Don't inhale, it's legal but it's toxic

Summary:That's the conclusion of a United Nations report on the atmosphere above large sections of Asia. Guess all that economic growth comes with a little extra.

That's the conclusion of a United Nations report on the atmosphere above large sections of Asia. Guess all that economic growth comes with a little extra.

Nasty plumes of smoke, soot, toxic gases and other fine manmade crud are found all over the planet, but the worst are over Asia. Some of the cities on the United Nations' new brown town list: Bangkok, Cairo, New Delhi, Seoul and Tehran. Getting special mention: Guangzhou, in southern China. There air pollution has reduced dimmed sunlight hitting the ground by 20 percent since the 1970s.

Here's just the opening line of the U.N.'s release: "A three-kilometre-thick “brown cloud” of man-made pollution, which stretches from the Arabian Peninsula to China to the western Pacific Ocean, is making Asian cities darker, speeding up the melting of Himalayan glaciers and impacting human health."

Further goodies being reported by the U. N. "Atmospheric Brown Clouds (ABCs), resulting from the burning of fossil fuels and biomass, has resulted in the formation of particles such as black carbon and soot which absorb sunlight and heat the air...

"The clouds also 'mask' the actual warming impact of climate change by anywhere between 20 and 80 per cent because they include sulfates and other chemicals which reflect sunlight and cool the surface.

"The artificial lowering of temperature by ABCs is leading to sharp shifts in weather patterns, causing significant drying in northern China while increasing the risk of flooding in the Asian nation’s south. Monsoon precipitation over India and South-East Asia has dropped up to 7 per cent since the 1950s, with the summer monsoon both weakening."

"...the clouds contain toxic aerosols, carcinogens and other harmful particles, which could result in more people suffering from respiratory disease and cardiovascular problems."

Now remember your ABCs--Atmospheric Brown Clouds.

Topics: China

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