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January 30, 2013

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Shanghai to breathe fresh air tomorrow

SHANGHAI'S air quality began to deteriorate yesterday after two days of good conditions, the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center said.

PM2.5 density rose quickly from 10am from below 40 micrograms per cubic meter to more than 150 by 5pm. The PM10 reading reached above 200.

PM2.5 refers to hazardous particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter.

Similar conditions are forecast this morning, with a lack of wind and increased humidity preventing the dispersal of airborne pollutants, according to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau.

However, Man Liping, a chief service officer at the bureau, said warm and wet air from the southwest should bring fresh air to the city tomorrow.

Today's forecast is sunny to cloudy with a low of 6 degrees Celsius and a high of 15. Temperatures should rise to 17 tomorrow with some drizzle.

However, Friday will see the arrival of a cold snap and the city could suffer another day of poor air quality, Man said.

Air quality forecasts for the city are to resume at the end of the year, Zhang Quan, director of the city's Environmental Protection Bureau, said yesterday.

And a smartphone application with air quality alerts and timely PM2.5 density readings will be available within a month.

The forecast service was halted in mid-November after the adoption of stricter standards. The new forecasts will be calculated from midnight to midnight, instead of the previous noon-to-noon period, and be based on more indicators - PM2.5, PM10, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide levels.


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