Sunday, July 27, 2008

Beijing car restrictions not helping the pollution levels

Well, at least that's the conclusion I make from looking at the official website here which monitors (certain) pollutant levels. Last Sunday a new scheme for car reduction was introduced pre-games which allows cars to go on the roads only on odd or even days, depending on the number plates. Since then, although the traffic has noticeably decreased, the pollution levels have been steadily rising. I created the following from the data on the above linked site (apologies for the mistake in the figure, API index should simply say API).

Beijing pollution running up to the games
It's worth looking at this blog for a thorough discussion of what these levels mean, but given that the visibility must be down to a few hundred meters today, it is clear that the current levels are really not good. Taken directly from that blog is the following:

1 = API 0-50 = excellent (old) => good (new)
2 = API 51-100 = good => moderate
3A = API 101-150 = slightly polluted => unhealthy for sensitive groups
3B = API 151-200 = light polluted => unhealthy
4A = API 201-250 = moderate polluted => very unhealthy
4B = API 251-300 = moderate-heavy polluted => hazardous

And given that I've seen the levels get to 500 on very very bad days, 100 doesn't look too chokingly horrible, though I understand that it is outside the guidelines set by the Olympic committee. With less than two weeks to go, I'm not sure what more they can do...


Anonymous said...

it is clear that the current levels are really not good. Taken directly from that blog is the following

Anonymous said...

oh!Beijing car restrictions helping the pollution levels

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