Tired of unsuspectingly walking out the door on those days where China’s atmosphere makes Jupiter’s gaseous cloud layer look like a biosphere in Costa Rica? Now with new real-time air quality tracking twitters, sites, and apps (all city-specific), you can monitor the skies without holding your licked finger to the wind, and know exactly which days it might be better to stay in instead of going on that 10 km bike ride.
Below is a compiled list of China’s cities and their particular weather-related apps, twitters and/or sites.
Everybody remembers the infamous Mordor-esque skies immediately following the end of the Shanghai Expo last fall. Or perhaps more recently the haze that descended over the city last weekend, which was the worst pollution we’ve seen since June. You can find that our for yourself on future hazy days on the Shanghai government’s environmental air-quality index, as well as the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, which offers daily air-quality updates from several different Shanghai districts.
Named one of the two pollution juggernauts of the world (tied with Delphi) last year, plenty of Beijingers already know the US embassy’s Twitter: @BeijingAir, which provides hourly english updates as well as PM2.5 (tiny particles used to measure air quality) and ozone readings. They also have a mobile ap for your smartphone (available in English and Chinese).
Guangzhou’s US Embassy twitter,@Guangzhou_Air, reports PM2.5 levels twice a day on weekdays in English (the US government’s AIRnow site explains their Air Quality Index).
Even HK boasts a wealth of air-quality-tracking aps, including one for smartphone (in English and Chinese) and a Greenpeace application that compares air pollution data from all 14 of Hong Kong’s monitoring sites according to World Health Organization guidelines. The University of Hong Kong also has an Air Quality Tracker, updated daily, in both English and Chinese.
With these new apps and sites, China’s people will know when it’s safe to walk the shitsu and when to hole up inside with the surgical mask.
By Benjamin Cost