Feeds

China in the grip of a 'NUCLEAR WINTER': Smog threat to crops

Starvation fears as air pollution chokes plants ahead of harvest

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The heavy air pollution gripping China has become so severe that experts fear crops in the region will be unable to grow properly this season.

The South China Morning Post cites research from China Agricultural University in reporting that the air pollution which has settled over Beijing in recent months has blocked out so much sunlight that photosynthesis in plants is being slowed.

It's feared crop production in China will suffer this year as the pollution chokes plants that should otherwise be thriving.

As such, the researchers fear that much of China's farmland will see crops wither or poorly develop into the spring and summer growing seasons, putting strain on the nation's food supply and driving up prices.

"A large number of representatives of agricultural companies have suddenly showed up at academic meetings on photosynthesis in recent months and sought desperately for solutions," He Dongxian, an associate professor with China Agricultural University's College of Water Resources and Civil Engineering, told the morning newspaper.

The pollution is reportedly* so heavy that the effects on agriculture are being likened to a nuclear winter; the theoretical condition which would arise when massive nuclear bombing blows debris into the atmosphere, preventing sunlight from reaching the surface.

Smog levels have climbed to epic proportions in many of China's largest cities in recent months. Last October, pollution levels in Northeastern China were recorded at 4,000 times the WHO's recommended safe exposure level. ®

* The South China Morning Post quoted an academic likening the pollution to a nuclear fallout, but that phrase has since mysteriously disappeared from the report. However, it's still in the Post's URL: "china-smog-threatens-agriculture-nuclear-fallout-conditions-warn."

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.