Sunday, January 31, 2010

Air Pollution Alerts - January 31st, 2010

News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on January 24, 2010)

Manila Times, January 30th, 2010
Govt to cut Edsa bus traffic.

Deccan Herald, January 30th, 2010
Ideas that matter.

Express Buzz, January 29th, 2010
Special plans for State’s pollution zones in Orissa, India.

China Daily, January 29th, 2010
Pollution will be controlled during Shanghai Expo.

Earth Times, January 29th, 2010
Hong Kong shrouded in smog as pollution reaches dangerous levels.

People's Voice, January 29th, 2010
Meat, Milk and Motors: The New China Syndrome.

Express Buzz, January 29th, 2010
End to Kochi’s pollution woes ‘soon’.

Bernama, January 28th, 2010
Urban Public Transport Enhanced By 2012.

Times of India, January 27th, 2010
City pedals green cause, to promote cycle tracks in Delhi.

Business Standard, January 27th, 2010
Finance Ministry considers lowering duty on buses.

CSE, January 27th, 2010
Benchmarking urban transport in India cities.

Examiner, January 26th, 2010
Asthma sufferers choke on new smog standards.

China Daily, January 26th, 2010
New pollution reduction targets listed in China.

NPR, January 26th, 2010
Methane Causes Vicious Cycle In Global Warming.

Science Daily, January 26th, 2010
Ozone Hole Healing Could Cause Further Climate Warming.

Yale, January 26th, 2010
Environmental Performance Index, 2010.

Mother Nature Network, January 25th, 2010
Beijing mayor: City faces serious pollution.

Climate-L, January 25th, 2010
ADB and Japan Fund Climate Change Institutions in Bhutan.

Science Daily, January 25th, 2010
Advanced Engine-Control System Reduces Biodiesel Fuel Consumption and Emissions.

Mongolia News, January 25th, 2010
Working group on Smokeless UB program gets down to business.

New York Times, January 25th, 2010
Delhi to Ditch Coal for Natural Gas.

Wall Street Journal, January 25th, 2010
Will Beijing’s Blue Skies Turn Gray This Year?

The New Nation, January 25th, 2010
Opinion: Green Dhaka, Clean Dhaka?

Indian Express, January 25th, 2010
Set the sun on black carbon.

France 24, January 24th, 2010
Emerging nations meet in India over climate change.

New York Times, January 20th, 2010
Hong Kong's Air Quality Stirs Passions.

Tech Stocks, January 18th, 2010
World Bank Launches Green Bonds for Japanese Investors to Finance Low-Carbon Projects.

Wheels Unplugged, January 16th, 2010
Ashok Layland to build new bus platform in India.

Climate-L, January 13th, 2010
ADB Funds Adaptation in Viet Nam.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Electronic Road Pricing: Experience & Lessons from Singapore

A new report "Electronic Road Pricing - Experience & Lessons from Singapore" is released as SIM-air working paper series No.33.

Singapore is the first city in the world to implement electronic road pricing (ERP) in September 1998. The ERP or congestion pricing system was successful for one important reason - the city operates a widely accessible public transport system (road and rail) which can support the shift to car-free transport. Given the current traffic demand trends, the ERP is a measure that many Asian cities will be forced to consider as traffic conditions become more acute.

This paper (with Prof. Gopnath Menon, NTU, Singapore) presents an overview of how ERP was implemented in, experiences and lessons from, Singapore.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Air Pollution Alerts - January 24th, 2010

News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on January 17, 2010)

Financial Express, January 24th, 2010
All-electric road vehicles in Dhaka.

Financial Express, January 24th, 2010
Cycles for a partial solution in Dhaka.

Reuters, January 24th, 2010
Beijing wants bicyles to reclaim its streets.

TIMES Online, January 24th, 2010
UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters.

The Daily Independent, January 23rd, 2010
Brick kiln owners not care a hoot for law in Dhaka.

Deccan Herald, January 23rd, 2010
Cities within cities.

India Press Information Bureau, January 22nd, 2010
Trends of Air Pollution in Delhi.

India Press Information Bureau, January 22nd, 2010
Source Apportionment Studies.

India Press Information Bureau, January 22nd, 2010
Ecological sensitive zone for purpose of ambient air quality standards.

G Magazine, January 22nd, 2010
What's the environment worth?

