From the ABC 7 Weather team

If we could see greenhouse gases, would we regulate them more?

November 21, 2011 - 05:00 AM
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A creepily fun experiment with infrared cameras shows what the world would look like if people could actually see carbon emissions.

The Great Smog of 1952 called: It wants its coal-blackened skies back.

That's the impression one might pick up by watching this strange new report... well, "experiment" is the better word from ABC News. (Video posted below.) The media outlet's graphics department teamed up with the folks from infrared-imaging company FLIR to produce an intriguing model of greenhouse gases. The thesis behind the story: If these emissions, which climatologists warn are about to cause an uptick in extreme weather, were visible to the naked eye as much as coal smog or burning-tire plumes, would the public demand tighter regulation?

ABC News summoned the foul vista in front of New York's George Washington Bridge using a special, forward-looking-infrared camera called the GasfindIR. This device is typically used to detect greenhouse gas emissions as well as leaks of volatile organic compounds, or pollutants that waft off of things like fuels, paints, pesticides and cleaning supplies. Here the FLIR is detecting hot gases like CO2 steaming out of car exhausts and airplane engines. ABC then added its artistic touch to make the scene more palpable, almost cough-inducing. Enjoy!

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