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Wind Blowing China Pollution to U.S. West Coast

Wind is blowing China’s air pollution over and across the Pacific and into the United States–and the West Coast is receiving the brunt of its smoggy emissions.  

“As a manner of speaking, China is exporting its air pollution to the West Coast of America,” said Willem Verstraeten of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, lead researcher of recently published study on the issue. “Dominant westerly winds blew this air pollution straight across to the United States,” Verstraeten said.

According to Business Insider, the study published in the journal Nature Geoscience was conducted by a team of six Dutch and American researchers. It found that ozone,or O3, concentrations over China increased by about 7% between 2005 and 2010–and that the migrating ozone directly challenged America’s reduction of those levels as a result.

Although industrial ozone is not directly emitted itself, it is a biproduct or secondary pollutant resulting from chemical reactions in the earth’s lower atmosphere.

Despite the U.S. government’s implementation of emission-reducing measures, and efforts to curb the production of ozone-forming nitrogen oxides by 20% on the West Coast, the quality of air did not improve, Business Insider notes. 

Transnational pollution from India is also reportedly an issue as it also gets blown into China’s southern provinces.

The scientists stressed international cooperation to combat pollution resulting from ozone emissions.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz and on Facebook.

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