Asian air pollution could be affecting the weather in North America. Scientists find that it directly affects storms in the Pacific Ocean. Could Asian air pollution be driving North America’s weather crazy? At a NASA laboratory, Yuan Wang, a fellow who authored a study says the Pacific drives global patterns, when it comes to weather. The US and Canada may be affected. The research has gone on for a decade now and was recently published in Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences. It is not uncommon for air pollution and high levels of it, to come from Asia.
This past January, Beijing saw high levels in the hazardous reign of pollution particles, nearly 18 times what it should be, according to the World Health Organization. People were told to stay inside.
Yale also reported that New Delhi might be worse than Beijing. We now have air pollution transferred globally, causing weather patterns out of the norm. Burning fossil fuels and chemicals in rapidly developing countries such as Asia, causes an increase in aerosol formation, fine particles caught in the air we breathe.
Aerosols give way to added cloud formation which affect storms. These aerosols in the clouds from Asia then flow to the ocean area, the mighty Pacific, where they then intensify. Researchers do theorize that this goes globally, not just for that region. Lead author, Wang, and the co-author, Zhang, agree that the pollution in Asia may have driven the cold weather in the United States.
These experts will continue this study, adding more models and also looking at satellites, for patterns with atmospheric measurements. The revelation, that air pollution in China and countries near there like Asia, have an impact upon the weather in the United States and beyond is real. Asian air pollution exists and has global impact, scientists continue to theorize.
Somehow, these pollutants make the storms stronger and affect weather everywhere. The clouds are thicker, taller and in fact heavier. Some of the highest levels of world pollution exist in Asia. These particles soar in the atmosphere and according to the World Health Organization and its recommendations for allowable particles, it is far exceeded.
North America is greatly affected as we are a region where the weather mainly goes downstream. A new report from the United Nations concerning climate change and definitely related to particle pollution is for countries to participate in a global cooperation. John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State says, “This report is a wake up call about global economic opportunity, we can seize today as we lead on climate change.”
Increasing emissions, of which 80 percent come from fossil fuels, melts the Arctic, makes oceans acidic and crops unable to perform. The report from the UN wants to see action by 2020 or before. The consequences will be dire and can not be undone. The report wants to see “low carbon” power solutions like nuclear, solar or renewable. Twenty two years ago the United Nations issued an agreement to have the world keep temperatures down. Has the world participated?
The international community breathes the air, pollutes the air and passes it forward. What will become of the air? Two ideas might help: grow forests to decrease carbon, also called afforestation and stuff the gas emissions below the surface or bio-energy and storage. The next international climate summit is in Paris, where they will review this report, written by 400 experts from 57 nations over four years. In the meantime, it is explored that Asian air pollution might be behind the crazy North American Weather this winter.
By Kim Troike