Wall Street Journal, January 21st, 2010
Mumbai Builds Miles of Elevated Walkways; 'Yellow Caterpillar' or 'Huge Mistake'?

Science Daily, January 21st, 2010
Upper Atmosphere Influences Weather Near Earth's Surface.

Science Daily, January 21st, 2010
Springtime Ozone Increases Above Western North America Linked to Emissions from Abroad.

The Daily Star, January 21st, 2010
Take steps to curb air pollution immediately in Dhaka.

ITDP, January 21st, 2010
People-oriented Planning: Gehl Architects in Rio de Janeiro.

Reuters, January 21st, 2010
Brazil to create climate fund, technology for poor.

The National UAE, January 21st, 2010
Plugging into tomorrow.

Business Standard, January 21st, 2010
India is a middle-level power in a structured global oligarchy.

Shanghai Daily, January 20th, 2010
When China really and truly goes green.

Citizen Matters, January 20th, 2010
Bus Rapid Transport for Bangalore, today or tomorrow?

The Telegraph, January 20th, 2010
America pollution cloud on India.

Washington Post, January 20th, 2010
Study links Asia to smog component in Western US.

CNN, January 20th, 2010
U.N. climate chiefs apologize for glacier error.

Science Daily, January 20th, 2010
Adaptation Science Should Be Applied to Climate Change.

Science Daily, January 19th, 2010
Why Hasn't Earth Warmed as Much as Expected?

Environmental Research Web, January 19th, 2010
On road towards sustainability? Inverse the factor 4 in financing.

Reason, January 19th, 2010
Obama Follows in Bush's Footsteps on Climate Change.

Arabian Oil and Gas, January 19th, 2010
It's not all black and green.

Gulf News, January 19th, 2010
Chandrapur still most polluted city.

Grist, January 18th, 2010
When it comes to energy, Mark Jacobson thinks big.

Business Standard, January 18th, 2010
'Negotiations have dictated our climate change moves'.

Press TV, January 18th, 2010
Tehran air pollution exceeds acceptable level.

Environmental Expert, January 18th, 2010
Benefits to integrating climate change into air quality policy.

India Today, January 18th, 2010
Birds flee or die in polluted National Capital Region, Delhi.

This Day, January 18th, 2010
Dar amongst world's filthiest cities.

TIME Online, January 17th, 2010
World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How to Estimate Transport Modal Shares Using Minimum Information - Case Study of Delhi

This type of assessment is generally based on on-road surveys and statistics of vehicular usage. However, one can also develop an estimate of motorized and non-motorized transport based on a bottom-up analysis of vehicular and population statistics.

In the National Capital Region, the estimated population is 16 million. Lets assume that 35 percent of the population is under-age and non-mobile (for various reasons), which leaves 10.4 million people mobile. If each person makes a back and forth trip, this translates to a total of ~20.8 million trips a day.

In 2010, an estimated number of cars = 1.35 million; 2-wheelers = 1.6 million; 3-wheelers = 80,000; and Buses = 16,000; 10% of the cars are assumed to be operated as taxis.

Say, cars and 2Ws make a back and forth trip; Buses make ~8 trips a day carrying ~40 persons a trip; and 3Ws make ~8 trips a day carrying ~1.5 persons per trip. This translates to 2.43 million trips by cars; 0.54 million trips by taxis; 5.12 million trips by Buses; 3.2 million trips by 2Ws; and 0.96 million trips by 3Ws.

The already operational metro rail in the northern sector carries ~900,000 passengers a day.

This leaves 7.65 million trips by either walking or cycling mode.

In percentages, trip share of cars = 12%; Taxis = 3%; Buses = 25%; 2Ws = 15%; 3Ws = 5%; Metro = 4%; and the Non-motorized transport = 37%

A comparison of modal shares across the world

Also see

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Air Pollution Alerts - January 17th, 2010

News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on January 10, 2010)

Wheels Unplugged, January 16th, 2010
Commercial vehicle manufacturers upbeat on 2010.

International News, January 16th, 2010
Minister to Focus on Soil, Water, and Air Pollution in Pakistan.

Treehugger, January 16th, 2010
Developing Cities from India to Colombia Leapfrog Ahead With Clean, Green Bus Rapid Transit Systems.

Business Standard, January 15th, 2010
India, US to deepen cooperation in urban development.

U-Reader, January 15th, 2010
DOT Signals Major Shift On Public Transportation Policy.

