Leaded Gas May Have Slowed Climate Change

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2009 7:49 PM CDT
Leaded gas may have helped curb global warming in the 20th century, although "it's an approach we won't want to reprise," the New Scientist reports.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The dirty fumes of leaded gas may have curbed global warming for a few decades in the 20th century, the New Scientist reports. Researchers in Washington state have found that lead particles are key to creating ice crystals, which help form clouds—which aid global cooling by reflecting sunlight back into space. The use of leaded gas, now phased out for road vehicles, may explain the slowing of climate change between 1940 and 1980.