Friday, March 26, 2010

Yellow Dust

Pollution in China wreaks havoc on people in Japan and Korea. Every year in March, the yellow dust - pollutants from Chinese factories - blows down to cover the sky of other countries. Last week I had to use my inhaler. I wondered what was going on.

The next day I saw this story:

The following is a direct quote from the paper:

The worst-recorded yellow dust storm hit the nation on Saturday, causing the weather agency to issue its first nationwide warning, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.
The KMA lifted the yellow dust warning at 4 a.m. yesterday as the storm weakened overnight.

In the afternoon, the yellow dust moved out of the country following the low-pressure system that was quickly moving eastward, the KMA said. Yellow dust in China's northern region also quickly weakened and became less likely to affect the peninsula.

"With the wind blowing from the southwest, the possibility is that the density of fine dust in the western coastal region and some inland areas can get thicker on Monday. Thus, extra caution needs to be taken to take care of your health," a KMA official said.

The sandstorm, which scientists blame on China's industrialization and deforestation, hit the nation Saturday for the fifth time this year.


On Saturday, the Chinese capital of Beijing was blanketed with the yellow dust, as a sandstorm caused by a severe drought in the north and in Mongolia swept into the city, according to news reports.

The storm, which earlier buffeted parts of northeastern China, brought strong winds and cut visibility in Beijing.

Authorities issued a rare level-five pollution warning, signaling hazardous conditions, and urged residents to stay indoors.

Sandstorms frequently hit the arid north of China in the spring, when temperatures start to rise, stirring up clouds of dust that can travel across China, to Korea and Japan and even as far as the United States.

Sounds to me like somebody needs to plant a tree or ten thousand...

*photos from the internet... but that one of the earth is pretty cool, huh?

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