A heavy reddish haze is a regular feature of the Arctic in winter and early spring, often reducing visibility to less than 6 miles (about 10 kilometres). A haze so far from the industries and vehicles that pollute the air of major cities seems to require a wholly natural explanation, but evidence has begun to accumulate that a part of the arctic haze may have its origins 6,000 miles (10,000 kilometres) away in the same polluted air that produces acid rain over the USA and Europe. According to a study undertaken in 1976, it would seem that, due to air flow patterns and other factors, the major source of the pollutants in the arctic haze is the Soviet Union. Europe and England are the next largest sources of the pollution. North American countries contribute little because of air flow patterns.
Air pollution threatens an area of the Arctic equal in size to the North American continent, jeopardizing the fragile Arctic ecosystem. Pollutants are carries north by dry air masses from industrial areas, and in winter there is no precipitation to remove them from the atmosphere. Increasing pollution may affect not only Arctic life forms, but also global climate patterns. The pollution extends from Alaska eastward to Norway - about half of the circumference of the polar ice cap - and is suspended from ground level to as high as 25,000 feet from November through April.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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