China is modernizing at breakneck pace. Slums and bicycles have given way to skyscrapers and avenues clogged with cars. China’s growing economy is improving the lives of its people. 

But this comes with negative side effects as well. One of the nation’s leading public health problems is air pollution, which kills over a million Chinese every year. 

The recent dust storm in Beijing was a widely reported case of air pollution. Its root cause was the expansion of agriculture in western China, similar to America’s Dust Bowl in the 1930s. 

Overall, cars and trucks have become some of the worst polluters in Chinese cities. Factories and coal plants are usually located on the edge of population centers. 

They release their smoke out of stacks a hundred feet tall. Even though they release carbon dioxide, they have a smaller effect on the air quality of the cities. 

But cars pollute at ground level right in the middle of town.

A new paper from the American Geophysical Union reports that a solution lies in electric cars. According to the report, large-scale use of battery-powered electric vehicles could solve the problem. 

They based findings on a number of simulations during Jan. 2013. During this month, heavy smog swallowed up China’s east coast. It hospitalized millions and killed 32,000.



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Neil Ryan