with U.S. Obama to make historic visit to Cuba in March Panama and ‘Panama Papers’ law firm under the media’s lenses African, Cuban migrant children in limbo at Panama-Costa Rica borderlast_img read more

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