Monday, May 4, 2015Monday, May 4, 2015

Air pollution boosts north-west Pacific cyclones: Study

Published on Jan 22, 2014 6:08 AM

PARIS (AFP) - Surging air pollution from China and other fast-growing Asian economies has intensified winter cyclones in the north-west Pacific, scientists said on Tuesday.

Winter cyclones in latitudes including north-western China, Korea and Japan have packed stronger winds and more rain as a result of rising levels of particulate pollution, they said.

The dusty fallout affects how moisture develops in clouds and how heat is distributed in storm systems, said Yuan Wang of the prestigious Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.

"The significant change of the Pacific storm intensity was estimated to start in the middle of the 1990s," Wang told Agence France-Presse by email. "(This was) when industrial plants, power plants and automobiles produced huge amounts of air pollutants, along with the booming economy, in many Asian countries like China."

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!