Asian Monsoon Spreads Pollution

From CBC News:

Air pollution from Asia, India and Indonesia is transported into the global stratosphere by the summer monsoon season, a study using a Canadian satellite has found.
This map shows concentration of hydrogen cyanide (red is highest, blue is lowest) at an altitude of 16.5 kilometres, measured by the SCISAT-1 satellite during the summer from 2004 to 2009. Arrows show horizontal winds at this level and the circulation associated with the Asian monsoon.

The map shows concentration of hydrogen cyanide (red is highest, blue is lowest) at an altitude of 16.5 kilometres, measured by the SCISAT-1 satellite during the summer from 2004 to 2009. Arrows show horizontal winds at this level and the circulation associated with the Asian monsoon. (Science/AAAS)

Researchers tracked the movement of hydrogen cyanide in the atmosphere using satellites and found the monsoon is an effective way for pollution from Asia to circulate around the world.

Hydrogen cyanide is a pollutant produced in the burning of biofuels and biomass, such as trees and grass. It’s often used to track pollution from wildfires.

The chemical was chosen to determine the role of monsoons in spreading pollution because it remains in the atmosphere for up to four years, but breaks up in chemical reactions over the ocean.

[Read more at CBC News]

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