China and Climate Change:
China is very attentive to the climate change factor. As of today, they are the world’s leader in putting carbon dioxide into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Why is that a problem?
Excessive CO2 in the atmosphere means more particles in our air (elements…remember high school) and the more elements you have, the more heat can attach to (in a very rudimentary way) and if heat can “cling” to more in the atmosphere, then we now have a hotter climate overall.
Greenhouse emissions of all types do exactly this. The sun shines on the Earth no matter what. As it travels to the Earth’s surface it passes through trillions of particles all that soak up some of the radiation and consume a small portion of that energy.
If you have a lot of particulates in the air, that is a lot of particles that are absorbing the heat from the solar radiation….and therefore a lot of air is heated more than normal.
Pollution in China increases as China has industrialized which results in a larger problem with environmental and health problems.
With 16 of the most polluted cities in the world located in China, it is no wonder that there is pollution in other areas (besides air) as well.
Pollution on the coast is getting out of control and run rampant by algal blooms. As a matter of a fact the world’s larger collection of algae in history was recorded in the Yellow Sea in China and could be seen from space!!! Algal blooms decrease habitat quality and cause decline in coastal environments that they overrule.
The fact that more Chinese citizens are becoming more affluent does not help either as this has caused in influx in new car ownership which increases emissions.
Population Pollution is controlled with the one-child policy in China, however, it is not slowing down the population enough to help control the pollutants that come with such large amounts of growth.
What about Energy Efficiency?
Energy efficiency in China seems to be improving somewhat, however there is a battle between keeping energy efficient programs and growing out industry at the same time.
Steel factories in China use more energy than most on average and many chinese buildings pre existing have very little thermal insulation and use twice as much energy as their European and US counterparts.
It has been reported that over 95% of new buildings also do not meet China’s energy efficiency regulations.
With statistics like this, it seems like China has a huge challenge ahead of them that is not ending any time soon.