Like the impending smog that thickens by the week, a list that has recently been released comes as an unwelcome reminder of the decreasing air quality in China. Three cities and one special administrative region have made it on to this list, specifically Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
The star pollutants mentioned are sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulates caused by an assortment of methods such as burning fossil fuels, bi products of power plants or even particles that include lead, dust ammonia and other harmful substances. Beijing tops the list with the world’s highest level of sulfur dioxide concentrations from 2000 to 2005 and the third-highest level of nitrogen dioxide behind Sao Paulo and Mexico City.
At least Beijing had the privilege of sharing the title with New Delhi.
Not so fast, readers in Shanghai! Before you mop your brows from having narrowly missed being presented on this humiliating list there’s more concerning Shanghai’s air quality. If you haven’t already noticed, today’s haze density has significantly outdone the comparably radiant sunshine we enjoyed on Sunday. To clear the air (pun intended) Shanghai Daily has reported a warning by the local environmental monitoring watchdog, announcing that air quality will gradually decrease this month.
The poor air quality in December is usually caused by wider use of heaters, which requires more electricity, and by less wind, which can result in an accumulation of pollutants. Wind from the west, when it does get windy, can often carry pollution, while wind from the sea in the east can be better for blowing away pollutants.
Oh, but there’s no need to worry, the local environmental protection bureua has promised to try and achieve air quality similar to that experienced during the Expo. With the fantastic job they did in November we should be back to clear air in no time, wait…