Air pollution in China

The highest in the world

What is Air pollution?

Air pollution is when harmful chemicals or substances are injected into the air, these are called pollutes. If they are directly injected air from the atmosphere they are primary pollutes, the aftermath of these chemicals are called secondary pollutes. Most of our air pollution is caused from burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, gasoline) and is most commonly measured in carbon dioxide (CO2), as it is the easiest way to determine how much fossil fuels are being burned.

The Extent of China's Air Pollution

  • Only 1% of the citizens living in the city Alan breathe safely and healthily
  • The air pollution has linked to over 1.2 million deaths, most from diseases
  • A poll conducted in different regions of China showed that 74% of the population are concerned about the pollution
  • China's most polluted city, Baoding, is home to over 11 million people, with most of them working in factories
  • China's smog is murky grey, being easily visible from space
  • The lightest parts are covered with fog, but are yellow from the air pollution, making it very toxic
  • Visibility is reduced to 10 metres, due to the fog
  • China relies 70% on coal for its energy, one of the worst pollutants

The Causes Of the Air Pollution

Human

Unlike other countries, China's government control everything. The taxes charged for water and clean chemicals was too high for businesses, so the cheapest thing to do was to pollute the air, to not pay the fine. Another reason was the price of oil. The price for businesses was the same as the commercial price, so as the price went up, factories had to use the less environmentally friendly, but cheaper, coal. And with all the demand for Chinese products, its too late to change back to oil. Coal releases some of the worst chemicals for the air.

Natural

Aerosol chemicals are not good for the atmosphere, but unfortunately for Asia, with their dry deserts and constant natural disasters, any chemicals can easily become primary pollutes. In this case with Aerosol, it can become even worse, especially since the particles center around China. Natural disasters take a big part in this too, from the smoke and ash generated by volcanic eruptions, to the uncontrolled gases released when buildings are destroyed via tsunami or earthquake.

Health Risks with china's air pollution

Big image

How it affects the world

Coal is China's main pollutant, but it emits a global effect. The secondary pollute of coal can travel across the globe pretty easily. Even though it isn't as bad as China's pollution, coal's byproduct can still harm the air.


But it doesn't just pollute. The chemicals (aerosols in scientific terms) change the weather and climate. It can make more clouds condense, and be thicker. Which will block sunlight, which will make the world colder. But this can only happen when their is water vapour in the air to condense. If there isn't enough, it can cause dangerous thunderstorms. Evidence has shown that the pollution in China is affecting the United States' climate, and there have been tests that contain contaminated air.


The pollution's effect on the ozone layer can be so drastic that it could be fatal, even In the U.S. If the pollution is low enough, it can cause lung damage to young children, and stop the sun from producing UV rays through the clouds.


Those are just listing some of the possibilities. At worst the pollution could all be spread around the world and have the same problems that China is suffering, but there would need to be different climate and weather conditions for it to travel over the ocean.


Image retrieved at http://earth.rice.edu/mtpe/atmo/atmosphere/topics/aerosols/aero_clouds.html

What China can do to fix their problem

  • Use a more environmentally friendly source for energy. coal is one of the worst and is China's most used solution
  • Control the transportation infrastructure. China uses mostly trains, aircraft and private cars which produce a lot of emissions
  • Control the exports. China is known for manufacturing goods, which means that they have to ship a lot. Getting a system that can reduce the pollution will help them.
  • Use a different method for agriculture. With all these factory workers in the most populated country in the world, China needs to feed them. And with all the fertilisers required, it can really affect the atmosphere
  • Develop a new technology for food and/or energy. With the expenses required for the quality resources, China will barely hesitate to choose something cheap
  • learn from other countries mistakes. If China can look at what made other countries so polluted (e.g poor performing modern Diesel engines) they can simply just change something small to make a big difference.

Bibliography

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Chen, T. (2015, February 2). China’s New Most Polluted City: Baoding. Retrieved April 30, 2015, from http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2015/02/02/say-hello-to-chinas-new-most-polluted-city-baoding/


Zolfagharifard, E. (2013, October 28). Pictured: Nasa satellite images reveal the terrifying extent of China's air pollution. Retrieved April 30, 2015, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2478300/Pictured-Nasa-satellite-images-reveal-terrifying-extent-Chinas-air-pollution.html



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Air pollution. (n.d.). Retrieved April 30, 2015, from http://www.who.int/ceh/risks/cehair/en/


Rasmussen, C. (2015, January 26). Global is the new local: Pollution changes clouds, climates downstream. Retrieved May 1, 2015, from http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2218/


Lewis, A. (2015, March 5). What China must do to fix its air pollution problem. Retrieved May 1, 2015, from http://theconversation.com/what-china-must-do-to-fix-its-air-pollution-problem-38399


Stromberg, J. (2014, January 21). Air Pollution in China Is Spreading Across the Pacific to the U.S. Retrieved May 3, 2015, from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/air-pollution-china-is-spreading-across-pacific-us-180949395/?no-ist