• China-India Smog Rivalry A Sign Of Global Menace

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    Air pollution kills around 7 million people every year, accounting for one in eight deaths worldwide, according to a report from the World Heath Organization (WHO) released March 25. Thankfully, the problem is getting more media attention.

    Images of Beijing’s “Airpocalypse” were a staple of news coverage in 2013, and when pollution levels soared in New Delhi earlier this year a journalistic frenzy ensued, with dozens are articles asking whether China or India had the smoggiest capital city (see infographic at bottom). It’s reassuring to see New Delhi’s pollution finally getting noticed since Being has tended to grab most of the headlines. Beyond diplomatic one-upmanship, however, the rivalry is trivial.

    According to the 2014 edition of our Environmental Performance Index (EPI), a biennial ranking of countries produced by Yale and Columbia universities, India and China both tie for dead last in terms of populations affected by poor air quality. Nearly the entire population of both countries is exposed to harmful particulate matter …

    Chemical reactions involving air pollutants can create acidic compounds which can cause harm to vegetation and buildings. Sometimes, when an air pollutant, such as sulfuric acid combines with the water droplets that make up clouds, the water droplets become acidic, forming acid rain. When acid rain falls over an area, it can kill trees and harm animals, fish, and other wildlife.

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