Tag Archives: smog

China’s Pollution is Crossing the Pacific and Becoming America’s Problem

A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that pollution from the manufacturing of American-bound products in China is responsible for between 12-24% of daily sulfate concentrations in the western US.

Don Wuebbles, who is a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Illinois, led the study. He said,

Pollution from China is having an effect in the U.S., and we need to recognize how that is affecting both our background ozone levels and also particulates that are reaching the West Coast.”

Strong westerly winds can send pollution from China across the ocean to the American west coast within a matter of days. The picture at the top is of Los Angeles on a particularly smoggy day.

About 21% of export-related pollution in China is from products headed for the US.

Read the full story from CNN here.

China’s Pollution Kills Up to 500,000 People Yearly and is Visible from Space

In a recent interview with the medical research and news website The Lancet, Chen Zhu, who retired from his post as Minister of Health last year, estimated that between 250,000 and 500,000 people die each year from the air pollution in China.

Chen, who is also a professor of medicine and renowned molecular biologist, noted that China, “now produces the largest number of major pollutants in the world”.

In the last 30 years, the rate of lung cancer has increased by 465%, almost doubling between 2002 and 2011.

Until very recently, China kept strict censors on its health information, notably removing a joint report from the World Health Organization and China’s own government that claimed that air pollution caused 350,000-400,000 premature deaths in 2007.

Check out these two satellite photos from NASA.

Read the full story here.

Chinese Government: Our Spy Cams Can’t See Through the Smog

Last month, two of China’s most influential state news agencies published commentaries about how the high levels of smog in China’s cities could actually be beneficial.

Their reasoning? CCTV, China’s official state news, pointed out that all the smog could hinder guided missiles, as their targets would be hazy.

The Global Times, published by the state Communist Party gave five “unforseen rewards”, the most notable being a claim that it could help Chinese people’s sense of humor (don’t ask me how that works).

Workers adjust a surveillance camera in Tiananmen Square

But now the government and state media has reversed their views on the smog, calling it a threat to natural security. Why? Well, government spy cameras in the streets can’t see through the smog!

Kong Zilong, senior project engineer for a major Chinese tech company and an expert in video surveillance, was quoted saying,

According to our experience, as the visibility drops below three metres, even the best camera cannot see beyond a dozen metres.”

Read the full story here.

Hazardous Smog Covers Beijing (Video)

 Hazardous Smog Covers Beijing (video)

Beijing is hardly habitable lately with air pollution ratings that are off the charts. The air is 5 times worse than in Riverside, California (city with Most Polluted Air in USA). China was even forced this weekend to shut down regions of Beijing schools and airports because of overwhelming conditions from Hazardous Smog caused by pollutants.