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China’s air pollution changing world weather; Delhi not far behind

January 29, 2014 1:54 PM |

A new study has revealed that the pollution in Asian countries, especially the air pollution in China is impacting global air circulations and affecting the world weather and climate patterns tremendously. Chinese cities, like Beijing have often observed pollution levels exceeding more than 100 times the acceptable limits set by the World Health Organization.

Pollution particles affect cloud formations and weather systems worldwide, confirms the study led by Yuan Wang and professors of atmospheric sciences, Renyi Zhang and R. Saravanan.

“The models clearly show that pollution originating from Asia has an impact on the upper atmosphere. This pollution affects cloud formations, precipitation, storm intensity, and other factors and eventually impacts climate change. Most likely, pollution from Asia can have important consequences on the weather pattern of North America”, said co-author of the study, Renyi Zhang.

China's nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide gases add one extra day of smog per year to Los Angeles. This particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, poses the greatest health risk as it could penetrate deep into the lungs. Whereas New Delhi’s average daily pollution reading (particulate matter or pm) was 473, more than twice as high as 227, the average (pm) reading in Beijing.

Seven of the 10 countries with the worst air pollution exposures are in South Asia. While China tops the charts, India sees world’s highest death rate because of chronic respiratory diseases, according to the World Health Organization.

However sadly, the focus is always more on China and not much on India. A separate study reveals New Delhi’s air is filled with more dangerous particles of pollution, more dangerous than that of Beijing.

Increase in coal burning and car emissions are known to be the major sources of pollution in China and other Asian countries including India. While shocking figures reveal that 15.1 million new cars add to the streets of China every year and around 1,500 more cars add to the streets of Delhi alone.

Photo by Praveen Negi.

 


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