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Posted Sun Mar 21 2010: from
Sandstorms blanket Beijing in yellow dust
Beijingers woke up Saturday to find the Chinese capital blanketed in yellow dust, as a sandstorm caused by a severe drought in the north and in Mongolia swept into the city. The storm, which earlier buffeted parts of northeastern China, brought strong winds and cut visibility in the capital. Authorities issued a rare level five pollution warning, signalling hazardous conditions, and urged residents to stay indoors.... Scientists blame a combination of deforestation and prolonged drought in northern China for the phenomenon.... In the southwest of the country, drought has left 16 million people with a shortage of drinking water, according to a statement issued by the State Commission of Disaster Relief. Since late last year, the provinces of Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou, have received only half their annual average rainfall, leaving water supplies severely depleted.
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'Doc Michael says:
Deforestation is just part of natural variation. There's nothing *we* can do.

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