WAR has been hailed as GOOD for the planet, according to NASA scientists who found the air in Syria has become cleaner since conflict broke out.
Nitrogen dioxide is given off by car exhausts and industrial burning.
In the Middle East, levels are usually low, and had increased in Iran due to economic growth. But since 2011 in Syria, when the civil war began, levels dropped there.
“Meanwhile, levels have gone up in neighbouring countries where millions of Syrians have taken refuge.”
NASA used high-resolution global satellite maps of air quality indicators to tracked air pollution trends over the last decade in various regions and 195 cities around the globe.
The study found changes in air quality patterns were not random and could be linked to specific events such as a war, as in Syria, major development, or tighter regulation on air quality.
The team examined observations made from 2005 to 2014 by the Dutch-Finnish Ozone Monitoring Instrument aboard NASA’s Aura satellite.
Syria’s population has dropped firm 22million (pre 2011) to about 16.5million.
Much of the around 5.5million refugees have ended up in Lebanon, Jordan and other neighbouring countries.
The map shows Lebanon as almost entirely red as its 4.5million population has swelled with newcomers.
The findings have re-opened the debate on the link between growing world populations and environmental impacts such as air pollution.
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