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China Creates Bad US Weather

Page history last edited by Malcolm 10 years, 3 months ago

The Guardian / By Jonathan Kalman

 

China's Air Pollution Behind Erratic Weather in the U.S., say Climatologists

Computer modeling showed intensification of US-bound Pacific storms, driven by fine aerosols from coal power plants and traffic.

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Solarseven / Shutterstock

April 15, 2014  |  

 

 

China's air  pollution could be intensifying storms over the Pacific Ocean and altering weather patterns in North America, according to scientists in the US. A team from Texas, California and Washington state has found that pollution from Asia, much of it arising in China, is leading to more intense cyclones, increased precipitation and more warm air in the mid-Pacific moving towards the north pole.

According to the team's findings, which were released on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, these changes could ultimately contribute to erratic weather in the US.

The authors used advanced computer models to study interactions between clouds and fine airborne particles known as aerosols, particularly manmade ones such as those emitted from vehicles and coal-fired power plants.

"Our work provides, for the first time to the authors' knowledge, a global multi-scale perspective of the climatic effects of pollution outflows from Asia," says the study's  abstract.

One effect, the study says, is an "intensification of the Pacific storm track", a narrow zone over the ocean where some storms that pass over the US begin to gather.

"Mid-latitude storms develop off Asia and they track across the Pacific, coming in to the west coast of the US," said Ellie Highwood, a climate physicist at the University of Reading. "The particles in this model are affecting how strong those storms are, how dense the clouds are, and how much rainfall comes out of those storms."

China is fighting to contain the environmental fallout from 30 years of unchecked growth. Of 74 Chinese cities monitored by the central government 71 failed to meet air quality standards, the environmental ministry  said last month.

China's top leaders are aware of the extent of the problem. Beijing will soon revise an important piece of legislation and give environmental protection authorities the power to shut polluting factories, punish officials and restrict industrial development in some areas, Reuters reported on Tuesday

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