Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα smog. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα smog. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Παρασκευή, Ιανουαρίου 23, 2015

Beijing: Pollution goals missed

Beijing closed or removed 392 polluting factories in 2014, according to the municipal people's congress, which opened on Friday.

A total of 30 industrial relief and cooperation platforms and 53 related programs were launched to pull the polluting companies out of Beijing in the past year, mayor of Beijing Wang Anshun said in a government work report.

Another 300 factories are expected to be closed in 2015. 

Although efforts have been taken in 2014, Beijing failed to meet a key pollution reduction target last year with annual average density of PM2.5 down 4 percent, less than the 5 percent target, Wang said.

  Source: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
23- 24/1/15
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Πέμπτη, Ιανουαρίου 22, 2015

China's air quality dire but improving (Greenpeace)

The skies of China's notoriously smog-filled cities saw a marginal amelioration last year, according to figures released by Greenpeace Thursday (Jan 22), but pollution remained far above national and international standards...
    
China's cities are often hit by heavy pollution, blamed on coal-burning by power stations and industry, as well as vehicle use, and it has become a major source of discontent with the ruling Communist Party. Retired senior officials have acknowledged that it may kill as many as half a million people a year.
    
Levels of PM2.5 - airborne particulates with a diameter small enough to deeply penetrate the lungs - fell year-on-year in 71 of the 74 cities monitored by the ministry of environmental protection, the figures showed.
    
But in China's most polluted city, Xingtai, they still averaged 131.4 microgrammes per cubic metre. In Beijing, they were 83.2 microgrammes per cubic metre, and 52.2 in Shanghai, the country's financial centre. By comparison, New York's PM2.5 level averaged 11.2 last year and Tokyo's was 15.8 for the fiscal year ending in March 2014, the most recent figures available.
    
The World Health Organization recommends a maximum average exposure of 25 microgrammes per cubic metre in a 24-hour period, and 10 microgrammes per cubic metre over a year. China's own standard is 35 microgrammes per cubic metre over a year.
    
The statistics released by Greenpeace were based on official data from China's ministry of environmental protection. It makes current levels available online but does not publicly release historical data or averages. The figures were compiled by Fresh-Ideas Studio, the operator of a popular pollution monitoring app.
    
The numbers showed that Xingtai, in the northern province of Hebei, enjoyed a 15.3 per cent improvement, with Beijing levels falling 7.7 per cent and Shanghai dropping 14.0 per cent. Xian, home to the Terracotta Warriors, saw the most dramatic decline at more than 27 per cent.
    
But despite the drops none of the 74 cities achieved the WHO recommended annual mark, with the least polluted, Haikou on the island of Hainan, averaging 22.4.
    
A TOUCH OF SMOG

The environmental campaign group also released a short film on the subject by renowned director Jia Zhangke, whose award-winning 2013 movie A Touch of Sin was denied a Chinese release by the country's censors.
    
Smog Journeys tells the story of two families, one in China's coal belt and the other in Beijing, showing how neither wealth nor education can defend against smog. It closes with a child in Beijing drawing pictures on dust-covered cars of a world he hopes to live in, complete with a radiant sun.
    
"The character setting is meant to point out that no one gets to be different when it comes to smog," Jia said in an interview posted by Greenpeace on YouTube. "One thing that fascinated and shocked me the most was the fact that even on smoggy days, people still live their lives as usual."
    
Public discontent about the environment has grown in China, leading the government to declare a "war on pollution" and vow to reduce the proportion of energy derived from fossil fuels. But it has shied away from pledging to cut total national coal use.
    
One factor contributing to the decline in parts of northern China is likely to have been the car use restrictions, factory closures and public-sector holidays imposed during a November meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Beijing.
    
The result was stunning skies popularly dubbed "APEC blue" by online commentators mocking their temporary nature, and even Chinese President Xi Jinping himself used the phrase in a speech.
    
Pollution is a perennial issue on Chinese social networks, with users on Thursday poking fun at efforts by officials in the southwestern city of Chongqing to clean up dirty air by banning residents from smoking bacon, a traditional method of preserving pork - the latest scientifically dubious theory about its cause.
    
Environmental activists called for further steps to reduce pollution, cutting coal use and shifting towards renewables.

"Clean air is a basic necessity for healthy living," said Yan Li, Greenpeace East Asia's head of climate and energy. "It's sad if children grow up with more smog than clean air and blue skies, as depicted in Jia's film. Bringing back clean air needs to be a priority and it requires urgent action."
    
In a commentary piece for the Lancet, a leading medical journal, China's former health minister Chen Zhu and environmental officials said "that between 350,000 and 500,000 people die prematurely each year as a result of outdoor air pollution in China".
- AFP/xq

[channelnewsasia.com]
22/1/15
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Πέμπτη, Οκτωβρίου 09, 2014

Severe air pollution hits North China, government issues orange alert

The latest wave of severe air pollution continued to smother China's northern regions including Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and Henan provinces on Thursday, and is likely to last until Saturday. 

