A study from an American non-profit, Berkeley Earth that works in the areas of land data analysis, has found that air pollution is China is responsible for 4000 premature deaths daily in that country. Further, the study authors say their results tell them the very air pollution killing Chinese in such high numbers is being blown in the direction of North America.
Based upon ground-level measurements, the study will be published officially in the scientific journal PLOS ONE later this month, but Berkeley Earth released details on their own website this week. To reach their conclusions they compiled and analysed data from April 2014 through to early August of 2015, sixteen months in total. The results are alarming.
Beijing, Shijiazhuang and Tangshan in northeastern China, heavily industrialized areas, are the areas most affected by poor quality, dangerous air. Robert Rohde, lead author of the study, said the air pollution is so bad in parts of the country that “it’s a little hard to wrap your mind around the numbers.”
Air pollution on such a magnitude also results in great strains on health-care systems, experts say. The health issues from air pollution include an accelerated aging of the lungs, decreased lung capacity, heart disease and stroke and the developing of diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.
Articles published at weather.com agree with the conclusions that Rhode and his team of rearchers made, chiefly that the poor air quality in China is finding its was to North America. “Once these pollutants enter the atmosphere in Asia, they can follow the jet stream, which waves its way from west to east through the Northern Hemisphere,” Chris Dolce, a weather.com meteorologist wrote.
Some experts believe pollution particles already affect weather in North America.
Is there a solution? The scientists at Berkeley suggest there are a multitude of solutions and all must be acted on to improve air quality and save lives. They include changing from coal to natural gas, nuclear power and renewable energy sources, along with simply being more energy efficient. If they are not acted on a problem that has now been shown to be bad by the Berkeley Earth study will, scientists say, keep getting worse.
China is also a major contributor to global warming.