China's Air Pollution

By Jade Errington

What is air pollution?

Air pollution is where the air has harmful amounts of dust, gases and fume in the air. The amount of harmful air is what affects human and animals health. It can also damage plants.

The substances causing air pollution are called pollutants. Primary pollutants directly pollute our air and secondary pollutants are primary pollutants mixed with chemical gases and cause photochemical fog.

An Aerial View of One of China's Cities

Factual Profile

  • By European standards, out of 560million Chinese people only 1% of them breathe clean air.
  • Many Chinese cities have factories surrounding them to help with the growing population but they cause too much pollution
  • Sometimes the smog is Shanghai and Beijing is so bad that the airports are shut down because of how hard it is to see through the smog.
  • Sometimes the air pollution is so bad that it is difficult to see when driving or walking and hard to see the ground from the 5th floor of a building.
  • WHO (World Health Organisation) considers some parts of North China over 20 times the healthy amount.
  • Last year, China's pollution was linked to 1.2million deaths, most of these were from Asthma.
  • Cement plants are the worst polluting factory, producing different types of dust.
WHO calls air pollution in Chinese cities a crisis

Natural Causes of Air Pollution in China

Erupting volcanoes can pollute the air because of the clouds of ashes that rise when they are erupting. Fires cause pollution. When the wood and leaves burn, it creates smoke made up of :

  • -particulate matter
  • -carbon monoxide
  • -atmospheric mercury
  • -ozone-forming chemicals
  • -volatile organic compounds
  • Pollution can be caused by wind erosion because the dust being moved can create a cloud and affect the air.

    Human Causes of Air Pollution

    Humans build factories which release clouds of gases and chemicals, which lowers the visibility and affects the cleanliness of the air. These factories are usually things like power plants. Cars and trucks are a key factor of air pollution. They release fumes from the exhaust which are made of hazardous gases like carbon monoxide. Cleaning materials are also bad for the environment because of the harsh chemicals they contain.

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    The Extent to which China's Pollution is Affecting the World's Weather

    The pollution from China is moving over the Pacific into America causing cloudiness and low visibility. In the air, there are particles called aerosols which make clouds. The more of these particles there are the better it is because the amount of aerosols affect how thick the clouds are. The thicker the cloud, the better the earth is protected from the heat of the sun and as the earth's temperature is increasing from global warming the increase in cloud is good. The pollution dries out the air, lessening the amount of aerosols which is affecting how warm the earth is.

    The storms over the Pacific Ocean have been measured to be 10% stronger than normal due to China's air pollution. When the storms pass over Asia they absorb the pollution in the air and the gases, fumes and chemicals all play a part in making them more intense and that means stronger cyclones, increase wind speeds and higher precipitation.

    China's air pollution is affecting climate change and scientists don't know whether it is for the better or worse. The air pollution is increasing global warming because the air is dry and there are less clouds to stop the sun from shining through on the earth and making the already warm world even warmer. If this continues there will be a big problem. Climate change also means there will be more intense weather events and China's air pollution has increased intensity of the storms over the Pacific Ocean.

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    What China could to do Prevent and Control Harmful Air Pollution

    The air pollution in China is worsening and China needs to do something about it. These are some of the thing that China could do to stop it for worsening:

    - Use better fuel for cars and trucks

    - Scrubbing of the insides of power plants

    - start using sulfer emissions

    - Lower the amount of greenhouses to lower the amount of gas emitting from them

    - It would be good to lower the amount of factories but not alltypesor the economy will go down

    - Find a way for people to protect themselves from the harmful gases

    - They could use some money to make a lot of masks so they can distribute them out to poorer Chinese people

    By Jade Errington Year 7