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    Pollution 'hides' global warming

    The true extent of global warming is being hidden by atmospheric pollution, a German scientist is warning.

    The Earth could heat up more quickly as the cooling effect of this pollution is reduced, Professor Meinrat Andreae told a London conference on Monday.

    He said aerosols - tiny particles of, typically, sulphur or carbon held in the air - helped to cool the planet.

    But since these were expected to diminish in the coming decades, global warming would accelerate, he claimed.

    The aerosols come from natural sources, such as volcanoes - but a substantial load also comes from human sources, such as the soot from oil and wood burning.