Humans to blame for Sandstorms? China smothered in orange haze.
2010 03 21
Tons of sand turned Beijing’s sky orange as the strongest sandstorm this year hit northern China, a gritty reminder that the country’s expanding deserts have led to a sharp increase in the storms.
The sky glowed Saturday and a thin dusting of sand covered Beijing, causing workers and tourists to muffle their faces in vast Tiananmen Square. The city’s weather bureau gave air quality a rare hazardous ranking.
Air quality is ’’very bad for the health,’’ China’s national weather bureau warned. It said people should cover their mouths when outside and keep doors and windows closed.
China’s expanding deserts now cover one-third of the country because of overgrazing, deforestation, urban sprawl and drought. The shifting sands have led to a sharp increase in sandstorms - the grit from which can travel as far as the western United States.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences has estimated that the number of sandstorms has jumped six-fold in the past 50 years to two dozen a year.
The latest sandstorm also hit the regions of Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia and the provinces of Shanxi, Shaanxi and Hebei, affecting about 250 million people over an area of 312,000 square miles (810,000 square kilometers), the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
As the sandstorm moved southeast, South Korea’s national weather agency issued a yellow dust advisory for Seoul and other parts of the country.
Chun Youngsin, a researcher at the Korea Meteorological Administration, said the yellow dust was expected to hit the Korean peninsula beginning Saturday afternoon and it would be ’’the worst yellow dust’’ this year.
Some flights at Beijing’s international airport were delayed but eventually took off, said a woman answering phones at the airport hot line.
Skies cleared in the city by midday, but a warning of more dusty weather remained in place until early Sunday afternoon.
’’I think this kind of natural disaster is caused by human activity, but I don’t know the exact reason, and I don’t know exactly what we can do to prevent this,’’ said Beijing resident Shi Chunyan.
China has planted thousands of acres of vegetation in recent years to stop the spread of deserts in its north and west, but experts have said the work will take decades.
’’The challenges ahead are still huge,’’ China said in a report to the United Nations in 2006.
And the pressures of China’s development aren’t easing. ’’Arid and semiarid areas can only support one or two people per square kilometer. In China, population density in these areas is over 10 people per square kilometer,’’ Jiang Gaoming, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Botany, wrote for the online environmental magazine China Dialogue in 2007.
The residents once were nomads, ’’but now they have settled, increasing the pressure on the environment and inevitably damaging it.’’
The worst recent sandstorm to hit Beijing was in 2006, when about 300,000 tons of sand were dumped on the capital.
’’The situation improved tremendously after that. Thanks to the mild climate and conservation efforts, Beijing had only one sandstorm last year,’’ Guo Hu, head of the Beijing Meteorological Station, told Xinhua on Saturday.
The closest desert area to Beijing is about 500 miles away, in the region of Inner Mongolia, Guo said.
China’s dust storms were at their worst in the 1950s and ’60s after campaigns to raise farm and factory output following the 1949 communist revolution stripped the soil of vegetation.
Because of those campaigns, archaeologists have found that sandstorms are reducing some packed-earth sections of the Great Wall in western China to ’’mounds of dirt’’ that may disappear in 20 years.
Article from: Dawn.com
Smart Dust is Already in our Environment (Video)
Are the dust storms radioactive? Australian scientists study Aussie dust from New Zealand
Australia reels from wild weather - Eerie blanket of red dust
Huge Dust Storm Breaks Out on Mars
Latest News from our Front Page
Nigel Farage (UKIP) Speech on the EU, UK & Mass Immigration
2014 03 08
UKIP Nigel Farage Spring Conference speech - 2014
Red Ice Radio:
Nigel Farage MEP - The State of the EU & The Undemocratic Treaty of Lisbon
Labour wins UK by-election as Ukip trumps Tories
The ruling coalition in the UK was dealt a blow in the latest by-election test, as the UK Independence party pushed the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats into third and fourth ...
Pentagon studying Putin’s body language to predict his behavior
2014 03 07
The Pentagon has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years so that researchers can study the body movements of foreign leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, in hopes of predicting future behavior.
An article published by USA Today reporter Ray Locker on Thursday and corroborated by documents discovered by RT provides rare insight into a scarcely-discussed military effort that ...
Pentagon Claims That Climate Change ‘Enables Terrorism’
2014 03 07
In it’s latest Quadrennial Defense Review the Pentagon has said that climate change and ’erratic’ climate will cause increased terrorist activity.
The four yearly reports highlight threats that face civilization and this years homed in on climate change causing an increase in terrorism.
It also mentioned that rises in sea levels and other issues associated with a warming planet will lead ...
Scientists Control Tiny Mechanical Probes Inside Human Cells
2014 03 07
Nanotechnology doesn’t get as much attention these days as genetic and stem cell approaches to medicine, but all three aim to target the causes of illness with greater precision and less collateral damage in the rest of the body than conventional approaches.
Nanotech breakthroughs have come more slowly than many had hoped, but a recent success shows progress toward the goal ...
Fukushima: The Ticking Nuclear Bomb. Over 800 Tons of Radioactive Material Pouring into Pacific Ocean
2014 03 07
First published by GR in October 2013
In August this column ran a piece claiming that the Pacific Ocean was being poisoned by radioactive material escaping from Fukushima, two years after the devastating tsunami and meltdown at the Japanese nuclear facility. Three months later, shocking evidence points towards a calamity situation.
Silence from the corporate media.
There is growing evidence coming from ...
|More News » |