"It takes five to 10 days for the pollution from China's coal-fired plants to make its way to the United States, like a slow-moving storm.
It shows up as mercury in the bass and trout caught in the Willamette River in the western U.S. state of Oregon. It increases cloud cover and raises ozone levels. And along the way, it contributes to acid rain in Japan and South Korea and health problems everywhere from Taiyuan to the United States.
This is the dark side of the world's growing use of coal."
So begins World's growing dependence on coal leaving a trail of environmental devastation, a good read in today's International Herald Tribune.
For an illustration of just how bad China's air pollution is, take a look at this image captured by a NASA satellite.
Here's the description of the image, from the NASA Earth Observatory:
More haze spread through eastern China in early November 2007. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Terra satellite took this picture on November 5, 2007. Although not as thick as the haze in the region on October 23, this event still covered an area hundreds of kilometers across. This image shows haze confined predominantly to low-lying areas, and this is most apparent in the Taihang Shan Mountains where the gray haze accentuates the mountain valleys. Haze is also thick over Bo Hai.
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