Shanghai Air Pollution: Horrible Today Should Be Better By The Weekend

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)

SHANGHAI suffered a second bout of pollution this week due to the accumulation of pollutants caused by a lack of wind as well as pollutants from neighboring provinces, said the environment authority.

Today is forecast to be heavily polluted and the situation will improve by weekend.

The city’s average air quality index had been rising since yesterday morning and reached 163, or moderately polluted, at 11am. PM2.5, tiny particles that are hazardous to health, was the major pollutant.

The peak came at 1pm when the index reached 172, with Jing’an and Qingpu districts reporting the worst situation with the density of PM2.5 surpassing 140 micrograms per cubic meter — more than five times the World Health Organization’s standard of 25.

According to Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center’s prediction, the air quality this morning is expected to be rated as heavily polluted with the AQI falling between 190 and 210.

The index will drop slightly to the level of moderately polluted this afternoon, but is expected to climb above 200 tonight.

Tomorrow will see a slightly polluted air quality with the AQI forecast to fall between 105 and 125, thanks to some easterly winds that should bring cleaner air in from the sea.

Citizens should enjoy a much better air quality over the weekend, according to forecasts.

This is the second round of pollution that Shanghai has endured this week.

On Monday, a blue-color air pollution alert, lowest of the four-tier system, was issued when the AQI hit 227, or heavily polluted, in the morning.

On Tuesday good air quality lasted until some high atmospheric pressure created poor dispersion conditions across the city.

Meanwhile, a slight drop of temperature is expected for the rest of this week.

The highest temperature is forecast to drop to 11 degrees Celsius on Saturday, compared with 15 degrees today, which will be sunny.

Shanghai Air Quality Is The Best In 5 Years

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News)

August a stellar month for air quality in city

SHANGHAI last month enjoyed its best air quality for five years.

A moderate climate and a good distribution of air were the key factors, said Shanghai Environmental Protection Center.

According to a report by the environmental authority, 93.5 percent of the days in August had an air quality rated as excellent or good, with the Air Quality Index no higher than 100. Only two days were reported to be slightly polluted and that was primarily due to hot weather.

The average density of the city’s major air pollutant PM2.5 — which measures tiny particles floating in the air that can worsen pollution — was 19 micrograms per cubic meter last month, a 52.5 percent decrease compared to August 2015.

According to Duan Yusen, chief forecaster of Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center, it was the “best August” Shanghai has had since the center started taking records of PM2.5 in 2012.

“We have the good climate to thank, including gales and typhoon that created good diffusion condition for Shanghai,” said Duan. “Also, the city’s continuous anti-pollution efforts have been paying off.”

However, Duan warned that more pollution was expected with the approach of autumn and winter, which usually brought poor diffusion conditions and pollutants transferred to Shanghai from other provinces.

The city suspended the operation of a batch of chemical plants and enterprises earlier this year to improve air quality conditions for the region during the G20 summit, which was held in Zhejiang’s Hangzhou at the start of this month.

In August, the density of other air pollutants including PM10, SO2 and NO2 also saw a decrease of 15 to 35 percent compared to last year. The air quality in the east part of the city, districts such as Pudong, Yangpu and Chongming Island, enjoyed a better air quality than the western districts like Jiading and Qingpu.

Shanghai ranked eighth in the national air quality standing featuring 74 major cities in August. Hainan’s Haikou, Zhejiang’s Zhoushan and Jiangsu’s Yancheng topped the rankings.

The national health limit for PM2.5 is no greater than 35 micrograms per cubic meter over a one-year period, while the World Health Organization’s recommended yearly average standard is 10.

In the first six months of the year, Shanghai’s average density of PM2.5 was 54 micrograms per cubic meter — a 3.6 percent decrease compared to the same period last year.

The city government has a goal of lowering the yearly average density of PM2.5 to 42 micrograms per cubic meter by the end of 2020.

“We have a primary goal of decreasing the average density of PM2.5 by 20 percent (to near 50 micrograms per cubic meter) in 2017 compared to that in 2013,” said Duan. “The overall trend is good, and the authorities will continue working toward the goal.”

Shanghai has planned more than 940 district or city level environmental improvement projects over 2015-2017, including the use of cleaner oil for ships and the control of volatile organic compounds discharged from local factories.