Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Toxic cloud

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From page A4 | January 27, 2014 | 12 Comments

The Pacific Northwest experienced a “cloud” of radiation after Japan’s monster tsunami sent three units of a power plant into meltdown following the March 11, 2011, Tōhoku magnitude 9.0 earthquake.

That was pretty tame compared to what China has been sending us via the atmosphere — air pollution.

It’s been going on for some time and has always been noticeable in the Pacific Northwest. But it has become exponentially worse. Foreigners in Beijing have created bubbles for their children to play in at schools.

Now that uncontrolled air pollution is affecting the entire West Coast and more.

“Extreme air pollution in Asia is affecting the world’s weather and climate patterns, according to a study by Texas A&M University and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory researchers,” according to a press release from Texas A&M.

“Yuan Wang, a former doctoral student at Texas A&M, along with Texas A&M atmospheric sciences professors Renyi Zhang and R. Saravanan, have had their findings published in the current issue of Nature Communications.”

“Air pollution levels in some Chinese cities, such as Beijing, are often more than 100 times higher than acceptable limits set by the World Health Organization standards,” Zhang said.

The Beijing air pollution is nothing like what California’s air pollution was like in the 1970s, even though general aviation pilots could see California’s brown haze as they flew south from Oregon. In 20 years California’s air has become close to crystal clear, even on most summer days.

Beijing’s air pollution is more like Pittsburgh’s in the 19th century through the 1940s until it passed its first air pollution law in 1946. Until Pittsburgh cleaned up its air pollution, coal fumes blotted out the sun and would turn laundry grey as it dried on clothes lines. Today the air in Pittsburgh is fabulous.

“Increases in coal burning and car emissions are major sources of pollution in China and other Asian countries,” Texas A&M researchers said.

The researchers used climate models, which is a dubious form of science. Relying on 30 years of data about aerosols and meteorology, “the researchers found that air pollution over Asia — much of it coming from China — is impacting global air circulations.”

“The models clearly show that pollution originating from Asia has an impact on the upper atmosphere and it appears to make such storms or cyclones even stronger,” Zhang explained.

“This pollution affects cloud formations, precipitation, storm intensity and other factors and eventually impacts climate. Most likely, pollution from Asia can have important consequences on the weather pattern here over North America.”

OK, so bring on the storms; California could use a whole bunch.

There is no question that China’s pollution is heavy and is drifting over to America, boosting pollution levels here.

“Huge amounts of aerosols from Asia go as high as six miles up in the atmosphere and these have an unmistakable impact on cloud formations and weather.”

 Zhang added that “we need to do some future research on exactly how these aerosols are transported globally and impact climate. There are many other atmospheric observations and models we need to look at to see how this entire process works.”
“The study was funded by grants from NASA, Texas A&M’s Supercomputing facilities and the Ministry of Science and Technology of China,” according to Texas A&M.
That is the key shortcoming of this study. It was done on a supercomputer. Climate modeling is no substitute for doing actual atmospheric and meteorological measurements.
Wang is a Cal Tech post doctoral scholar at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The JPL has the resources to make the kinds of direct observations these studies really need. We look forward to refined information on these studies of Asian pollution. Meantime, our government should be using its diplomatic connections to urge China to tackle its pollution more aggressively instead of bullying its neighbors over a disputed island in the South China Sea.

Mountain Democrat

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Discussion | 12 comments

  • cookie65January 27, 2014 - 7:55 am

    Did these "researchers" who typically determine the results before the do the study account for the wildfires in California last year? How big was the Rim fire? From the article -- “The models clearly show that pollution originating from Asia has an impact on the upper atmosphere and it appears to make such storms or cyclones even stronger,” Zhang explained. . I guess computers do what they are programmed to do. After all my calculator tells me 2+2=4.

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  • Dink LaneJanuary 27, 2014 - 11:56 am

    Excuse me.... I fell out of my chair after I read this...... A real article about "Pollution" ..... Like this article said....People in CA saw real pollution in the 1970s ......... I saw it from my window when we landed at Travis after my tours in Vietnam in 1969 and 71 .... How did it get better????? ...... Not with Larry Weitzman's and his "band of merry weathermen"'s advice...... Nixon saw it...... and that's why a REPUBLICAN President signed an Executive Order to establish the EPA....... Oh, I know Cookie and Evelyn (and the other "Tea-Potters" are quaking in their boots)...... This doesn't fit what the Dailycaller and Breibart are pushing..... What are they going to do? .... Well Cookie says it's the Rim Fire's fault.... we have NO responsibility ...... Next....

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  • EvelynJanuary 27, 2014 - 2:50 pm

    Thanks for the honorable mention, Dink. But as TWICE previously stated, I do not dispute that there is pollution -- on a vast scale. THIS list of over 200 pollutants is as per the Clean Air Act. The list does NOT include CO2 or water vapor. Twice previously I have posted the list for you. PLEASE check it out.

