Acid Rain Is Slowing Global Warming

Acid rain contains sulfates that inhibit the natural production of methane, a greenhouse gas, and thus may be slowing global warming, said scientists yesterday. While methane comprises roughly 22 percent of human-caused greenhouse gases, the largest sources of methane are natural — of course we have to mention the cow flatulence, but the primary source is global wetlands. When scientists from the Open University distributed sulfates over several wetland areas in the U.K. and elsewhere, they observed 30 to 40 percent suppression of natural methane production. “In effect,” said study leader Vincent Gauci, “acid rain is acting like a lid on the largest methane source.” Ultimately, researchers said acid rain could reduce methane emissions to pre-industrial levels by 2030. Of course, acid rain kills forests and aquatic creatures, but hey, you take what you can get, right?