Haze Problem in China Research Paper

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Haze in China

Pollution has become a major issue across the globe given the devastating impacts of human activities, particularly industrial processes, on the Earth’s Atmosphere. Environmental pollution is regarded as one of the major causes of global warming or climate change, which has negative impacts on the Earth’s ecosystems. China is one of the countries affected by environmental effects associated with human activities and industrial/manufacturing processes. The country has been struggling with haze and fog since 2013, which have generated public anxiety and official concerns. Regional haze is regarded as one of the most devastating weather events in China over the past few years. Even though haze can emerge from natural causes, it is largely man-made, especially due to coal emission, huge coal incineration, and winter heating. This paper examines haze in China in relation to its devastating impacts with a view of identifying the most suitable approach for resolving this environmental concern.

Background Information on the Issue

Haze is one of the forms of air pollution that can be caused by natural or man-made factors. Haze is defined as a weather phenomenon with a horizontal visibility below 10km because of dense accumulation of fine particular matter (An et al., 2013). China has struggled with haze and other forms of air pollution since 2013. While natural factors play a role in the emergence of haze, the situation in China is largely attributable to man-made factors. An et al. (2019) contends that China has been characterized with rapid urbanization and industrialization over the past few decades. Industrialization and urbanization have contributed to massive air pollution across the country, which has in turn caused haze and fog. Haze pollution in China over the past few decades is linked to industrial and urbanization activities that are centered on establishing China as the world’s largest developed country and one of the key global economic players.

Song et al. (2019) suggests that the severity of haze pollution in China is evident in the various haze episodes that take place in Beijing and across the North China Plain. These episodes are frequent during winter and pose significant threats to public health.
In concurrence, Mao et al. (2018) states that the fine particles associated with haze pose significant public health threats since they contain toxic substances that can affect circulatory and respiratory systems. Since haze affects horizontal visibility, it has the potential to generate ground and air traffic hazards. According to Mao et al. (2018), Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Sichuan Basin, and Pearl River Delta are among the major polluted regions in China. Apart from industrialization/urbanization processes, haze in China has been fueled by global warming. Existing reports suggest that haze in China is attributable to the substantial adverse effects of global warming in the country. This is supported by the weakening seasonal and winter mean surface winds as well as significant increase in global temperature.

Problem Statement

Existing evidence and literature demonstrates that haze has been a major environmental concern and public anxiety issue in China since 2013. This situation is fueled by two major factors i.e. he devastating impacts of global warming and industrialization/urbanization activities in China. An analysis of existing evidence shows that industrialization or urbanization processes are the major influential factors on the issue of haze in China. China continues to increase its industrialization and urbanization activities as its seeks to position herself as the next world superpower. These efforts and other economic activities in China have had significant negative impacts on the environment and generated public health concerns across the country. This begs the question on whether China should reduce its economic activities, particularly industrialization or urbanization processes in order to deal with the problem of haze. In essence, is the reduction of economic activities like industrialization/urbanization processes the cure to the problem of haze in China?

Potential Solutions to the Issue

As shown in the previous segment, the major issue that this paper seeks to address is whether reduction of economic activities in China would help cure the problem of haze. This issue has been established on the premise that existing evidence shows that the problem of haze in China is attributable to rapid industrialization or urbanization (An et al., 2019). The issue of haze pollution has drawn the attention of the Chinese public as well as scholars, experts,….....

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An et al. (2019, April 15). Severe Haze in Northern China: A Synergy of Anthropogenic Emissions and Atmospheric Processes. Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences of the United States of America, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1900125116

Li, M. & Zhang, L. (2014, June). Haze in China: Current and Future Challenges. Environmental Pollution, 189, 85-86.

Mao, L., Liu, R., Liao, W., Wang, X., Shao, M., Liu, S.C. & Zhang, Y. (2018, October 17). An Observation-based Perspective of Winter Haze Days in Four Major Polluted Regions of China. National Science Review, 118, 1-9.

Song et al. (2019). Possible Heterogeneous Chemistry of Hydroxymethanesulfonate (HMS) in Northern China Winter Haze. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 19, 1357-1371.

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