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Earth United States Science

Pollution From Asia Affects US Climate 209

Posted by Soulskill
from the almost-as-if-we-share-a-planet dept.
sciencehabit writes "China and India are some of the world's top polluters, with countless cars, factories, and households belching more than 2 million metric tons of carbon soot and other dark pollutants into the air every year. The pall hanging over the region has come to be known as 'the Asian brown cloud.' These pollutants aren't just bad news for the countries themselves. A new study reveals that they can affect climate thousands of kilometers away, warming the United States by up to 0.4C by 2024, while cooling other regions (abstract)."
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Pollution From Asia Affects US Climate

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  • Re:Its a blessing (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @09:02AM (#40128031)
    Nope, China has that honor. They surpassed US carbon dioxide emissions years ago and in many other categories they are also the top polluting nation. The USA still exceeds them in per-capita carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Re:Its a blessing (Score:5, Informative)

    by oiron (697563) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @10:16AM (#40128455) Homepage

    And its a gift to the rest of the world. Our emissions are actually quite clean; I"ll bet first world car exhaust is safer to breathe than 3rd world standard air.

    Did you just literally say that your shit smells like roses?

    The US is in the top bracket of polluting countries! Check this [gapminder.org] out...

    Taking just CO2, the US is four times higher per capita, but China's higher overall. Same story with Sulphur... [gapminder.org] Here, the US is about 3 times as much as China.

    In both cases, India is far behind both the US and China.

    Again, let me repeat that our country is so clean that our piddly bit of pollution is cleaner than daily life in these countries.

    Its a blessing to them to get our exhaust gasses. Its like manna from the gods.

    The highest per-capita emissions, and the second highest totals - that's some pretty interesting mana you gods are giving us!

    And now don't switch tactics and try to claim that it's necessary for your standard of living; just look at the UK and Germany with far lower levels of both CO2 and Sulphur per capita. It's possible, as long as you give your SUVs up.

  • by rtfa-troll (1340807) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @10:48AM (#40128627)
    This is not Wikipedia. If you want a citation just ask for one. Before you do that you are expected to do a bit of searching. However, since you are probably just going to go on whining, here's your citation [bit.ly]. I'm not a qualified climate scientist so I can't tell you if it's true or not. However the same is certainly true of all the people who are going to come running in to tell us how it is completely made up.
  • by Rogue Haggis Landing (1230830) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @12:12PM (#40129087)

    This isn't news. There is already strong evidence indicating that circa 1970's/80's US pollution played a key part - if not the cause of - the 1980's Ethiopian Famine.

    The Ethiopian Famine ran from 1983-1985, and was mainly caused by a civil war [wikipedia.org] that ran for 17 years, and by disastrous government food policies in the wake of the "Red Terror" [wikipedia.org] of the late 1970s and the construction of a Marxist state that poured all of its resources into its military. Sort of like a much less extreme version famine-prone North Korea. Wikipedia has a fairly weak article on the famine [wikipedia.org]. It's worth noting that the famine began in 1983, but the major drought started in 1984. With a stable society and a reasonable government there would have been food shortages in 1984, but no more, and there definitely wouldn't have been mass starvation before the crops started failing.

    Listen, I'm a bleeding heart environmentalist and sympathetic to the idea that the US has historically shit in its own bed, and continues to do so in certain ways. But citing any old thing as caused by US pollution makes environmentalists look like kooks. It's very bad for the cause.

  • Re:Its a blessing (Score:5, Informative)

    by oiron (697563) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @12:15PM (#40129111) Homepage

    Every time you deniers "call us on it", we link again [realclimate.org] and again [climatecrocks.com] and again [skepticalscience.com] to the real science. You ask for the data, the data is available [nasa.gov]. You cast aspersions on the data, and it's independently verified [clearclimatecode.org]. You fund studies meant to show that there's no warming, the study shows that there really is warming [thinkprogress.org].

    When we "call you on it", you disappear into the woods.

  • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Sunday May 27, 2012 @01:47PM (#40129625)

    The only US city I've lived in that had pollution you could smell and see was Los Angeles and that's at least partly because of the inversion layer. The last Asian country I lived in had a very different kind of problem. Because trash pickup was infrequent and unreliable and possibly expensive for some people most residents would burn their trash in their yard in plastic bags. The smoke and the scent of burnt plastic would permeate the air for hours nearly every evening. It was so bad that that was the reason I left. I just couldn't take it anymore. I was sick of the nearly constant smell of burning plastic. There were many nights when I tried to fall asleep while wearing a respirator. Yes, it was that bad.

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