The National Meteorological Center (NMC) upgraded northern China's smog alert from yellow to orange on Thursday afternoon. Most northern regions were severely affected. The NMC forecast that Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province will all suffer from dense smog that could bring visibility down to less than 200 meters in some places on Friday, NMC said on its website.



The smog, which first hit Henan Province on Tuesday, was said to be the worst in northern China since July.

According to Beijing's contingency plans, outdoor sport events and school activities should be cancelled while an orange alert is in effect and it is suggested that residents wear masks while outside and wash faces afterwards.

Some cities in Hebei Province, such as Langfang and Handan, began to limit the number of vehicles on the road by prohibiting cars with certain license plate numbers from being driven, in an attempt to curb air pollution.

  • Two thirds of Henan's cities have been shrouded by air pollution for several days this month, and the Department of Environmental Protection of Henan Province attributed the smog to farmers burning straw in their fields, which helps crops grow, the Guangming Daily reported.

However, environmentalists do not buy the explanation offered by Henan's government.

"The occurrence of the smog is by no means an accident," Du Shaozhong, former deputy director of Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, told the Global Times.

China's current industrial production methods that rely heavily on traditional, polluting energy sources and vehicle exhaust fumes should be blamed for causing the smog, Du said.

Du called on the public and government to work together to change the production methods, to supervise emissions and to curb smoke produced by restaurants.

"Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei will never see blue skies if we do not deal with pollution caused by vehicles, burning coal and various industries," Du said.

[By Zhang Hui Source:Global Times]
9-10/10/14
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Τετάρτη, Ιανουαρίου 30, 2013

Air pollution champion: China burns more coal than rest of world combined

China burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has reported. China’s coal use is poised to continue rising, despite the country's rapidly deteriorating environment, experts predicted.
­The latest EIA report revealed that China's coal consumption grew more than 9 percent in 2011, continuing its upward trend for a 12th consecutive year. Since 2000, the country has accounted for more than 80 percent of the global increase in coal use, the EIA reported. China currently accounts for 47 percent of global coal consumption, nearly totaling the rest of the world combined.



Image from eia.gov
Image from eia.gov
­
Coal remains the most widely used energy source in China due to its low cost – the country is the largest user of coal electricity in the world. Along with its own vast coal resources – about 114 billion tons produced as of 2011 according to the World Coal Association – China also imports large quantities of coal, since the country's coal-mining regions are often far from the areas where it is in demand. "The Asian market is the fastest-growing coal market in the world," Brookings Institution energy analyst Charles Ebinger told Mother Jones magazine. 
China's heavy use of coal is believed to be one of the reasons the capital Beijing recently witnessed its worst air pollution in years. For two weeks, Beijing's air was labeled worse than “very unhealthy” and “hazardous.” Authorities have closed 103 factories and taken 30 percent of government vehicles off the roads, but with little effect.
Air pollution in China hit a record high earlier this month: 30 to 45 times above recommended safety levels. Beijing itself became blanketed in a thick, toxic cloud that grounded flights and forced people indoors.
Vehicles drive through the Guomao Bridge on a heavy haze day in Beijing′s central business district January 29, 2013.(Reuters / Jason Lee)
Vehicles drive through the Guomao Bridge on a heavy haze day in Beijing's central business district January 29, 2013.(Reuters / Jason Lee)
The report is the highest-level acknowledgment to date of the hazardous air quality levels across much of China.
"We should take effective measures to speed up the enhancement of our industrial structure, push for energy conservation and build an ecological civilization," Chinese premier Wen Jiabao announced on state television.
However, the measures undertaken by the Chinese government do not include replacing coal production and consumption with more environmentally friendly sources of energy. Rather, the IEA predicted the opposite: Coal consumption will grow not only in China, but also in India and other developing economies, and this trend will prevail until clean energy prices can compete with coal.
Notably, wind power recently surpassed nuclear power production in China, and is now the country’s third-biggest source of electricity, second to hydropower, according to a recent report by the China Wind Energy Association.

.rt.com
30/01/13
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Buildings and cars are pictured on a heavy hazy day during winter in Beijing′s central business district, January 30, 2013.(Reuters / Jason Lee)
Buildings and cars are pictured on a heavy hazy day during winter in Beijing's central business district, January 30, 2013.(Reuters / Jason Lee)
Visitors take pictures on Tiananmen Square during a foggy day in central Beijing, January 29, 2013.(Reuters / China Daily)
Visitors take pictures on Tiananmen Square during a foggy day in central Beijing, January 29, 2013.(Reuters / China Daily)
A combination photograph shows people wearing masks on a heavy haze day during winter in Beijing January 29, 2013.(Reuters / Jason Lee)
A combination photograph shows people wearing masks on a heavy haze day during winter in Beijing January 29, 2013.(Reuters / Jason Lee)

Κυριακή, Ιανουαρίου 13, 2013

Heavy smog shrouds Beijing for 3rd day

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Air pollution in Beijing has reached dangerous levels for a third day. On Sunday, the municipal government issued a warning on its website for PM 2.5 readings. 

