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Originally posted by astrocreep
Right along the same lines comes this article as well.
The catalytic converter, an invention that has sharply reduced smog from cars, has now become a significant and growing cause of global warming, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Hailed as a miracle by Detroit automakers even today, catalytic converters have been reducing smog for 20 years. The converters break down compounds of nitrogen and oxygen from car exhaust that can combine with hydrocarbons, also from cars, and be cooked by sunlight into smog.
But researchers have suspected for years that the converters sometimes rearrange the nitrogen-oxygen compounds to form nitrous oxide, known as laughing gas. And nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas, more than 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, the most common of the gases, that is warming the atmosphere, according to experts.