Beijing hits 'blue sky' target despite bad air

Dec 18, 2011
Local youngsters are seen playing on a frozen lake at Shichahai, in central Beijng. City authorities said they had met their target of "blue sky" days for 2011, amid growing public criticism that officials are underplaying the pollution problem in the Chinese capital.

Beijing authorities said they had met their target of "blue sky" days for 2011, amid growing public criticism that officials are underplaying the pollution problem in the Chinese capital.

The city had 274 days of "grade one or two" air quality compared with 252 days in 2010, according to a statement on the Beijing government's official news portal, posted on Sunday.

"Beijing has seen an overall decline in the concentration of various pollutants in 2011," said Zhuang Zhidong, the deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.

But Zhuang admitted that Beijing also experienced "several days of poor air quality as a result of conditions".

China uses a five-grade classification system to rate its air quality, with one being the best and five the worst.

But the environment ministry is under pressure to change the way it measures air quality after thick smog blanketed Beijing earlier this month, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights and triggering a surge in sales.

Public anger over heavy pollution has been compounded by official data showing is good, or only slightly polluted, when smog is visible and figures published by the US embassy rank it as "very unhealthy".

Chinese authorities currently use a method known as PM10, focusing on larger particles in the air.

But the environment ministry has proposed adopting the system favoured by the US embassy, which measures the smallest and most dangerous , known as PM2.5.

Explore further: Pilot plant for the removal of extreme gas charges from deep waters installed

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Beijing air pollution 'hazardous': US embassy

Oct 31, 2011

Air pollution in Beijing reached "hazardous" levels on Monday, the US embassy said, as thick smog blanketed the city for the third day running, forcing the closure of highways and cancellation of flights.

Beijing air pollution off the charts, US says

Feb 21, 2011

Thick smog blanketing Beijing went "beyond" measurable pollution levels on Monday, the US embassy said, as a Chinese official warned people to stay indoors and avoid outdoor activities.

Hundreds of flights cancelled due to Beijing smog

Dec 05, 2011

Beijing authorities cancelled hundreds of flights and shut motorways on Monday as thick smog descended on the Chinese capital, reducing visibility at one of the world's busiest airports.

Chinese go online to vent anger over pollution

Dec 06, 2011

Millions of Chinese went online Tuesday to vent their anger over the thick smog that has blanketed Beijing in recent days, raising health fears and causing hundreds of flights to be cancelled.

Beijing launches action plan to fight pollution

Apr 19, 2011

Beijing -- one of the world's most polluted cities -- launched a five-year action plan on Tuesday that aims to improve the environment by phasing out coal-fired boilers and reducing bad air days.

Recommended for you

Finding innovative solutions for reducing CO2 emissions

2 hours ago

Today, the company Gaznat SA and EPFL signed an agreement for the creation of two new research chairs. The first one will study ways to seize carbon dioxide (CO2) at its production source and increase its value ...

Rolling lab tracks methane to its source

3 hours ago

McHenry Township, Lycoming County. Equipped with a gray box, a map and an SUV, Thomas Lauvaux and a team from Penn State's Department of Meteorology has been at it for hours, taking measurements and racking ...

What we've learned from the Boxing Day tsunami

3 hours ago

Much has been learned from the devastating experience of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, and it's had lasting benefits for disaster management plans in Australia, according to forensic staff from the University of Adelaide.

User comments : 5

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Jordian1
5 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2011
Bullshit, Beijing classifies their pollution in a completely haphazard manner. The standard is 2.5 micrometers for small particles, and this is because small particles are the most dangerous, because they can easily infiltrate your lungs. Beijing only measures 10 micrometers, thus allowing them to say their air is cleaner than it actually is, and allowing them to claim pollution has "declined". Far from it, they just changed the way they measure the air.

Anyone who has been to Beijing unanimously agrees the pollution problem is terrible. And it's getting much worse. They should actually work on improving their air quality instead of skewing the data.
Callippo
1 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2011
Pirouette
1.5 / 5 (4) Dec 18, 2011
Callippo. . .what say you? tongue-tied are ya?

I've never been to Beijing, but I'm waiting for the Phobos-Grunt biggest piece to fall on Hu Jintao's palace while he's home. He and all his komrades can escape the polluted air in the city, but the Chinese people who work and live there aren't going nowhere. It's a question also, in Beijing, of the haves and the have-nots. The rich Communists against the poor, downtrodden, poverty-stricken Chinese peasants who have no other air but Beijing air. Those damn RICH Commies. How dare they do that to the Chinese peasants.
REVOLUTION IS NEEDED. Chinese peasants rise up and take the rich down. Democracy for all.
:)) Proletariats Unite!!
Humpty
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 19, 2011
I have not been to Boojungtomwittipa`ing - in the original Han Dynasty language of the 12 century BC (Before Confucious) title as so named by King Monkey Great Sage, Equal of all Heaven.

But I have been in an Australian City where you could only just see the outline of a city building at 2 blocks away at midday, through the thick brown air.

Very bad. Very very bad. With a cough cough here and and a cough cough there, here a cough, there a cough, everywhere a cough cough.

Very bad.
Pirouette
2 / 5 (4) Dec 19, 2011
http://www.breitb...rticle=1

yep. . .time for them to get their comeuppance.

Glad Kim Jong Il has left the building. :)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.