WAR has been hailed as GOOD for the planet, according to NASA scientists who found the air in Syria has become cleaner since conflict broke out.
According to NASA a prolonged war, which leads to significant populations drops through deaths and refugees fleeing, will lead to clearer air, even with detonating bombs being taken into account.
The US space agency, which also doubles as a climate change investigator, has cited the “cleaner air” caused by the war in Syria as proof of how over-populated areas will suffer from worse pollution.
The finding was made by NASA during a globe-wide study of nitrogen dioxide levels, which found the UK, northern Europe, New York and China to be the most polluted places on the planet.
Nitrogen dioxide is given off by car exhausts and industrial burning.
In the Middle East, levels are usually low, and had increased in Iran due to economic growth. But since 2011 in Syria, when the civil war began, levels dropped there.
However, Lebanon, where many refugees have gone is largely orange and red, showing large increases.
The NASA spokesman added: “The trend map of the Middle East shows the change in nitrogen dioxide concentrations from 2005 to 2014.
“The decreases in Syria are tied to the economic disruption caused by their civil war.”
In a NASA video about the research, the narrator said: “We see decreases in Nitrogen Dioxide levels over Syria due to the country’s civil war and displacement of its population.
“Meanwhile, levels have gone up in neighbouring countries where millions of Syrians have taken refuge.”
NASA used high-resolution global satellite maps of air quality indicators to tracked air pollution trends over the last decade in various regions and 195 cities around the globe.
The study found changes in air quality patterns were not random and could be linked to specific events such as a war, as in Syria, major development, or tighter regulation on air quality.
The team examined observations made from 2005 to 2014 by the Dutch-Finnish Ozone Monitoring Instrument aboard NASA’s Aura satellite.
Syria’s population has dropped firm 22million (pre 2011) to about 16.5million.
Much of the around 5.5million refugees have ended up in Lebanon, Jordan and other neighbouring countries.
The map shows Lebanon as almost entirely red as its 4.5million population has swelled with newcomers.
The findings have re-opened the debate on the link between growing world populations and environmental impacts such as air pollution.