Atmospheric brown clouds -- clusters of soot, particles and chemicals nearly 2 miles thick and stretching from the Persian Gulf to Asia -- threaten health and food supplies in the world, the U.N. Environment Program reported Thursday.
The huge plumes have darkened 13 megacities in Asia -- including Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok, Cairo, Mumbai and New Delhi -- sharply "dimming" the amount of light by as much as 25 percent in some places. The brown clouds also play a significant role in exacerbating the effects of greenhouse gases in warming up Earth's atmosphere, the report said. - Orlando Sentinel