Pollution in Asia Causing Global Climate Disruption [VIDEO]

Remember that super cold winter people in North America experienced last year? Researchers say that it may be due to air pollution on the other side of the planet. As Asia depends on coal for in during economic growth, the pollution is not only affecting people in China and India, but also people around the globe.

Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology, both in Pasadena, California, are looking at how Asian pollution is changing weather and climate around the globe and it is contributing to global climate disruption.

During the last 30 years, clouds over the Pacific Ocean have grown deeper, and storms in the Northwest Pacific have become about 10 percent stronger. This is the same time frame as the economic boom in Asia. JPL researcher Jonathan Jiang and his postdoctoral fellow, Yuan Wang, designed a series of experiments to see if there was a connection between the two phenomena.

“We found that pollution from China affects cloud development in the North Pacific and strengthens extratropical cyclones,” said Wang. These large storms punctuate U.S. winters and springs about once a week, often producing heavy snow and intense cold.

According to Wang, “Increased pollution makes more water condense onto aerosols in these storms. During condensation, energy is released in the form of heat. That heat adds to the roiling upward and downward airflows within a cloud so that it grows deeper and bigger.”

Take this quiz to find out how much you know about aerosols.

This video shows aerosol emission and transport from September 1, 2006 to April 10, 2007. Also included are locations, indicated by red and yellow dots, of wildfires and human-initiated burning as detected by the MODIS instrument on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites.

JD Sullivan

JD Sullivan is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Green Action News. He has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism/Mass Communication. JD is passionate about journalism & sustainable living.

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