The story appears on

Page A5

December 15, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Environment

Hazy days are here again ...

Despite forecasts of light air pollution the past three days, the air in some areas of the city reached serious pollution levels yesterday, causing numerous complaints by local residents.

The air quality yesterday was monitored as lightly polluted, which made it a third straight day of air pollution, according to the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

The Air Pollution Index has exceeded 100, the benchmark for polluted air, since Sunday and the concentration of PM10 even reached over 0.4 milligrams per cubic meter in parts of the city from Tuesday night to early yesterday morning, indicating moderate to serious air pollution. But the air quality had been forecast to be only lightly polluted the previous day.

"The forecast figure was an average of 24 hours while the concentration might go through some ups and downs during the day," explained Wang Qian, forecaster of the center. "Some instantaneous air quality in some areas could be worse than forecast."

Wang said she understands the query of local residents and suggested locals pay close attention to the real-time broadcast of the air quality on their website at

"We are also trying to improve the air quality forecast to be more audience-friendly," Wang added.

Hazy weather smothered the city this week and the condition reached its peak from Tuesday night to yesterday morning due to the stable, windless weather, according to the center.

"It was like the city was covered by a huge lid," Wang said.

Many residents complained about the air quality by uploading pictures with hazy streets on the Internet.

"The air just smelled like gunpowder and I kept choking when walking on the street early this morning," said a resident surnamed Xu in Putuo District yesterday.

According to the real-time air quality record, the concentration of PM10 reached a seriously polluted level of 0.421 milligrams per cubic meter in Putuo District at 1am.

The air quality should improve starting today and through the weekend as a new cold front is forecast to influence the city with more fresh air and winds, said the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau. Temperatures should drop to as low as 1 degree Celsius this weekend, the bureau said.

But pollution may occur again several days later when the cold snap passes the city, Wang said.

"The city is frequently influenced by air pollution in November and December as the season changes," Wang said. "The situation should be improved in January."

Experts said such poor air quality probably won't change in the next few years and suggested locals make efforts to protect themselves.

"The pollutants were mostly generated by local industry and vehicle emissions as well as the airborne particles brought by the cold currents from the north," said Zhuang Guoshun, environmental professor of Fudan University. "Some particles are too tiny to be blocked by masks. Just try to stay indoors."

Wang agreed with Zhuang and suggested locals should avoid going out in the morning or at night during heavily polluted days.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend