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Small volcanoes add up to cooler climate

Airborne particles help explain why temperatures rose less last decade

1:55pm, July 21, 2011

Along with sulfur emitted by coal-burning power plants, volcanic particles spewed high in the atmosphere reduced the amount of global warming otherwise expected during the 2000s, a new study finds.

Relatively small volcanic eruptions last decade sent sulfur high enough in the atmosphere to reflect sunlight and help stall a rising global temperature trend. The work, reported online July 21 in Science, suggests it doesn’t take a colossal eruption for volcanoes to have a discernible influence on climate.

“If you don’t include these stratospheric aerosols in the models, you’

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