Air Quality!!! Kunming Not So Good.

Bad Boy (24 posts) •

The haze today is pollution. Even with regular blue sky days the cars and construction are destroying this beautiful city. Check out the link below on current air quality around China.
On another note. If we have had water shortage problems for a decade how will building 20% more residential units without having additional access to water be feasible?

tallamerican (252 posts) •

Higher elevation and air pollution i think makes for a nasty combination. Wuhan pollution is much worse than here but at lower elevation did not seem to bother me as much. They use to say that Mexico City with higher elevation and bad pollution was a deadly combination for elderly.

Chingis (242 posts) •

Interestingly it doesnt actually appear that bad today here in Urumqi. In fact it looks better than the other day when it was around 250. Assuming the reading is correct, I guess there is not a direct relationship between 2.5 PM pollution and visibility.

I came back here after several winters away. I had high hopes as this year nearly all of the coal- fired heaters have been changed over to natural gas. Early on in the winter I really though there was a difference, but since December it's as grim as I ever remember. This will be my last ever winter here- life really is just too short to breathe this crap.

Whats kind of depressing is that if you drive 20 minutes out of the city the sky is perfectly clear and blue. But when its -20 its not like you can go out for an afternoon picnic.

tallamerican (252 posts) •

The worst pm 2.5 readings for any city in the usa last week was a 172 in Provo Utah which is in the mountains. Difference is the rest of the world outside china consider a reading that high to be unhealthy for all people and over 200 is considered very unhealthy. I live on a hill overlooking all of kunming and many days it looks very smoggy in the morning, but then the wind comes up and helps clear the air. Today the haze just got worse as the day went on.

Anonymous Coward (151 posts) •

Right now I am in Shandong, Jining. The last two weeks have been horrible. Sometimes the AQI is as high as 800. These days I have been wearing a respirator when I go outside. AQI of 150 is probably considered a good day here.

At least in Kunming you don't have to worry much about toxic fumes blowing in from the west. In East china we get all the nasty shit blowing in from central china.

tallamerican (252 posts) •

@ Bad Boy i have been using the link you posted for monitoring air quality in china. Contrary to what many think and would argue about the air being good in Kunming the readings do not lie. When the air calms in the evening here in Kunming the pm2.5 readings begin to rise and reach peak readings during rush hour in the morning. The world wide health organizations all agree that even a short exposure to elevated PM2.5 can cause severe health affects even for healthy people. Kunmings PM2.5 readings everyday at sometime far exceed what is considered healthy. The seemingly daily winds are the only thing that cleans the air and then readings drop into the good range. Daily i now seem to wait for the winds so i can open the windows and get some fresh air and do my physical conditioning for the day. For comparison people in Hong Kong last year were very upset with how badly there air quality had slipped. Ours is very comparable many days. My wish is that someone will read this post and show me i am mistaken.

tigertiger (2492 posts) •

At the time of looking at the data (100.06 hrs 2/22/13) BJ is 32, KMG is 149.
This does not follow that the air in BJ is better than that in KMG this morning.

It is likely that either there are too few testing stations, the data is not being averaged, or sample data is being filtered.
From what I can see the numbers are not being used correctly either. The AQI is usually derived from taking the raw data for a range of pollutants, weighting them, combining them, and then producing a standard deviation (bell curve) and taking the AQI reading from the curve.

What we appear to be seeing from the website is the raw data and picking only the PM2.5 reading.
As the Chinese system only goes up to 300 and there are regulary readings in excess of double this number, there is obviosly a flaw in the system.

We have all seen where an idea or technology has been cut and pasted from the west and applied in China without understanding the rational. In EU and US the locations of sites for environmental testing are carefully chosen to give a representative average for an area. Spot sample data is only used to identify 'hotspots' for potential management/mitigation action.

As the Chinese system only goes up to 300 and there are regulary readings in excess of double this number, there is obviosly a flaw in the system.
If a country were trying to save face, it would have a more liberal scale. Therefore I am assuming that the sampling and/or monitoring and/or calculations are all cocked up.

The AQI for the US is not directly comparable with that for Mainland China. The Chinese scale only goes up to 300, the US to 500.

Having said all that, I am not saying that the air in KMG is good.

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