Smog in Asia and Middle East tied to fossil fuel combustion

• January 23, 2013
Nitrogen dioxide levels across the Middle East and Asia: NASA, 2013

Nitrogen dioxide levels across the Middle East and Asia: NASA, 2013

Smog continues to plague areas in Asia and the Middle East, as shown in NASA measurements of nitrogen dioxide across the region.  Poor air quality in these areas is being intensified by winter weather conditions that trap pollutants at ground level.

Because nitrogen dioxide is a pollutant from fossil fuel combustion, NASA researchers consider it a good indicator of the presence of other harmful air pollutants.  Reducing dangerous levels of air pollution in cities will involve the reduced use of fossil fuels, which also produce greenhouse gases.

Many parts of China are also struggling with bad air quality this winter, including Beijing, just like last year, and most of the time. Things are so bad that the government there is mandating rolling shutdowns of factories to try to reduce the smog.

Read more: Treehugger>>

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