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WASHINGTON - The rule of unintended consequences threatens to strike again. Some researchers have suggested that injecting sulfur compounds into the atmosphere might help ease global warming by increasing clouds and haze that would reflect sunlight.
After all, they reason, when volcanoes spew lots of sulfur, months or more of cooling often follows.
But a new study warns that injecting enough sulfur to reduce warming would wipe out the Arctic ozone layer and delay recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole by as much as 70 years.
"Our research indicates that trying to artificially cool off the planet could have perilous side effects," said Simone Tilmes of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.