The full moon illuminates Yuyuan gardens in Shanghai, China. Eventually a 'fake' moon could light up Chengdu — a city in China's Sichuan province. Lucas Schifres/Contributor/Getty Images There's a fake moon on the rise. A Chinese space contractor recently announced that it plans to launch a satellite designed to unleash artificial moonlight in the year 2020. The contraption is intended to act as a streetlight supplement; once in orbit, it'll use reflective material to provide the residents of Chengdu — a city in China's Sichuan province — with extra illumination at nighttime. Critics of the project worry about its environmental impact, but advocates say the satellite (and others like it) should reduce electricity costs down on Earth, saving Chengdu's government the equivalent of $173 million per year. Of course, that's assuming the device works as advertised. To make sure its deployment goes smoothly, plans have been made to rigorously test the satellite before … [Read more...] about Is China Launching Fake Moon a Bright Idea?
More than a million people die every year in China due to poor air quality. Kevin Frayer/Getty Images Air pollution is responsible for 5.5 million premature deaths around the world each year, according to research just released. Both outdoor and household air pollution contribute to the deaths, the new international research concluded. More than half of those deaths happen in China and India, the world's two most populous countries, and two of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Collectively the populations of China and India comprise only about 36 percent of the world's 7.4 billion people, but 55 percent of the pollution-related deaths in the world, meaning people living in those rapidly industrializing countries are at a higher risk of than many other nations. The impact of air pollution on the human body manifests in many ways. Cardiovascular disease accounts for most deaths, while lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and respiratory infections are … [Read more...] about Air Pollution Kills 5.5 Million Per Year, Half in China and India Alone
This reconstruction image shows the species Hamipterus tianshanensis according to the discoveries in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region where more than 200 preserved eggs of pterosaurs were discovered. Illustration by Zhao Chuang Flight is a hard thing to master. The vast majority of vertebrates can walk, swim or do both. But in the history of life on this planet, only three groups of backboned animals have ever evolved the ability to fly. Early bats acquired this skill roughly 52 million years ago. Feathered dinosaurs began to experiment with flight back in the Jurassic period. Incidentally, you probably know today's winged dinos as "birds." Yet while birds and bats are still around, the animals that first pioneered vertebrate flight are long gone. That's because 228 million years ago, a flying clade of reptiles evolved. These were the pterosaurs. Though Hollywood often mislabels them as dinosaurs, they actually represented a separate, contemporaneous group. Flying … [Read more...] about Huge Cache of Pterosaur Eggs Discovered in China
China's Great Flood May No Longer Be Just a Myth HowStuffWorks Tales of the Great Flood permeate human culture, but do they stem from actual geological cataclysms, or are they as fanciful as the many magical feats and figures that factor into their telling? For at least one of those myths, it's the former. A new study published in the journal Science provides geologic evidence for China's most important flood myth: Yu and the Great Flood. The myth concerns a devastating flood, a father's doomed efforts to stop it through the theft of divine soil and his son's eventual victory over the deluge through the construction of drainage channels. Various versions of the myth resound with magic, but it ultimately comes down to real-world water management — and the victorious son is none other than Yu the Great, who capitalized on his flood-draining prowess to found China's Xia dynasty. The Xia dynasty is the first in traditional Chinese history, an ancient time of legendary heroes that … [Read more...] about China’s Great Flood May No Longer Be Just a Myth
Downpours didn't snuff out the torch during the opening ceremony of Beijing's 2008 Olympic Games. Was it a matter of good luck or even better science? See more weather pictures. Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images In the lead-up to the 2008 Summer Olympics, the People's Republic of China garnered a lot of press for all its housecleaning efforts. The country made strides toward cleaning up pollution, revamping public transportation and generally tidying up the city of Beijing. After all, the event promised to be the biggest party of the year, with the entire world invited to tune in. Authorities deterred potential party crashers by making it harder to visit the city and, yes, even requiring the visiting Luchadores to carry permits for their trademark Mexican wrestling masks. If you've ever thrown a party, you too may have fretted over every detail concerning the evening. Will the guests think you're cheap if you don't use … [Read more...] about Can China control the weather?