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There's Global Warming—Then There's China's Pollution

Written By: Christine Dantz

February 2015

Global Warming isn't the only problem we have to worry about these days. That gulp of fresh air you just inhaled on the streets of L.A. or any small town in Maine has travelled a long way to invade your lungs. China's pollution problem is not out of sight--out of mind for Americans. Scientists are now learning just how much the atmosphere and particles of pollution intermingling in the jet stream is rubbing the world's weather the wrong way.

New research by NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) and the California Institute of Technology (CIT) show cold, stagnant smog from Asian cities is altering weather in the U.S. The aerosols created by burning coal and other pollutants are the number one culprit coming from the majority of Asia's large cities.

Back in the USA News Story: There's Global Warming--Then There's China's Pollution.

Another source of air pollutants comes from dangerous slash and burn agricultural practices that still prevail across China. These areas lack the strong regulations implemented in Europe and North America.

The signs are clear, what comes around goes around and it's wreaking havoc on the Earth's current weather patterns. Scientists tracking these patterns have found a 10 percent increase in the strength of extra-tropical cyclones along the jet stream.

Consider This Simple Explanation of the Science

Do you remember the classic elementary school rite of passage in the springtime? The annual helium balloon launch where young children wrote letters, placed them in a plastic bag, and then put the plastic bag inside the balloon. Hundreds and thousands of these multicolor balloons were released at once, all headed into the jet stream. A few lucky kids each year would get a reply when their letter hit the jet stream and traveled to another city, state, and even country.

Now change that memory and replace those balloons with the images of thick, sickening smog from parts of China, Beijing, Indonesia, and India. They hit the same jet stream and follow the same paths those balloons went. In today's ever-increasing connected world, people share everything.

Record Setting Weather

Over the past several years, America's mainstream media has had a run of new terms to use when reporting on extreme weather around the country. Many in the media, as well as some politicians, are overusing the words Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse to describe any large snowstorm.

However, the data on record setting weather is plain to see and appears to be increasing, something that won't play out well for Americans. In fact, it's already more than an annoyance—Just ask Boston.

NASA's JPL researchers Jonathan Jiang and Yuan Wang believe the extreme colds in the Northeastern U.S. during 2013 are a direct result of the smog from China.

Pollution is the one thing that no one wants to admit travels. But it does, and this is the price of offshoring environmental standards.


Other Articles of Interest:

Chinese Imports are Hurting More Than America's Economy

The U.S. Falls from Number 1

Smog Protection Hits the Fashion Industry

Cotton Products "Made in China:" Is Your Baby Safe?


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