Blog archive
Ozone and PM2.5 data in Beijing?
Monday, 11 August 2008, Written by Julien   
I blogged yesterday about how international pressure helps Beijing improving its air. Today I found this announcement : Beijing might start to monitor ozone and very fine particle matters (PM2.5) starting from next year.

Ozone is harmful for our health but there is no data available now. Having a daily monitoring of ozone would help people avoiding pollution peaks. It would also encourage Beijing municipality to take measures against ozone pollution.

Having PM2.5 data would also be interesting as particle matters are the main pollutants in Beijing. PM2.5 concentration is important as those fine particles are the most harmful for human health. Knowing both PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations would give us a more precise overview of the situation.

Let's hope Beijing officials will not forget this promise after August 24th!
Zac wrote lol:
does beljing have bad air
fireworks wrote Strange: my post was erased:
Doesn't it sound strange to anybody to read only supporting posts in this blog? Mine was harmful to the mask business I guess. Indeed ozone nor very fine particles are removed by such masks.... [more]
Julien wrote re fireworks: Check before!:
Hi Fireworks, I guess you should check twice before writing. First, your comment was never erased and it is still here (see below) . At that time, I answered your email and gave you the ref... [more]
ME wrote Masks:
OK its just not normal to wear masks in life and if the air quality is that bad then leave. The point is, how much is that life style or money worth when you talk about your own health. You ... [more]
fireworks wrote deeper:
Hope you like debating coz your answer is not satisfactory yet: the paper you mention to answer my comment about ozone does not provide any ozone DATA, just model simulations. Here's a nice ... [more]
The green side of Olympics
Sunday, 10 August 2008, Written by Julien   
I usually see the dark side of air pollution in Beijing: the data! The reason is that air in Beijing is not good compared with international standards. It is a fact that on most days air in Beijing would be considered as bad in European cities.

However, if I step back and have a look at the general context I am impressed by the efforts Beijing made to curb the emissions and by its successes in controlling the pollution. It is amazing that with more than 10% yearly growth over the last 7 years, SO2 & CO levels have been significantly reduced and NO2 & particle concentrations have been stabilized.
Electric bus in Beijing (c)

The measures that have been taken are really bold and I am sure no developped country would have been able to implement them. As it might be hard to understand for people not living in China, here below are just few of the measures taken to modernize transportation:
  • Replacement of old and polluting taxis (77.5% of Beijing taxis in 2001),
  • Opening of 4 new subway lines in the last 10 months,
  • Drop of public transportation price in 2007 (33% to 60% drop on subway fare),
  • Replacement of many old buses by comfortable and ecological buses...

Thanks to these measures the use of public transportation is now cheap and comfortable. People can let their cars at home and commute with mass transport. It's good for our air and for the people!
Beijing Olympic Green in the haze

For sure, air in Beijing is not good yet. But I think it would be much worse if the Olympics were not here: the international pressure helped Beijing to improve the environmental situation.

However, more efforts need to be made to achieve a good air quality and I hope the current momentum will be sufficient to stay on this positive trend.
Eugene wrote :
Woah, I thought the subway fares are already very cheap. Now it's even cheaper? When I visited Beijing last year, I had difficulty finding $1.20 taxis. Even the old taxis are publishing the ... [more]
Martin Liu wrote :
I hope the air could keep clean like this after Olympic game. Thanks the rain last nigh! I feel much better this morning.
Julien wrote :
Subway fare is now RMB2, down from RMB3-5. Taxis are RMB2/km, mostly Hyundai Elantra (here) ... [more]