Real-time monitoring data shows the air quality index was as high as 500 in most parts of the city, with some above 900. An AQI reading below 50 indicates excellent air quality; above 100 is light pollution.


 The smog is expected to last another three days, as weather conditions are preventing the pollutants from dispersing. The public are advised to stay indoors and to avoid strenuous exercise.
 .cntv.cn
13/1/13
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Σάββατο, Ιανουαρίου 12, 2013

Air pollution in Beijing reaches 'health hazard' levels (VIDEO, PHOTOS RT)


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Air pollution in the Chinese capital has hit dangerous marks, reaching beyond the permissible level of pollution on the local environmental center’s scale. Beijing residents are recommended to stay indoors by local authorities.
The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center has reported the rising of air-quality indices since Friday in many parts of the city.

A warning scrolled across the monitoring center's website says that the density of PM 2.5 had reached 700 micrograms per cubic meter in many parts of Beijing and that the polluted air was expected to linger for the next three days.
The index indicates the level of airborne PM 2.5 particulates, at which particle matters are considered the most harmful to health. Air is considered good when the index is at 50 or below, but hazardous with a reading between 301 and 500, when people are warned to avoid outdoor physical activities.
The city’s authorities have blamed a lack of wind and foggy conditions for the high concentration of air pollutants.
“It is expected that air pollution in Beijing will remain heavy during the daytime today… people are advised to stay indoors as much as possible,” China’s state TV quoted Beijing’s environmental protection center as saying on Friday.
According to rules issued by the city’s government in December, all outdoor sports activities are to stop and factories have to reduce production if Beijing's official air-quality reading goes over 500.
Meanwhile, according to a Twitter account run by the US embassy in Beijing,air quality ratings for the city have ranged between “very unhealthy” and “hazardous” since Thursday, and reached the “beyond index” mark during Saturday afternoon. Monitors there recorded off-the-chart air-quality readings as high as 845 at 8pm on Saturday.
Readings are often different in different parts of Beijing. Chinese authorities and the United States also have different ways to calculate the air quality index, although their indices are "highly similar" at the two ends of the spectrum, according to the founder of the nongovernmental Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs in Beijing, Ma Jun.
For comparison, on Friday the 9pm readings for PM2.5 and ozone in Hong Kong’s Central and Western districts, among the most polluted on the island, were around 60 and 20 respectively, according to the website of Hong Kong’s Environmental Protection Department.
Air pollution is believed to be one of the major problems in China with its fast pace of industrialization, reliance on coal power and quick growth in car ownership. Due to polluted air Beijing is often covered with dense smog, while its many residents suffer from respiratory problems.
Several other cities, including Tianjin on the coast east of Beijing and southern China's Wuhan city also reported severe pollution over the last several days.
.rt.com
12/1/13
A man walks along trees on a heavy haze winter day in central Beijing, January 12, 2013 (Reuters / Jason Lee)
A man walks along trees on a heavy haze winter day in central Beijing, January 12, 2013 (Reuters / Jason Lee)
A woman wearing a mask walks on a street during severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
A woman wearing a mask walks on a street during severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
A woman wearing a mask crosses a street during severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
A woman wearing a mask crosses a street during severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
Severe pollution clouds the Beijing skyline on January 12, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
Severe pollution clouds the Beijing skyline on January 12, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
An infant wearing a mask (C) is carried along a street in severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
An infant wearing a mask (C) is carried along a street in severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
A cyclist wearing a mask prepares to cross a road during severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
A cyclist wearing a mask prepares to cross a road during severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
People walk during a heavily hazy winter day in central Beijing, January 12, 2013 (Reuters / Jason Lee)
People walk during a heavily hazy winter day in central Beijing, January 12, 2013 (Reuters / Jason Lee)
Pedestrians wearing masks wait to cross a road during severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
Pedestrians wearing masks wait to cross a road during severe pollution in Beijing on January 12, 2013 (AFP Photo / Ed Jones)
People walk on a pedestrian bridge on a very hazy winter day in Beijing January 12, 2013 (Reuters / Jason Lee)
People walk on a pedestrian bridge on a very hazy winter day in Beijing January 12, 2013 (Reuters / Jason Lee)
Vehicles drive on the Third Ring Road on a very hazy winter day in Beijing January 12, 2013 (Reuters / Jason Lee)
Vehicles drive on the Third Ring Road on a very hazy winter day in Beijing January 12, 2013 (Reuters / Jason Lee)

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