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Archive for April 2nd, 2008

China Under Siege

Posted by feww on April 2, 2008

Our thanks to Lisa G. for the links!

Lethal Pollution, Grinding Poverty, DSS, Encroaching Deserts, Sinking Cities


“We eat somehow, but it’s never enough,” Li said. “At least we’re not starving.”

“In this region of southern Henan Province, in village after village, people are too poor to heat their homes in the winter and many lack basic comforts like running water.” Report

Air Pollution

  • China is World No. 1 CO2 Polluter; the US follows closely. Report
  • Chinese Air Pollution Deadliest in World, Report Says.
  • Pollution kills 750,000 in China every year. Report
  • According to the World bank statistics, China has 16 of the 20 most polluted cities on earth!
  • Beijing pollution risky for endurance athletes. Report

Eastern China Pollution. Beijing has completely disappeared under the haze. Image Credit: SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE [Visualization Date: 1999-11-20. Sensor: OrbView-2/SeaWiFS]

“An opaque layer of polluted air covers much of southeastern China, obscuring parts of the landscape. Increasing use of heating fuels like wood and coal contributes to this haze. The image, captured on January 2, 2000, is from the NASA Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor (SeaWiFS). (Courtesy SeaWiFs Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE)”

Encroaching Deserts

The Gobi Desert: China’s Green Walls Losing the Battle Against Encroaching Deserts

Outside of Shanshan, Xinjiang China. Photo Credit: pmorgan via flickr


Pollution in China Photo Gallery (11 pictures)

“Wuhan, Hebei province: A man collects dead fish in Donghu lake, where officials say an estimated 30,000kg of fish have been killed by a combination of pollution and hot weather
Photograph: Wuhan/AP” Image may be subject to copyright.
See Feww Fair Use Notice!

DSS [Dust and Sand Storm]

A severe DSS (dust and sandstorm) originating from China blanketed South Korea. A road in Yeouido, Seoul is obscured by sand and dust on March 21, 2002. [Photo Credit:] Image may be subject to copyright. See Feww Fair Use Notice!

Sinking Cities


The catch is that China has become not just the world’s manufacturer but its despoiler, on a scale as monumental as its economic expansion. A fourth of the country is now desert. More than three-fourths of its forests have disappeared. Each year, uncontrollable underground fires, sometimes triggered by lightning or mining accidents, consume 200 million tons of coal, contributing massively to global warming. A miasma of lead, mercury, sulfur dioxide, and other elements of coal-burning and car exhaust hovers over most Chinese cities. An excerpt from: China’s pollution nightmare is now everyone’s pollution nightmare

Water Pollution

Harbin, China. NASA image by Robert Simmon, based on Landsat-7 data provided by the UMD Global Land Cover Facility. Below excerpts from NASA Earth Observatory :

The Songhua River flows north out of the Changbai Mountains, cutting across the Manchurian Plain of northern China. As China’s northernmost river system, the Songhua is an important artery in transporting agricultural products grown on the plain. On its northward course, the river wends its way past Harbin, the capital of China’s Heilongjiang Province, where it provides another lifeline. As much as 80 percent of the city’s public water supply comes directly from the river. That supply was cut off after an explosion at a petrochemical plant dumped 100 tons of benzene and other harmful chemicals into the river on November 13, 2005. As the chemical slick reached the city, officials turned off water supplies to prevent illness until the chemicals passed.

This Landsat image, taken on September 21, 2001, shows Harbin’s relationship with the Songhua. The city extends south and east from the banks of the river. A few smaller communities line the opposite bank of the river, connected by a maze of tan dirt roads. The city itself appears to be densely populated with a few small green squares of park or open land.

China: Facts and Trends

First Development, Then Environment

“China’s rapid growth has affected everything from world energy supplies to grain prices and is now threatening the health of its citizens. The environmental degradation that continues to coexist with economic growth has caused unsustainable rates of deforestation, high levels of air pollution, and low levels of water quality and quantity. This paper addresses the current environmental situation and focuses on the struggle for clean water.” Excerpt from Environmental and Water Scarcity Issues in China

Lin Fen: The Dirtiest City In the World

Image Courtesy of Tim Wang @ Tim Wang’s eLearning Blog

Posted in air pollution, China, Climate Change, DSS, Encroaching Deserts, energy, environment, Grinding Poverty, health, Lethal Pollution, politics, sinking cities, Travel, Water pollution | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »