Air Pollution In Beijing China Already Surpassed Critical Limit Corpus Christi Technology Time 13102

Thick smog covered Beijing and much of north China on Monday as the worst period of air pollution this year. Currently, Beijing issued its first-ever red alert for smog on Monday, urging schools to close and invoking restrictions on factories and traffic that will keep half of the city’s vehicles off the roads.

Urgent Measures held by Goverment

Kindergartens, primary and middle schools were urged to close, it added, without explicitly making the measures mandatory.

An online notice from the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said it issued the alert to “protect public health and reduce levels of heavy air pollution.” The environment minister also noted that the surface area affected by acid rain in China had shrunk to 1990s levels, while water quality had also improved significantly.

China has phased out some 250,000 tonnes of ozone-depleting substances during the same period, he said. This is more than half of the total amount phased out by all developing countries.

“Not only are we working to fix our domestic environmental problems, we have made considerable contributions to addressing international challenges, too,” Chen said.

The minister warned, however, some 20 million tonnes of major pollutants are still discharged annually in China, and that figure must be reduced by another 30 to 50 percent.

Readings of PM2.5 particles climbed toward 300 micrograms per cubic meter on Monday and are expected to continue rising before the air begins to improve with the arrival of a cold front on Thursday. The World Health Organization designates the safe level for PM2.5 particles at 25.

Along with school closures and limiting cars to driving every other day depending on the last number of their license plate, a raft of other restrictions will seek to reduce the amount of dust and other particulate matter in the city of 22.5 million people. Officials said extra subway trains and buses would be added to handle the additional strain on public transport.

It’s the second time this month that notoriously polluted Beijing has experienced a prolonged bout of smog, sending PM2.5 levels in the suburbs as high as 976 micrograms. Beijing was also shrouded in persistent smog for most of November, when power demand soared due to unusually cold weather.

While pollution in the capital improved slightly in the first 10 months of the year, heavy smog that can be seen from outer space regularly forces Beijing schools to suspend outdoor activities and can even prompt highway closures because of reduced visibility.

There previously have been stretches of severe smog that lasted more than three straight days. However, those had been forecast to last three days or less, so they did not trigger a red alert. The alert requires a forecast of more than 72 straight hours with PM2.5 levels of 200 micrograms per cubic meter or more.

One year after the world’s second-largest economy “declared war” on pollution, following decades of pursuing growth at the expense of the environment, Chinese citizens are still concerned by air quality, particularly in the big, industrial cities in the central and eastern regions.

Readings of PM2.5 particles climbed toward 300 micrograms per cubic meter on Monday and are expected to continue rising before the air begins to improve with the arrival of a cold front on Thursday. The World Health Organization designates the safe level for the tiny, poisonous particles at 25.

Traffic restrictions according to plate number

Along with school closures and limiting cars to driving every other day depending on the last number of their license plate, a raft of other restrictions will seek to reduce the amount of dust and other particulate matter in the city of 22.5 million people. Officials said extra subway trains and buses would be added to handle the additional strain on public transport.

It’s the second time this month that notoriously polluted Beijing has experienced a prolonged bout of smog, sending PM2.5 levels in the suburbs as high as 976 micrograms. Beijing was also shrouded in persistent smog for most of November, when power demand soared due to unusually cold weather.

While pollution in the capital improved slightly in the first 10 months of the year, heavy smog that can be seen from outer space regularly forces Beijing schools to suspend outdoor activities and can even prompt highway closures because of reduced visibility.

“It is a sharp warning to us that we may have too much development at the price of environment and it is time for us to seriously deal with air pollution,” said Fan, the hotel employee.

There previously have been stretches of severe smog in Beijing that lasted more than three days. However, those had initially been forecast to last three days or less, so they did not trigger a red alert. The alert requires a forecast of more than 72 straight hours with PM2.5 levels of 200 micrograms per cubic meter or more.

Polluted air throughout broad swaths of China has had severe health effects. A study led by atmospheric chemist Jos Lelieveld of Germany’s Max Planck Institute and published this year in Nature magazine estimated that 1.4 million people each year die prematurely because of pollution in China.

Most of the pollution is blamed on coal-fired power plants, along with vehicle emissions and construction and factory work. China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, plans to upgrade coal power plants over the next five years to tackle the problem, and says its emissions will peak by around 2030 before starting to decline.

While emissions standards have been tightened and heavy investments made in solar, wind and other renewable energy, China still depends on coal for more than 60 percent of its power.

here are few major cities on the planet where the grim realities of the Paris climate talks are more visceral than Beijing. We’re excited to see whether an accord will be reached during the talks. Users on China’s popular Weibo micro-blog have traced the shapes of famous Beijing landmarks on to photographs as a helpful, tongue-in-cheek guide. It also has promised that its carbon dioxide emissions will reach a peak by 2020. For most of that month, the capital was shrouded in persistent smog. However, one man with a vacuum cleaner has braved the toxic smog for over 100 days to make a point about the hazardous content in the air.

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