Air pollution from China = stronger storms in the Pacific?

Pacific storm
Public Domain NASA

While air pollution is now the world’s biggest environmental health risk with 7 million deaths per year, according to the World Health Organization, its effects aren't limited to your heart and lungs. According to a new paper published by researchers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, pollutants from Asia (mostly China) are strengthening storms above the Pacific Ocean, which in turn feeds into weather systems in other parts of the world.

China air pollution map© UCI

Tiny particles from pollution are blown towards the north Pacific where they interacted with water droplets in the air. This causes clouds to grow denser, resulting in more intense storms above the ocean. "Since the Pacific storm track is an important component in the global general circulation, the impacts of Asian pollution on the storm track tend to affect the weather patterns of other parts of the world during the wintertime, especially a downstream region [of the track] like North America," said the lead author of the study, Dr. Yuan Wang.

The air is so polluted in many parts of China, including Beijing, that a Jar of clean mountain air from France sold for $845!

Pacific stormNASA/Public Domain


Air pollution from China = stronger storms in the Pacific?
Since all weather systems on Earth are connected in one way or another, these effects in the Pacific could in turn affect climate systems elsewhere.

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