Warning! Economic growth, don't inhale

What's good news and terrible news? Hopeful and horrendous? Economic growth, of course. A study of global air pollution done in Texas--where I'm told Houston leads the American league in polluting air--shows the economic boom in India and China adding to atmospheric pollution.

That's not all, says the team at Texas A&M. That pollution is affecting the storm track moving west to east across the Pacific and bringing weather to much of North America. From North America, that pollution continues to circle the globe.

One conclusion: "During the past few decades, there has been a dramatic increase in atmospheric aerosols--mostly sulfate and soot from burning coal--especially in China and India."

Some possible effects, soot fallout if you please:

  • • More storms and more severe storms
  • • Altered weather patterns around the globe
  • • Soot settling on polar ice caps, causing further melting

Jumping straight into the who's-to-blame argument, the study finds "a direct link from large-scale storm systems to anthropogenic (human-made) pollution."

 

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