Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Light pollution linked to air pollution

photo from Curbed LA Magazine
A new article in Wired examines a molecule that fights air pollution - with one catch:  it only works in the dark.  The molecule - a "nitrate radical" - breaks down harmful chemicals and toxic fumes in the air, but only under the cover of darkness.

Normally the molecule comes to life at night - but in our modern night skies full of the spillover of man-made lights - there is less and less of the benevolent molecule in the atmosphere.

The article mentions bright electronic billboards as contributors to light pollution and thus the reduction of the air-scrubbing molecule.

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