The Paradox That’s Supercharging Climate Change

No good deed goes unpunished—and that includes trying to slow climate change. By cutting greenhouse gas emissions, humanity will spew out fewer planet-cooling aerosols—small particles of pollution that act like tiny umbrellas to bounce some of the sun’s energy back into space.

“Even more important than this direct reflection effect, they alter the properties of clouds,” says Øivind Hodnebrog, a climate researcher at the Center for International Climate Research in Oslo, Norway. “In essence, they make the clouds brighter, and the clouds reflect sunlight back into space.”

So as governments better regulate air quality and deploy renewable energy and electric vehicles, we’ll get less warming thanks to fewer insulating emissions going

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