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China Earth

Pollution In China Could Be Driving Freak Weather In US 158

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Jonathan Kaiman reports at The Guardian that China's air pollution could be intensifying storms over the Pacific Ocean and altering weather patterns in North America leading to more ... warm air in the mid-Pacific moving towards the north pole. 'Mid-latitude storms develop off Asia and they track across the Pacific, coming in to the west coast of the U.S.,' says Ellie Highwood, a climate physicist at the University of Reading. 'The particles in this model are affecting how strong those storms are, how dense the clouds are, and how much rainfall comes out of those storms.' Fossil fuel burning and petrochemical processing in Asia's rapidly developing economies lead to a build-up of aerosols, fine particles suspended in the air. Typically, aerosol formation is thought of as the antithesis to global warming: it cools our Earth's climate. But researchers say, too much of any one thing is never good. 'Aerosols provide seeds for cloud formation. If you provide too many seeds, then you fundamentally change cloud patterns and storm patterns,' says co-author Renyi Zhang. China's leaders are aware of the extent of the problem and will soon revise China's environmental protection law for the first time since 1989 ... 'The provisions on transparency are probably the most positive step forward,' says Alex Wang, expert in Chinese environmental law at UCLA. 'These include the requirement that key polluters disclose real-time pollution data.'"
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Pollution In China Could Be Driving Freak Weather In US

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @11:24AM (#46768199)

    Americans constitute 5% of the worlds population, yet we consume 24% of its energy.

    Please stop using this bogus comparison to imply that Americans use more than "their share" of the world's energy. The correct comparison is between inputs and outputs. The USA produces nearly 20% of the world's GDP. [] If your 24% is correct, we have room for improvements in energy efficiency, but we're not nearly the energy gluttons that you're suggesting. The low ratio of population to energy use is largely due to our high productivity. []

    Maybe so ( I'm doubtful. Given my experiences in interactions with US companies, efficiency isn't the word that jumps to the front...), but how much of your GDP is 'real things' and how much is overvalued ones and zeroes (ie IP) and 'services', which really doesn't require very much energy to produce?

  • Re:Wut? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sjames ( 1099 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @01:54PM (#46770783) Homepage Journal

    On the other hand, Chinese products will go up in price compared to now, so more manufacturing will happen in the U.S. The poor are disproportionatly likely to work in manufacturing, so their employment will increase, making them less poor. As they become less poor, they become less likely to buy Chinese products.

  • Re:Or it could be (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rwa2 ( 4391 ) * on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:43PM (#46771441) Homepage Journal

    I bet if you got any typical Climate Scientists drunk and just partied with them, it would eventually spill out that they have no fucking clue what they are doing.

    My father-in-law is actually a "climate scientist", or at least a high-ranking mathematician for GSFC. He's Russian, so he and his friends actually care little about environmentalism and pollution and littering and social responsibility and other stuff like that, even though they are at times the outdoorsy-type who do like to go hiking and camping in large groups and playing and singing music loudly to the annoyance of nearby campers.

    What he does care about is math, and the mathematical models for tuning and interpreting satellite LIDAR and other instruments, and if you're doing the math wrong he will yell at you condescendingly. He does get annoyed, however, at all of the politics that are getting in the way of the schedules and funding for his next satellite launch.

    A lot of his work involves collecting data on cloud and vegetation cover, and how that affects the energy balance. Pollution and airborne aerosols often seed clouds and serve to reflect solar energy back into space, so being able to measure the effects of that would give us a better picture of how fossil fuel consumption does help "self-regulate" greenhouse gas effects. It probably doesn't help that one of his main projects these days, DSCVR, is essentially known as "Goresat" within GSFC. But essentially these scientists are much too wrapped up in gathering data and facts properly to worry about pushing any social agenda... to them, any form of politicking is just a waste of time and energy and schedule on both sides. There's SCIENCE to be done! :P

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein