Poor air quality could pose problems for the Olympic athletes and hinder the performance of those competing outdoors in endurance sports, such as cycling and marathons.
Since the main source of air pollution in the Beijing urban area is vehicle emissions, restrictions on car traffic began on 20 July in order to take 50 percent of Beijing’s 3,5 million vehicles off the road.
From then until 20 September, private vehicles will only be allowed to drive on alternating days and cars with high emissions will be banned.
On behalf of ESA, CERC (Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants) installed a High Resolution Air Quality Forecasting System at the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) that allows Chinese authorities to monitor the effect these cuts have on street level air quality.
"We are delighted to have installed the system in Beijing and believe the detailed air quality forecast it provides will prove a valuable tool in predicting and understanding Beijing’s Air quality," David Carruthers from CERC said.
"The system is highly flexible and can be adjusted rapidly, for example, to take account of the special emission reduction actions being implemented during July until after the Games."
Thanks to this new tool, operational street scale air quality forecasts for Beijing have been generated since 8 July – exactly one month before the Games’ opening ceremony.
Three-day forecasts are posted daily and are accessible on the Beijing Air Quality website www.beijingairquality.cn. The forecasts are high-resolution pollution contour maps that predict levels of nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particles and sulphur dioxide for each of Beijing’s eight districts. Users can choose to view maps of each pollutant separately or to view the total health index with all pollutants combined.
"The final forecasts utilise a combination of air quality measurements, surface data and modelling. Regional modelling using Chimere is provided by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and detailed local modelling is done by CERC’s model, ADMS-Urban," Carruthers explained.
Li Kunsheng, EPB Vice Director said he welcomed the installation of the new system and looked forward to it becoming an important tool for forecasting air quality in Beijing taking account of the effects of air pollution management measures including those being implemented for the Olympic Games.
The three-day advanced forecasts are made available as part of the Dragon-2 Programme, a joint undertaking between ESA and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China designed to encourage increased exploitation of ESA and Chinese Earth Observation (EO) satellite data within China.
Satellite data from the SCIAMACHY and OMI instruments will be included into the regional model in the near future to improve further emission monitoring.
SCIAMACHY (Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography) is one of 10 instruments aboard ESA's Envisat satellite.
OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) was built by a team of European industry and scientists led by the Netherlands and supplied as an additional instrument to the NASA EOS-AURA mission.
How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
30.05.2017 | Life Sciences
30.05.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences