Pollution in Asia is affecting the weather by driving the strength of storms over the Pacific, which may be leading to changes in overall climate patterns in North America, according to scientists. The aerosol pollution, or fine particles of matter in the air, from Asia is thought to be causing faster cyclones above the Pacific Ocean and warming temperatures in the North Pole. The main causes of aerosol pollution are coal-fueled power plants, vehicle emissions, and other industrial activities. The particle matter may affect climate because the pollution can both reflect and absorb sunlight in the atmosphere. Air pollution particles produce more water vapor in the air that leads to more clouds and thus, more precipitation during storms.
More about pollution:
- One out of every eight deaths worldwide is caused by air pollution, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Delhi, India is the city with the worst air quality in the world—pollution levels in 2013 reached over 60 times the level that is considered safe by WHO.
- An estimated 41% of the world’s garbage is burned, leaving particle matter in the air.