china’s real-time air pollution reporting gaining traction

The lead news story on Sina right now is the intense pollution in Beijing and other cities in eastern China. The story is depressing, of course, but I’m encouraged that Sina is reporting numbers from the new Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center’s real-time reporting system. In this story, they note a maximum PM2.5 concentration reading of 950 ug/m3 in Tongzhou (also here, with graph.) A similar data point making the rounds on weibo and some news outlets is Xizhimen’s maximum PM10 level of 993 ug/m3, again reported based on Beijing’s own monitoring.

Why is this encouraging? Because it represents a much-needed shift away from reporting air quality data from the US Embassy – with all its political and data accuracy concerns – and towards China “owning” its own monitoring and reporting system.

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