China faces a serious health threat caused by concerning environmental issues. The nation has recently been engulfed into thick smog which is a major deteriorating agent of the air quality. However, a recent report showed that pollution is not the only national enemy. Climate change is heavily contributing to this situation as well. It seems that Arctic sea ice loss triggered changes in the atmospheric circulation.
Arctic Sea Ice Loss Deprived China of Cold Air Circulation
A team of scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology conducted a series of data analysis and computer modeling. Their results suggest that the Chinese climate itself suffered major changes because of Arctic sea ice loss. Thus, the winter monsoon was replaced by lethargic atmospheric conditions. However, these are not contributing to anything good. On the contrary, they help trap pollution within especially in highly industrialized areas.
China has not been idle in this health-jeopardizing situation. The country has invested large amounts of funds in swapping sources of fossil fuels with environmentally friendly products. However, the problem is stubborn in its persistence. The study published in the journal Science Advances might hold the answers.
In their search for truth, the team of scientists took a close look at the Chinese history of medium issues. This is how they discovered that the biggest smog problems in the year of 2013 happened after record Arctic sea ice loss. Moreover, this phenomenon happened at the same time with record snowfall in the Eurasian continent, especially in the upper regions.
China Is Going through the Same 2013 Air Pollution Crisis at a Smaller Scale
Afterward, scientists proceeded to computer simulations. These digitally generated scenarios are based on real data. They pointed out to certain connections between these three seemingly unrelated natural events. The cause was that the Siberian heavy snowfalls together with melted ice in the North Pole led to a decreased volume of cold air. The effect was that China ended up remaining deprived of the route of cold air. This outage contributed to the severity of air pollution.
“The reductions in sea ice and increase in snowfall have the effect of damping the climatological pressure ridge structure over China,” stated the lead author of the study, Professor Yuhang Wang.
The same situation from 2013 repeated this year. Back in September, the level of sea ice in Arctic was low. Soon afterward, Siberia experienced heavy snow. As a consequence of both natural phenomena, China and even the rest of the world suffered from rising average weather conditions.
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