People, Environment

Air Pollution Making China Hot

Air Pollution Making  China HotAir Pollution Making  China Hot

Aside from endangering people’s health, China’s notorious air pollution is making the country’s cities hotter. Researchers have found evidence that the pollution engulfing China’s cities enhances the warming effect of cityscapes, raising the temperature by 1°C.  Writing in Nature Communications, they say it’s not the bigger cities that suffer the most, but those with the worst of a certain type of air pollution, Quartz reported. Cities tend to be hotter than countryside areas because of the Urban Heat Island effect—the density of buildings and the materials they are built out of absorb heat and radiation from the sun extremely well, but don’t readily release it at night, keeping the area warmer for longer. China’s cities are often covered in a haze that comes from the vehicles, factories and coal-fired power plants that have driven China’s industrial development, which in turns has triggered a mass migration of citizens from rural areas into cities in search of work. The pollution regularly manifests as a suffocating smog that can engulf major cities for days. Researchers say cleaning up China’s air has a “co-benefit”: It can help improve human health, but also helps cool the local climate.