Friday, November 14, 2008

Gaia and The DeadlyCloud

drawings by marguerita- all rights reserved-(excerpts of a unpublished book What is Going to be Eh?- story and drawings by marguerita- 1976.
BEIJING — A noxious cocktail of soot, smog and toxic chemicals is blotting out the sun, fouling the lungs of millions of people and altering weather patterns in large parts of Asia, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations.
The byproduct of automobiles, slash-and-burn agriculture, cooking on dung or wood fires and coal-fired power plants, these plumes rise over southern Africa, the Amazon basin and North America.
But they are most pronounced in Asia, where so-called atmospheric brown clouds are dramatically reducing sunlight in many Chinese cities and leading to decreased crop yields in swaths of rural India, say a team of more than a dozen scientists who have been studying the problem since 2002.
The report
was issued on a day when Beijing’s own famously polluted skies were unusually clear.
For those who breathe the toxic mix, the impact can be deadly.
“We used to think of this brown cloud as a regional problem, but now we realize its impact is much greater,” said Veerabhadran Ramanathan, who led the United Nations scientific panel. “When we see the smog one day and not the next, it just means it’s blown somewhere else.”
.U.N. Reports Pollution Threat in Asia -

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