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  • African droughts 'triggered by Western pollution'

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The severe droughts that have afflicted the Sahel region of Africa may have been sparked by emissions spewed out by power stations and factories in North American and Europe.

The cause appears to be the clouds of sulphur belched out when fossil fuels are burnt, according to researchers in Australia and Canada.

As these compounds move through the atmosphere, they create aerosols that affect cloud formation, altering the temperature of the Earth's surface and leading to dramatic shifts in regional weather patterns.

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Photo credit: FAO photo

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