Beijing spares no efforts in lowering emissions and increasing control over air quality. [CCTV.com]
Temperatures in Beijing can get pretty hot in late July. Environmental experts note, high temperatures tend to produce fog. Haze in the air does not necessarily indicate air pollution. Air quality is measured at 27 monitoring stations distributed strategically around the city. The stations are equipped with the most advanced technology.
Yu Jianhua, Director of Beijing Environmental Monitoring Center, said, "After the air enters the sampling system, the instrument automatically begins analyzing the air content for inhalable particles, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and so on."
Results of the analysis are transferred to the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau. There, data undergoes 24-hours of processing. The information is then used to help in weather forecasting.
Dr. Ivo Allegrini, Director of Italian Institute of Atmospheric Pollution, said, "The instruments and technological systems that they use, and their daily maintenance, should be very good. The monitoring systems produce consistent numbers and they are accurate."
According to the data, Beijing air quality has improved dramatically since the beginning of July. Particulate matter from traffic emissions has shown the most dramatic reduction. Carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and inhalable particles have declined 15%, 24%, and 27% respectively.
Du Shaozhong, Vice Director of Beijing Minicipal Environmental Protection Bureau said, "The pollution level of this year's level 2 and level 3 days is 20% lower than last year's level 2 and level 3 days."
The Ministry of Environmental Protection has announced that if, by chance, heavy air pollution occurs during the Olympic Games, another 1.6 million vehicles will be removed from city streets.
(CCTV August 6, 2008)