Special Reports
China's Pollution from Above

All of Nature.com
September 1, 2005

The rapid expansion of the Chinese economy is making its mark on the
environment. Atmospheric pollution due to the release of nitrogen oxides from
fossil fuel and biomass burning is expected to decrease in most industrialized
countries but in some parts of the world rapid economic development could have
the opposite effect. Satellite observations over the period 19962004 now
provide confirmation of these predictions.

Across parts of Europe and North America there have been dramatic
reductions in nitrogen oxide concentrations in
the lower atmosphere (the troposphere). But there was a significant increase of
about 50% with an accelerating trend in annual growth rate over the
industrial areas of China; this is much larger than predictions made based on
emission inventories.


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