Smog effects should be highlighted in China
Smog brings notable negative effects to the climate, environment, health and economy, according to a new report calling for greater attention to the problem and effective measures to control it.
Citing historical data analysis, the Annual Report on Actions to Address Climate Change 2013, which was released Monday by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that China has seen smog with increasing frequency and duration over the past 50 years.
The report noted that smoggy days have increased, particularly in the Yangtze River Delta, a key economic region encompassing Shanghai and parts of Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, as well as in southern Guangdong's Zhujiang River Delta, which is adjacent to Hong Kong and Macao.
Cities across the nation have observed an average of 4.7 smog-affected days so far this year, nearly double the average smoggy days over the same period of previous years and also the highest number since 1961.
The report stressed that increased air pollutants caused by growing social consumption of fossil fuels were the main cause of the worsening smog, adding that photochemical pollution and cooking and vehicle emissions also contributed to the phenomenon.
According to the report, more frequent smoggy weather is likely to induce extreme climate incidents, hinder air, water and land traffic due to low visibility, affect lung functions and the human immune system, and lead to more deaths and severe chronic diseases. Pollutants in smog also proved to have effects on human reproductive system.
"Huge economic costs are lurking behind all these influences," said the report.
While encouraging China to draw experiences from other countries, the report stressed that the country must map out a plan to combat air pollution based on its own situation and conditions.
"Addressing air pollution and reducing smog requires long-term attention and actions from all walks of life," the report added.