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  • EvelynJanuary 27, 2014 - 2:55 pm

    . . . Though not a "Tea-Potter" (great sense of humor, Dink!!!), last year I did attend a Tea Party meeting. Nothing terrible happened to me. People were quite civil and I was not subjected to abuse or humiliation. Perhaps this year I will take in a Republican meeting. A couple years ago I hung out with a good and loyal Democrat. Basically, I describe myself as a liberal Independent. Am registered Independent. Can't imagine being otherwise.

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  • Dink LaneJanuary 27, 2014 - 3:24 pm

    According to West Virginia's Senator -- coal-cleaning substance called MCHM.... wasn't among the 200 NAMED pollutants....

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  • EvelynJanuary 27, 2014 - 3:46 pm

    Probably he's right. Neither is CO2 or H2O, which has been confusing the "Climate Change" discussion. Just as long as we're not confusing the "Climate Change" and industrial pollution discussions.

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  • cookie65January 27, 2014 - 4:25 pm

    dinky, no one is disputing what is going on with air quality in China. This "study" is claiming, “The models clearly show that pollution originating from Asia has an impact on the upper atmosphere and it appears to make such storms or cyclones even stronger,” That is quite a stretch. You have twice proclaimed an experiment you witnessed where particulate matter in the air stalled the movement of air. So please enlighten me on how this study suggests the opposite. You know dinky, long before we had a forest service or calfire, the forests would catch on fire and there was no one to put them out. And yet you have claimed that some of our recent storms are like none ever before. So which is it dinky? The pollutants cause stronger storms but only recently or is it that only man's activities cause pollutants that lead to these so-called stronger storms? My other question would be how come there is so fewer storms in recent years? Do the pollutants cause less storms? You see dinky, you are far too eager to believe what ever you are told to believe and way to willing to put words in other people's mouths.

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  • Dink LaneJanuary 27, 2014 - 4:39 pm

    Ah Cookie it is always nice to have the opportunity to answer your queries: Fires = carbon + particulates --> Carbon has 4 available electrons -- easily attaches to other elements.... Creating Weight..... drops to the ground...... That's part of the theory to Seeding Clouds.... which SMUD is doing as we read this..... The reason we have scientific papers and pass them around to answer skeptics (such as yourself) questions.... Skeptics are an Important part of science...... But if 200 prove one fact and one weatherman has different proof..... It's the skeptic's responsibility to prove how the other 200 are wrong.... How are you coming up with "Few Storms"? ...... # of storms..... or Jet Stream's path?.....

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  • Dink LaneJanuary 27, 2014 - 4:46 pm

    One more point..... The same College Class.... Sierra College "Crops and Soils"..... We went out in the rice fields and took air quality readings before, during and after burning of Rice Fields.... That's were our experiments "Proved" the theory of "Scrubbing" when Carbon is burned it attaches to other particles..... after the carbon come back to the earth.... Less pollutants in the air..... Not good enough for politicians in Sacramento..... You see, the farming community BELIEVES in Climate Change..... Just go to a water conference and sit at the table with some these big farmers..... They know it's real....

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  • cookie65January 28, 2014 - 4:51 am

    dinky, everyone believes in climate change. It is a fact that the climate on this planet changes. It always has, it probably always will. You seem to think that man is somehow doing things that nature is incapable of. It makes for a great excuse to confiscate trillions. How did all that carbon get in the ground dink? Everything on this planet pre-existed us yet life still exists. We have 4 seasons because of the tilted axis of the earth. We have warmth because of our proximity to the sun. We are alive only because of greenhouse gases. Do you understand dink that we are dependent on greenhouse gases for our very survival? Still waiting for it to be warm enough to grow wheat in Greenland. You do understand that most permafrost is vegetation that has been frozen for ten's of thousands of years. Which means what dink? It means at one time it was warm enough for it to grow. Today it is frozen and you are terrified that at some point it may grow again? To believe you can control it is pure arrogance. Again we are not talking about pollutants or poison or toxic substances, we are talking strictly about the nature climate cycles of this planet. It is a FRUAD!!!

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  • cookie65January 28, 2014 - 4:57 am

    2013 hurricane season comes to a close with the fewest hurricanes since 1982. This year is expected to rank as the sixth-least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950, in terms of the collective strength and duration of named storms and hurricanes.http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2013/20131125_endofhurricaneseason.html

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  • cookie65January 28, 2014 - 8:50 am

    Global warming in Pensacola Florida..... http://www.clickorlando.com/news/panhandle-schools-to-close-for-possible-ice-snow/-/1637132/24143034/-/e27yp6z/-/index.html

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