Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Planet Is Fucked: China Edition

An outpouring of dust layered with man-made sulfates, smog, industrial fumes, carbon grit and nitrates is crossing the Pacific Ocean on prevailing winds from booming Asian economies in plumes so vast they alter the climate. These rivers of polluted air can be wider than the Amazon and deeper than the Grand Canyon.

"There are times when it covers the entire Pacific Ocean basin like a ribbon bent back and forth," said atmospheric physicist V. Ramanathan at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif.

On some days, almost a third of the air over Los Angeles and San Francisco can be traced directly to Asia. With it comes up to three-quarters of the black carbon particulate pollution that reaches the West Coast, WSJ

An often opaque layer of polluted air covers much of eastern China in this image which was collected on 2 January 2000. (sat photo above)

It says that as many as 300 million people are drinking contaminated water every day, and 190 million are suffering from water-related illnesses each year. If air pollution is not controlled, it says, there will be 600,000 premature deaths in urban areas and 20 million cases of respiratory illness a year within 15 years.

China's water quality causes the researchers great concern. One third of the length of all China's rivers are now "highly polluted" as are 75% of its major lakes and 25% of all its coastal waters. Nearly 30,000 children die from diarrhoea due to polluted water each year. OECD-Guardian .

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Not a very good future for China or the rest of the world at this rate. HH