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Global impact of Asia's pollution

Breaking Environmental News: Asia

March 06, 2007
SMOG - Industrial pollution coming from Asia is having a wider effect on global weather and climate than previously realised, research suggests. The "Asian haze" of soot is boosting storms in the Pacific, scientists find. It is also enhancing the growth of large clouds, which play a key role in regulating climate globally. Researchers say impacts may be felt as far away as the Arctic. Some studies have suggested that accumulation of these particles is changing the properties of Arctic ice, making it absorb more of the Sun's energy. While clean air legislation has reduced production of industrial aerosols - fine particles of dust, soot and sulphur - in Europe and North America, the opposite trend is seen in Asia. Here, rapid industrialisation has led to the formation of a pollution haze which is especially marked in winter as coal burning increases. Sulphur emissions have increased by more than one-third over the last decade. These aerosols drive cloud formation, as water droplets coalesce around the tiny particles.

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