Half of aerosols in America originate from other continentsAugust 23rd, 2012 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, Aug 23 (IANS) About half of the aerosols affecting air quality as well as causing climate change over North America seem to be originating from other continents, including Asia, Africa and Europe, says a study.
The study was led by researchers from the University of Maryland, College Park, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the Universities Space Research Association.
Atmospheric particles can travel thousands of miles downwind and impact the environment in other regions, found lead researcher Hongbin Yu of the University of Maryland and his team, the journal Science reports.
This could offset emission controls in North America and suggests there are more factors affecting domestic pollution than the environmental protection agency has accounted for, according to a Maryland statement.
“People have been concerned about how an emerging Asian economy and increased manmade pollution will influence North American air quality and climate, but we found that dust makes large contributions here,” said Yu, associate research scientist at the University of Maryland’s Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Centre (ESSIC).
The study, which provides the first satellite-measurement-based estimate of the amount of airborne particles that come to North America from overseas, shows this migrating dust usually comes in at high altitudes and is likely to affect upper atmospheric conditions in the region.
Most of the pollution migrating into the North American atmosphere is not industrial emissions but dust from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Yu found.
Out of the total annual accumulation of foreign aerosols, 87.5 percent is dust from across the Pacific, 6.25 percent is composed of combustion aerosols from the same region and 6.25 percent is Saharan dust from across the Atlantic.
- Air pollution aggravates drought, flooding - Nov 14, 2011
- Gulf spill air pollution could shed light on urban air quality - Mar 11, 2011
- Scientists find plumes of oily aerosols downwind of the BP oil spill - Mar 12, 2011
- Half of inhaled diesel soot sticks to lungs - Jun 29, 2012
- Aerosols in clouds may decrease rainfall in southeastern China - Sep 26, 2009
- Satellite data uncover seasonal pollution changes over India - Sep 09, 2010
- Dust in Earth's atmosphere has doubled since the beginning of 20th century - Jan 09, 2011
- Sulphuric acid formation affects climate, health - Aug 09, 2012
- Climate change will also worsen respiratory diseases - Mar 15, 2012
- Delhi air quality was worst in March: Study - Apr 02, 2012
- Earth is 'twice as dusty' now as it was a century ago - Jan 14, 2011
- Air pollutants from abroad can travel thousands of miles to harm atmosphere - Sep 30, 2009
- Space dust changing weather conditions? - Apr 05, 2012
- Your presence stirs up 37 mn bugs indoors - Mar 29, 2012
- Man-made emissions will worse air pollution - Aug 02, 2012
Tags: airborne particles, associate research scientist, atmospheric particles, combustion aerosols, earth system science, environmental protection agency, goddard space flight, goddard space flight center, industrial emissions, maryland college park, nasa goddard space, nasa goddard space flight, nasa goddard space flight center, satellite measurement, space flight center, space research association, universities space research, university of maryland baltimore, university of maryland college park, upper atmospheric conditions