Tag Archives: Smog

China’s Air Pollution Resembles “Nuclear Winter”

According to scientists in China, the air pollution of the country is starting to slow down photosynthesis in plants, in addition to covering it’s most populated cities in a blanket of thick smog.  With a population of 1.35 Billion people, it is not hard to imagine that something like this occurring.  However, it is also something that can be at the very least slowed down if the population were to work together and try to make a positive impact.

According to the Wall Street Journal, China is set to (probably does now) have as many people driving cars as the United States has people- about 300 million.  If one assumes that 411 grams of CO2 are emitted traveling one mile in a car that travels at about 22 MPG, and you also assume that only half of China’s driving population travel 20 miles a day, you could calculate how many grams of CO2 are emitted into China’s air in one day: (411 grams/1 mile) x (25 miles/1 Person) x (150 million people) = 1.54 x 10^12 grams of CO2/day.  

Obviously there is much more to the problem than simply people driving cars around, but if more people decided to bike or take public transit it could very well have a larger effect on the environment or at least slow down the amount of CO2 being emitted into the air.

Source 1: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/documents/420f14040.pdf

Source 2: http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/11/28/china-soon-to-have-almost-as-many-drivers-as-u-s-has-people/