Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Massive pollution in Yangtze river can be reversed: scientists

by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) Nov 2, 2007
Swiss and Chinese scientists have found that pollution in China's 6,300 kilometre-long (3,915 mile-long) Yangtze river is "enormous" but still reversible, Switzerland's development agency said Friday.

The results of a joint water quality survey of the world's third largest river, which is also considered one of its most polluted, were "less alarming than expected," the Swiss Development and Cooperation agency (SDC) said in a statement.

"The ecosystem of the Yangtze can be saved if China intensifies its activities in water protection now," said survey organiser August Pfluger.

The scientists urged Chinese authorities to take protective measures similar to those taken in Europe in recent years, especially with the prospect of further pressure on the river from China's booming economy.

Apart from industry, about one-seventh of the world's population -- 400 million people -- who live along the Yangtze's banks pour 25 billion tonnes of waste into the river every year, the study said.

Agriculture is another main source of pollution. An "excessive amount" of mineral fertilizers ending up in the river have doubled its nitrogen concentrations in 20 years, according to the scientists.

Yet "the water quality of the Yangtze is comparable to that of other large rivers in the world," said geochemist Beat Mueller, the former Swiss head of the joint expedition.

And toxic heavy metal concentrations are two to eight times less than those found 30 years ago in Europe's River Rhine -- which notably crosses major industrial regions in Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland, the SDC said

Still, the relatively low concentrations of heavy metals are mainly due to the enormous flow of water, which helps to dilute them and sweep pollution out to sea.

Each day, 1,500 tonnes of nitrogen and 4.6 tonnes of arsenic wash up along the Chinese coast, feeding the growth of blue-green algae and starving coastal waters of life-supporting oxygen, the SDC said.

That pollution also finds its way into fish eaten in Chinese homes, it said.

Presided by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, the Yangtze expedition brought together for several years researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology and the Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

US Faces Burning Emissions Issue
Boulder CO (SPX) Nov 02, 2007
Severe United States wildfires can contribute as much as vehicles to carbon emissions in some US states, although the amount is highly variable. New research published in the online open access journal Carbon Balance and Management quantifies these emissions and suggests fires will complicate emissions monitoring and modelling efforts.

  • Hungry Mexico flood victims turn to looting
  • Northrop Grumman Wins Two Contracts For AN/APN-241 Radar Program
  • Triage Study Challenges Notions of Emergency Medical Response To Disaster
  • New Computer Architecture Aids Emergency Response

  • Drought in southeast US fuels battle over water resources
  • Climate controversy heats up Australian election
  • Like It Or Not, Uncertainty And Climate Change Go Hand-In-Hand
  • White House defends 'health benefits' of climate change

  • NASA Data May Help Improve Estimates Of A Hurricane's Punch
  • DMCii Satellite Imaging Helps Dramatically Reduce Deforestation Of Amazon Basin
  • NASA Views Southern California Fires And Winds
  • A Roadmap For Calibration And Validation

  • PetroChina to debut Monday in Shanghai
  • Industry welcomes fuel price hikes in China, but tensions remain
  • CSIRO And Queensland Government To Workshop Smart Exploration Techniques
  • Green500 List To Put Supercomputing On A Diet

  • Deadly HIV-TB co-epidemic sweeps sub-Saharan Africa: report
  • Northwestern Exposing Most Deadly Infectious Diseases In 3D
  • Staph-Killing Properties Of Clay Investigated
  • AIDS stunting southern Africa's prospects: Malawi president

  • Divers Find New Species In Aleutians
  • Flying Lemurs Are The Closest Relatives Of Primates
  • Could Hairy Roots Become Biofactories
  • Dead Clams Tell Many Tales

  • Cairo tries to escape life under a black cloud
  • Massive pollution in Yangtze river can be reversed: scientists
  • US Faces Burning Emissions Issue
  • Birth defects soar in polluted China

  • Research Project May Revolutionize Apparel Industry
  • World Toilet Summit opens in India
  • Europeans face mob anger over child 'abductions' in Chad
  • India's toilet champion sees human liberation in loos for all

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement