There’s a new Chinese product free for the US – pollution. Yes, you heard us right. China is actively exporting pollution by the ways of wind to the US. This is effectively denying the ten years of considerable progress which the US has had in depleting greenhouse gas emissions.
This may not come as a shocker to you but China is polluted. Extremely polluted. It’s so bad, that the picture above did not have need for a grey-smog filter in Photoshop. And on top of this, the bigger problem is its rising. A lot. During the period between 2005 and 2010, the levels of pollution rose by 7%.
To give you a better idea – the comparison shows that the US levels of greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 20% in the same period. All that effort and money by the nation to reduce pollution have been all for naught it seems, as we’re getting all we got rid of back from China.
And the worst part of it is, we can’t do anything except be a bit revolted, since there is no clear blame here. The Chinese have their own policies addressing pollution, and it’s not like they can control the wind (although some recent experimentation during the Beijing Olympics could prove otherwise).
But, you can’t argue with the wind, can you?
The research that uncovered this worrying data was conducted by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, and led by Willem Verstraeten. So you cannot say the US is being subjective, the study was made in the Netherlands. The emissions in China consist mainly of traffic and factory released nitrous-oxide. Lighted by the sun, this cloud of gas is transformed into smog – a yellowish sickening type of ozone.
Smog can cause a number of health problems, besides ruining the scenery. For one, it irritates the respiratory system, causing sore throats. And it also creates your eyes to sting from the toxicity. It also damages crops and is one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases, right up there next to carbon and methane.
There are some heavily-industrialized areas in China where drying your clothes outside is not an option, as they immediately get a dark greyish hue due to the pollution in the air.
The greenhouse gases from China rise up into the troposphere and travel comfortably across the Pacific to the West Coast, carried by winds. Still, China itself may be receiving these gases from India.
All in all, what the researchers draw attention to is the fact that we mustn’t think of the atmosphere as being localized above each country, but it is a global atmosphere, and action against emissions should be taken, subsequently, on a global level.
Image source: bp.blogspot.com