The Mounting Environmental Crisis In China

Global concerns have grown steadily over China’s increasingly perilous environmental problems. A country with as many people as every Western power combined, China has muscled itself into international relevance by becoming the world’s biggest exporter. But its meteoric economic rise has sunk China chin-deep into an environmental crisis that is not only the result of its recent prosperity, but appears built into it. Little evidence suggests that it will get better before it gets worse.

The Environmental Crisis In China: Unbreathable Air

Like America, China’s primary source of power comes from coal and both countries’ dependence on the hard stuff is politically and economically entrenched. China’s coal use is far and away its biggest problem when it comes to the environment, and moving on to cleaner resources will be about as difficult as switching methadone for Motrin. Government energy experts estimate that China’s primary energy source will be coal for at least the next three decades. At the same time, a million cars are added to Chinese roads every year, adding to the greenhouses gases warming the planet.

Just last month, the American Embassy in Beijing made headlines when the city’s evening Air Quality Index (AQI) measured a suffocating 775. The international scale stops at 500. To put that into perspective, at the same time Beijing reached an AQI of 775, New York City’s AQI was 19. Most American cities never top 100, with the worst offenders never breaking 200.

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The Red River

Taken in Sudbury, Ontario, this stunning photograph captures the Red River of Canada:

Red River Photograph

This phenomena is the result of a nearby nickel factory, where the excess iron seeps into the water and produces the deep red color.

The World’s 6 Most Bizarre Landscapes

Most of the time Mother Nature can be pretty boring: a hill here, a tree grove there, the occasional berry patch. Every once in a while the natural processes at work can meet at bizarre angles, forming landscapes that bewilder and beguile — Mother Nature’s believe-it-or-nots. With no further ado, we present the six most bizarre landscapes:

The World’s Most Bizarre Landscapes: Rio Tinto River, Spain

Rio Tinto River Bizarre Landscapes

The blood-red waters of the Rio Tinto River run through the mountainous terrain of Andalusia. The highly acidic, poisonous river – tainted by iron dissolved in the water – is the culmination of thousands of years of human mining.

Cappadocia, Turkey

World's Most Bizarre Landscapes Cappadocia Turkey Photograph

The sprawling region of Cappadocia is a unique maze of natural and man-made marvels. It was formed thousands of years ago by erupting volcanoes blanketing the valley, and fierce winds and rain shaping the surrounding rocks. Over time, inhabitants carved caves, houses and churches into the rocks, establishing the culturally, visually and historically rich region Cappadocia is today.

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