A major study on the state of air pollution in 20 of Asia’s key cities shows that while there have been improvements in achieving better air quality, air pollution still poses a threat to health and quality of life of many people.
The study led by the Stockholm Environment Institute’s (SEI) centre at the University of York (UK) and the Clean Air Initiative for Asia Cities (CAI-Asia) is being published as Asian Environment Ministers hold the first governmental meeting on urban air quality in Asia on 13-14 December in Yogyakarta, Indonesia as part of the Better Air Quality 2006 Workshop.
The World Health Organization estimates that 537,000 people in Southeast Asia and the Pacific die prematurely each year due to air pollution. The study found that there has been a general improvement in the ability of Asia cities to manage urban air quality since the 1990s. But air quality in the majority of the cities examined still exceeds international guidelines for the protection of human health for certain pollutants.
Concentrations of sulphur dioxide, the gas responsible for acid rain, have stabilized at a relative low level and rarely exceed health guidelines. However, the use of high sulphur fuel content in some countries may result in an increase in emissions.
Emissions of nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter, mainly from the transport sector, are of concern in all cities currently experiencing rapid motorization. In addition, tropospheric ozone, a main constituent of photochemical smog, will increase if motor vehicle use continues to rise.
The international collaborative effort was led by the Stockholm Environment Institute’s (SEI) centre at the University of York (UK) and the Clean Air Initiative for Asia Cities (CAI-Asia) together with the Korea Environment Institute (KEI) (Seoul) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (Nairobi). The study was funded by the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida), the Korean Ministry of Environment and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The study examined the capability to manage air quality and collected air quality data for Bangkok, Beijing, Busan, Colombo, Dhaka, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kathmandu, Kolkata, Metro Manila, Mumbai, New Delhi, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Surabaya, Taipei and Tokyo.
The assessment showed that while there are underlying similarities in the air pollution problems in each city, many differences still exist.
Bangkok, Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo were identified as having excellent capacity to manage air quality. These cities have achieved major reductions in key emissions but still face the challenge of addressing moderate fine particulate pollution resulting from vehicles fumes.
Colombo, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Metro Manila and Mumbai were identified as having moderate capability in air quality management. They have achieved reductions in sulphur dioxide emissions but have the challenge of addressing transport-related emissions.
Dhaka, Hanoi, Surabaya and Kathmandu were identified has having limited capability to manage air quality. Air pollution data was limited for key pollutants. These cities have the challenge of improving air quality monitoring as well as further achieving reductions in emissions.
Dr Dieter Schwela, SEI, lead author, said: “Some cities have made tremendous progress in improving their air quality. However, more work needs to be done to address specific pollutants such as fine particulate matter which poses a real threat to human health.”
“The study has shown that there is a great opportunity for those cities which need to develop further their air quality management capability to learn from cities such as Hong Kong and Tokyo that are further along the road to achieving better air quality.”The study’s authors recommend further action is required to improve air quality
David Garner | alfa
Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
17.07.2018 | Information Technology
17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering