Cross-Border Pollution an Increasing Problem

Pollution from Asia can taint the air along the West Coast of the U.S., said scientists on Friday at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Jet streams can drive dirty air across the Pacific Ocean in a matter of days, markedly increasing levels of ozone and particulate matter in areas of the West Coast. Likewise, Europe is now increasingly faced with “transpollution” that blows in from North America. And in Miami, air-quality standards are breached several times each summer because of dust blowing across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa, where a prolonged drought has created dust-bowl conditions in the Sahel region. Ironically, say some scientists, those dry conditions may be a consequence of global warming, which is being fueled primarily by greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S. and other industrialized countries.