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Map of global air-particulate pollution  (Source: Aaron van Donkelaar, Dalhousie University)
Industrial sector of this region has the highest concentration of particulates

Canadian scientists have developed a map of global air-particulate pollution using National Aeronautics and Space Administration satellite data, and it shows that China's air quality is very poor compared to the rest of the world. 

Aaron van Donkelaar and Randall Martin from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada created the map using satellite data because they believed ground-based detection would be "spotty" in areas or nonexistent. The data used for the map is from 2001 to 2006. 

The map of global air-particulate pollution shows fine particulate matter density worldwide through color-coding, where white and dark blue areas have the lowest concentration of particulates and dark red areas have the highest concentration of particulates. The reddest part of the entire map is Eastern China's industrial area.

Despite the fact that the data used for the map is from 2001 to 2006, The Wall Street Journal noted in July that China's air quality is getting worse, and has not improved since the time period of this data.

In fact, more recent studies, such as the research conducted by a team of scientists who studied air pollution along the Yangtze River Delta in China, proves that China's air quality is only getting worse. This particular study concluded that the Yangtze River Delta is one of the most densely populated areas in the world and the "fastest growing economic development region in China." The area has seen drastic increases in atmospheric emissions and energy consumption, which led the team of researchers to use the Community Multiscale Air Quality model along with an emission inventory to measure baseline concentrations in order to calculate health risks and construct control strategies.

Many health issues arise from poor air quality because fine particulates are capable of passing the body's cilia defenses and penetrating the lungs and blood. Bronchitis, cardiovascular disease and asthma are a few of the illnesses that can come from poor air quality. Through both of these studies, researchers can better understand what China is up against and can develop ways to counter it, saving hundreds of millions of people who live in this area from chronic disease.

This study was published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

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Green Technology does have a purpose
By krotchy on 9/28/2010 2:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
Who cares whether Global warming is real or not, this is the real reason to focus on alternative and green technologies.

I visited Beijing and Nanjing and the air was literally thick like fog just from the smog. There were times at the great wall where I could barely make out the wall on the hillside across from me.

RE: Green Technology does have a purpose
By Targon on 9/28/2010 3:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
Here's the problem, the Chinese Government is considered one of the worst on the planet in terms of human rights. The Chinese people, government sponsored or not are sending out spam, and other "cyber attacks" left and right with no one even trying to do anything to stop it. It is a telling sign of how bad China is when an earthquake over there reduces global spam levels by 75 percent.

So, why should the world worry if the Chinese Government via bad policies ends up exterminating its own population via pollution? I am all for improving the environment and reducing pollution, but trying to save China is the WRONG thing to do. Perhaps if the people over there end up sick enough, they will finally overthrow their oppressive government and replace it with one that isn't as bad.

And no, I am not saying I care for the way the US government has been acting either, but at least many Americans still believe in the idea of freedom, and doing the right thing.

By Grabo on 9/29/2010 11:33:00 AM , Rating: 2
I keep figuring that too, that someday they really ought to realize that they cannot take the express train to Western standards when they're 1.3 billion people.

Most every piece of news about the country isn't fantastic though. Regarding their purchase of Volvo 'It's good, Chinese people like big cars' , 'Chinese on the whole don't care so much about car pollution, that's the industry's problem'.

You've got this gigantic middle class that is doing what it can to consume as much as possible, and a one child policy that promotes 'little emperors'. Well, air pollution and other forms of pollution may spread beyond its borders, but China will suffer the most due to China's stupidity.

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