Published on 24 Apr 2023

Is air quality in Asia getting worse?


A slew of extreme weather events have hit Asian countries of late, including heat waves across countries like India and Singapore, as well as the yellow dust filled skies over East Asia as sandstorms sweep through China. How much of what we’re seeing can be attributed to climate change and will conditions worsen in the upcoming months? Associate Professor Steve Yim from NTU Singapore’s Asian School of the Environment said when it comes to climate change, there’s about a 0.2 to 0.3 degree increase per decade as a mean and there’s extreme episodes – like a heatwave of over three days, caused by drier environment due to conditions such as El Nino. As climate change intensifies, when heatwaves happen, individuals can avoid or reduce outdoor activities, as heat exhaustion and heat stroke could occur for vulnerable people. Air pollution experienced in the last two weeks is due to the air sinking from the higher levels to the lower levels, suppressing rainfall and causing warmer weather.

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