Asia air pollution impacts weather patterns across the globe

January 2014CHINAOur world is interconnected in ways that even scientists are still learning about. Now, though, they’ve found new evidence of that fact in the form of air pollution. It turns out that pollution from Asia is impacting the world’s weather and climate patterns, revealing how one region can affect the entire globe. In order to learn a bit more about how pollution might affect climate patterns, the researchers used climate models and data collected about aerosols and meteorology over the past 30 years.  During this time period, China’s economy led to the building of enormous manufacturing factories, industrial plants, power plants and other facilities that produce huge amounts of air pollutants. These pollutant particles can affect cloud formations and weather systems worldwide. “The models clearly show that pollution originating from Asia has an impact on the upper atmosphere and it appears to make such storms or cyclones even stronger,” said Renyi Zhang, one of the researchers, in a news release. “This pollution affects cloud formations, precipitation, storm intensity and other factors and eventually impacts climate. Most likely, pollution from Asia can have important consequences on the weather pattern here over North America.” It’s not likely that these conditions will change any time soon, either. Air pollution levels in some Chinese cities, such as Beijing, are often more than 100 times higher than acceptable limits. In addition, cancer rates have increased 400percent in some areas due to this pollution. “The models we have used and our data are very consistent with the results we have reached,” said R. Saravanan, one of the researchers, in a news release. “Huge amounts of aerosols from Asia go as high as six miles up in the atmosphere and these have an unmistakable impact on cloud formations and weather.” The findings reveal how pollution can drastically change weather across the globe. In addition, they show how the conditions in one area can reach across the world. It’s more important than ever to work as a global community in order to mitigate these impacts. –Science World Report
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