Posts Tagged ‘beijing air pollution’

UAVs Search For Scientific Silver Lining in Beijing Pollution Clouds

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

While the air in Beijing, and efforts to improve it, have been a concern for the Olympic organizers and competitors, they could prove a boon for researchers.

Beginning tomorrow, a UC-San Diego professor will be sending unmanned aerial vehicles into the pollution clouds emanating from the city to measure the impacts of the government’s industrial shutdowns and traffic bans on the region surrounding Beijing.

“We have a huge and unprecedented opportunity to observe a large reduction in everyday emissions from a region that’s very industrially active,” said atmospheric scientist V. Ram Ramanathan, who also works with the Scripps Oceanographic Institution.

While it does not appear that Beijing’s plan has reduced particulate matter levels to World Health Organization recommended levels, the attempts still represent a large and unique science experiment. Chinese officials say they’ve reduced industrial activity by as much as 30 percent, although questions persist about the effectiveness of the shutdowns. Independent and government monitoring station data have been mixed since the program was instituted. (more…)