Simple Measures Could Reduce Global Warming, Save Lives

Simple Measures Could Reduce Global Warming, Save Lives

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Simple, inexpensive measures to cut emissions of two common pollutants will slow global warming, save millions of lives and boost crop production around the world, an international team of scientists. The climate-change debate has centered on carbon dioxide, a gas that wafts in the atmosphere for decades, trapping heat. But in recent years, scienti have pointed to two other, shorter-term pollutants — methane and soot, also known as black carbon — that drive climate change.

Slashing emissions of these twin threats would be a “win-win-win” for climate, human health and agriculture, said the study’s lead author. Previous studies have noted the benefits of reducing methane and soot. But the new study looked at the specific effect of about 400 actions policymakers could take. Of those, just 14 interventions — such as eliminating wood-burning stoves, dampening emissions from diesel vehicles and capturing methane released from coal mines — would offer big benefits.

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