Air Pollution in China

By Paige Evans

What is air pollution?


Air pollution occurs when the air contains gases, dust, fumes or odour in large amounts which can be harmful. That is, amounts which could be dangerous for the health or comfort of humans and animals or which could cause damage to plants and materials. Air pollution is measured in micrograms (m3).

Air Pollution in China

China is surrounded by toxic pollution making it's cities seem almost apocalyptic. Chinese scientists have warned that the country's toxic air is now so bad it resembles a nuclear winter. Bejing's concentration of 2.5 particles (the ones that go deep into your lungs and your bloodstream) hit 505 micrograms per cubic meter, the World Health Organisation recomends a safe level of 25. The city is now almost unhabitable for human beings! The Chinese government has repeatedly promised to address the problem but enforcement is still patchy. 147 industrial companies in Bejing have cut or suspended production. The main causes of this disgusting air are Bejings more than 5 million motorised vehicles, coal burning, dust storms and construction dust.

What causes air pollution in China?

Air pollution in China is mainly caused by the burning of coal to create electricity. China does not have much hydropower and relies on the burning of coal to provide them power. China burns more coal to produce electricity than the U.S., Europe and Japan combined. China also has way too many cars on the road. Natural aerosoles causes pollution as well because of strong winds carrying silt and volcanoes erupting. Deforestation has produced a more than ideal amount of aerosole particles.
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China's Air Pollution Affects the World's Weather Patterns

Asian air pollution rises 9 kilometres into the atmosphere and affects cloud formation and storm intensity, which then impacts global air circulation and climate. Special computers and machinery have shown that the strength of storms and cyclones over the northwest Pacific became greater because of Asian pollution and precipitation icreased by 7%.

What can China do to fix their air pollution priblem?

  • Make complete air quality information easily available to the public.
  • Tighten the controls for power plant emissions to reduce emissions.
  • Introducing cleaner fuel standards and switching to electric vehicles.
  • Restrict the construction of power plants and other energy-intensive industries near residential areas.
  • Improve urban planning to increase green spaces.
  • Take air quality into consideration when conducting environmental assessments for major projects; for example, flyovers and highways should be far away from residential areas.

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