According to little-noticed research, pollution stemming from China and India is so severe that it is altering your local weather. Industrial power plants from these nations have been emitting high levels of sulfate and soot from industrial processes such as coal burning. As a result, the pollution is carried by the prevailing winds over the Pacific Ocean and eventually worldwide to a region near you.
Renyi Zhang is a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M who led the paper on the subject back in 2007. The research, funded by National Science Foundation and NASA, was the first of its kind to demonstrate how heavy pollution is adversely affecting the storm track over the Pacific Ocean — a major weather event that takes place during winter in the northern hemisphere. The Pacific storm track can affect weather all over the globe, which means that even regions outside of the northern hemisphere can experience a weather shift.
Due to certain climate conditions, the northern Pacific Ocean is more vulnerable to the aerosol effect in winter months. Aerosols can affect the droplets in clouds and can even change the dynamics of the clouds themselves, says the study authors. According to Zhang, the changes that occur can vary in nature. The pollution can lead to severe storms, or even droughts. “You might have more storms, and these storms might be more severe than usual,” he says.
“Or it could lead to the opposite — severe droughts in other areas. The Pacific storm track plays a crucial role in our weather, and there is no doubt at all that human activity is changing the world’s weather.”
Interestingly, Zhang also says that storms have risen anywhere from 20 to 50 percent in some areas since the onset of extreme pollution. Zhang derived these figures from comparing deep convective clouds from the 10-year period of 1984-1994 to the period from 1994-2005. Highly unnoticed by the mainstream media and other news outlets, this 2007 report highlights the serious nature of unregulated pollution from developing nations that are negatively impacting the environment so severely that it can actually increase the prevalence of storms and potentially trigger droughts.