New NASA research has identified 14 air pollution control measures that could potentially slow the pace of global warming.
According to NASA, if implemented the measures could slow global warming by up to 0.9 ÂºF (0.5ÂºC) over the next three decades. All 14 measures are designed to slow the release of two key pollutants: methane and black carbon (a byproduct of burning coal and biomass).
Measures aimed at cutting down methane include capturing the gas produced by coal mines and gas facilities, eliminating any emissions produced by landfills, aerating rice paddies, and reducing the amount of methane emissions produced by farms. For black carbon, the research suggests that strategies such as installing filters on diesel vehicles and using clean-burning stoves and boilers would have a major impact.
According to NASA, the changes would be most felt in Asia and the Middle East, and, in addition to slowing global warming, could increase agricultural yields by 135 million metric tons per season.
"Protecting public health and food supplies may take precedence over avoiding climate change in most countries," lead researcher Drew Shindell said, "but knowing that these measures also mitigate climate change may help motivate policies to put them into practice."