The story appears on

Page A4

July 12, 2014

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Environment

Pollution giving city the summertime blues

JULY in Shanghai is supposed to bring sunshine, blue skies and gentle breezes — so why have city residents been peering through a haze of pollution in recent days?

The city air quality watchdog says a “perfect storm” of meteorological conditions has created unseasonal pollution levels when the end of the plum rain season at the beginning of the week should have heralded clearer days.

A combination of high temperatures, high humidity and weak winds arriving together have created stable air pressure over the city, stopping pollutants from being blown away, said Hu Ming, a forecaster with the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

“High temperatures and humidity helped create ozone, while the stable air pressure, acting like a cap over the city, has prevented pollutants from being dispersed,” Hu said yesterday.

She said most of the pollution came from inside the city, including vehicle emissions, rather than being carried from other areas, as is the case on severely polluted winter days.

Local residents seeking a little post-plum rain season sunshine have instead seen pollution levels that reached heavily polluted on the city Air Quality Index (AQI) on Thursday.

Readings of PM2.5 fine particle pollutants were more than double the national standard density, the center said.

Conditions were forecast to improve yesterday, but smog still hung over the city and on the AQI scale pollution varied between slight and medium.

Thunder and lightning arrived last night and thunderstorms are forecast over the weekend which should help.

However, the center still forecast pollution today, advising children, seniors and those with respiratory and heart diseases to remain indoors.

The heaviest rainfall is expected between this afternoon and tomorrow, with up to 50 millimeters per hour forecast at times today, the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau said.

Weekend thunderstorms and strong winds will cool temperatures to around 31 degrees Celsius, the bureau said.

The rain should weaken on Monday, added forecasters.

But while the rain may damp down pollution, it brings its own problems, with the authorities considering flooding dangers later this summer.

“If any two of the following — a typhoon, a rainstorm, extreme tides and floods from upstream Huangpu River — occurred at the same time, it could bring disaster to the city,” said Liu Xiaotao, commander of the city’s flood prevention headquarters and deputy director with the Shanghai Water Authority.

Liu said 56 special teams with 300 police and soldiers based in the city are ready to tackle any possible floods.

Schools would close in the event of a top-level storm alert, said Liu.

The influence of typhoons this season is expected to be stronger than in recent years, local authorities said yesterday.


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