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Old 01-02-2017, 03:12 AM   #1
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Default China starts 2017 engulfed by smog, issues pollution alerts

BEIJING — Beijing and other cities across northern and central China were shrouded in thick smog Monday, prompting authorities to delay dozens of flights and close highways.

China starts 2017 engulfed by smog, issues pollution alerts
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Old 01-29-2017, 12:42 AM   #2
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Granny says, "Dat's right - it's all dem fireworks an' cookstoves muckin' up the air...

Beijing urges residents to avoid fireworks on Lunar New Year over smog concerns
Jan. 27, 2017 -- The government in Beijing has urged residents to refrain from using fireworks for the Chinese New Year, formally known as the Lunar New Year, over smog concerns.
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Fireworks are considered essential to Lunar New Year festivities. Beijing's decision comes after Henan province banned citizens from using fireworks. The Lunar New Year is also known as the Spring Festival, which begins Saturday. The color red is central to the festivities. It symbolizes fire, which can drive away bad luck. Fireworks are used in the hope of scaring away the monster "Nian," a half-dragon, half-lion beast said to come out of hiding and attack people, especially children, during the festival.

A long time ago, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on the Lunar New Year. According to the legend, he designated a year to each of the 12 that arrived and said that people born on those years would share some of that animal's personalty.


Though an annual tradition, Beijing's government urged the entire capital city to observe a "green and environmentally-protective new year". "Let us enthusiastically take action by not setting off, or setting off fewer, fireworks and firecrackers, and allow Beijing to have a bluer sky, fresher air and a more beautiful and safer environment this Spring Festival," a Beijing government statement said.

The Beijing government approved 511 fireworks stalls this year, compared to 719 last year, and fireworks sales have been poor. "I don't want any myself, but my son insists. He likes the sparklers," a woman told the China Daily. "It's not convenient for us to set off big fireworks as we're not allowed to do so until Lunar New Year's Eve, and there are many restrictions on where you can use them. Also, the smoke they produce pollutes the air." The Chinese New Year will be the year 4714: The Year of the Rooster.

Beijing urges residents to avoid fireworks on Lunar New Year over smog concerns - UPI.com
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Scientists Investigate Cookstoves as Source of Global Pollution
January 26, 2017 - A new study finds that cookstoves, used for cooking and heating inside homes in many developing countries, contribute to outdoor air pollution and have a significant impact on climate change.
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An estimated 40 percent of the global population use cookstoves that burn solid fuels such as wood. Most studies of cookstoves focus on the health impacts in and around homes where they are used. Those reports show that up to a half-million people are thought to die every year as a result of inhaling fine particulate matter and soot emitted by cookstoves into outdoor air. Now, a new study looks at the air quality and climate impacts of cookstoves on a global scale.


A woman in India is uses a cookstove that produces less smoke for burning wood or any other fuel.

Scientists at the University of Colorado in Boulder and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, used satellites owned by the U.S. space agency NASA, along with supercomputers that modeled cookstove pollution country by country. Results showed that cookstoves used in Baltic countries like Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Kazakhstan had an enormous impact on climate change, according to Forrest Lacey, co-author of the study, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "In general, it's more of the northern latitude countries,” Lacey said. “So that's why we're seeing like the central Asian countries and Ukraine or Romania, because they actually get a lot of transport on the snow of black carbon, which has an amplified warming impact."

Impact on Arctic

Some of these carbon deposits can blow as far north as the Arctic, which is experiencing the greatest climate impact caused by greenhouse gases. The use of cookstoves in populous countries like India and China also has a huge impact on climate change because of the sheer numbers of stoves that are used. But reducing the use of cookstoves in the Baltics, said the authors, would have the greatest benefit in terms of improving climate and air quality.

NGOs hope to distribute millions of clean stoves around the world this year, according to Lacey, making a sizeable dent in the estimated 100 million cookstoves that are used globally. Not only would a large-scale reduction in solid fuel cookstoves improve local air quality, said the authors, it would benefit the global climate, too.

Scientists Investigate Cookstoves as Source of Global Pollution
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