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Sour Economy Could Benefit Environment

A San Diego researcher says the global economic meltdown could also reduce those emissions. KPBS Environment  Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

A UC San Diego researcher says if the financial downturn continues, one positive effect of the shutdown in factories could be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions - which have been linked to climate change.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography geochemist Ralph Keeling says the Keeling Curve - a measure of carbon dioxide created by his father - could register the slowdown in industrial production.

The Keeling Curve has measured the steady rise of the world's expulsion of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere for the past 50 years.

Keeling says the concentration of the gases in the atmosphere has always increased since the measurements started.

But Keeling says if the economic slowdown continues for a couple of years, it's possible there could be a downward spike.

China and the United States are the world's top two emitters of CO2 and both countries have reduced industrial output.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.


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