East Asian emissions pollute North America

Nearly 15% of air pollution over the western United States and Canada originates in east Asia, according to NASA researchers using the latest, most accurate satellite sensors.

The study is the first measurement-based estimate of the amount of pollution from east Asian forest fires, urban exhaust, and industrial
production, the Environment News Service said. The pollution makes its way eastwards in as little time as one week.

"[Fifteen percent] is a significant percentage at a time when the US is trying to decrease pollution emissions to boost overall air quality," Hongbin Yu, the study’s co-author, was quoted as saying.

But Yu also noted that the matter of pollution transport is global.

"Our study focused on east Asian pollution transport, but pollution also flows from Europe, North America, the broader Asian region and elsewhere, across bodies of water and land, to neighboring areas and beyond," Yu said. "So we should not simply blame east Asia for this
amount of pollution flowing into North America."

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