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Lack of Dust Making Air Pollution Worse
(Wednesday, 17 May 2017) Written by greeniac12314
A new study has found that the lack of airborne dust in China is actually making China’s air quality worse.

This is troubling because other studies have found that air pollution in China is a contributing factor in 1.6 million deaths per year, which is about 17% of deaths in China.

Without naturally-occurring dust blowing in from the Gobi desert, more heat from the sun hits the earth, because dust particles help deflect sunlight. When the land warms more, it reduces the difference in temperature with the ocean, which causes weaker winds. Without strong winds, air pollution settles in certain areas.

Lead author of the study, Yang Yang, shared, “We have two views on this kind of weakening of wind. They found the sea ice, we found the dust-wind interaction can also lead to weakening of the wind. I think both of them are important.”

Professor Lynn Russell from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography shared, “If it's not a dusty year, you may be happy and spending more time outdoors because you don't have this dust in the way, but you are actually going out to spend more time in more toxic air.”

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