Tuesday, 22 October 2013

“Airpocalypse” in China

"Airpocalypse" is a new word to me and a very fine one at that.  It comes from a good post on ChinaFile.

The continued and increasing use of coal, nitrogen fertilisers and traffic fumes are to blame.  Any solution is a long way off. 

A good read.

Why’s China’s Smog Crisis Still Burning So Hot? [ChinaFile]

 On Sunday, the start of the winter heating season in northern China brought the “airpocalypse” back with a vengeance.

Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province and home to 11 million people, registered fine particulate (PM2.5) pollution levels beyond 500, the top of the scale on the Chinese Air Quality Index, a level which is considered hazardous to human health. Measurements in some parts of the city reached 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter. As a result, authorities forced primary and middle school closures and the shutdown of the airport and local highways.

By contrast, Los Angeles, where I am now based and which typically has some of the worst air quality in the U.S., had U.S. Environmental Protection Agency AQI levels for PM2.5 between 48 and 108.

China’s severe air pollution problems and the high cost to human health, economic productivity, and quality of life by now are well known. The question is whether Chinese leaders are prepared to do what it takes to solve the problem, and, if their stated resolve is genuine, will they have the ability to implement?

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