Science Daily, January 14th, 2010
From the Ancient Amazonian Indians: 'Biochar' as a Modern Weapon Against Global Warming.

Science Daily, January 14th, 2010
Heat and Moisture from Himalayas Could Be a Key Cause of the South Asian Monsoon.

Metro Magazine, January 14th, 2010
Indian BRT system honored for improving mobility, cutting emissions.

News 24, January 14th, 2010
Car tax: A cash cow?

Daily Yonder, January 14th, 2010
How Do You Kill a Mountain?

Times of India, January 14th, 2010
Ahmedabad City BRTS best in South Asia, bags award.

Ukiah Daily Journal, January 13th, 2010
County Ozone Levels Low, but Increasing.

New York Times, January 13th, 2010
Hong Kong's Air Pollution Problem.

New York Times, January 12th, 2010
Report Links Vehicle Exhaust to Health Problems.

HEI, January 12th, 2010
Traffic-Related Air Pollution: A Critical Review of the Literature on Emissions, Exposure, and Health Effects.

Climate-L, January 12th, 2010
Role of Biodiversity in Addressing Climate Change.

Climate-L, January 12th, 2010
Healthy people, healthy planet.

PR NEwswire, January 12th, 2010
Ahmedabad, India Wins 2010 Sustainable Transport Award.

India, January 10th, 2010
Schoolkids to help forecast air quality during Games.

Los Angeles Times, January 10th, 2010
Maldives: Paradise threatened?

NPR, January 9th, 2010
Tighter Smog Rules No Longer Just An Urban Concern.

Sify News, January 8th, 2010
Expert group formed to prepare roadmap to low carbon economy.

China Daily, January 7th, 2010
China's power generation goes greener with total capacity up 10%.

China Daily, January 6th, 2010
China's power consumption grows 6% in 2009.

China January 3rd, 2010
China extends alert against cold wave, heavy snow.

ACSE, December 2009
Ten Years of World Bank Action in Transport: Evaluation.

Harvard Magazine, October, 2008
Greening China - Market-based policies for air-pollution control.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

BRT in India - Ahmedabad City Honored for Improving Mobility

On Tuesday (January 12th), the city of Ahmedabad, India, was recognized as the winner of the 2010 Sustainable Transport Award for the successful implementation of Janmarg; India’s first full bus rapid transit (BRT) system. See a review of the new BRT system in Ahmedabad by the CAI-Asia Center.

First operational indeed.

Two pilots were implemented in the past. One in Pune and then in Delhi, both of which failed to yield favorable response from the public. In Delhi, after two years of planning and construction, only a section of 5 km road was opened for piloting and immediately dubbed as the “corridor of chaos” (stirring a public furor) and one report claims, it is as good as scrapped.

In Pune, the pilot BRT program failed in 2007 and for all practical purposes has been discontinued.

In India, for a number of cities, the push for integrated urban transport management under the JNNURM funds, and there is a growing interest in BRT, due to its appeal to the local politicians, but it is important to better understand the system for effective and speedy implementation.

Also see "Push for Public Transport".

Estimated Air Pollution & Health Benefits of Metro System in Delhi

Air pollution due to all the sources takes a toll on health impacts. A monitoring experiment across the Delhi streets in October, 2009, covering ~160km in 10 hours, presents an interpolated spatial map of pollution. The study also estimates ~10,900 premature deaths annually due to the ambient PM pollution levels currently experienced in Delhi.

The impact of air pollution on the human health and the ecosystem is increasingly been linked to the growing transport sector. The emphasis is on the public transport (see urban passenger travel statistics in India). The JNNURM funds for buses and urban transport strategy of India are promoting the need for infrastructure for new buses (manufactured by Tata and Ashok Leyland). A good public transport system is expected to help reduce the congestion levels, energy demand in the transport sector, and the interlinked air pollution.

A major intervention that Delhi is counting on is the extension of the metro rail system14, to shift the motorized transport trends to the metro rail. The expected level of shift is uncertain, which depends on a number of factors. An analysis from 2008 estimated a possible reduction of at least 7 percent in the criteria pollutant emissions in 2010, by the introduction of expanded metro rail system in Delhi, India.

The SIM-air Working Paper No.32 aims to answer three questions: What are the health impacts of the current traffic patterns? What is the possible reduction in PM pollution in Delhi due to a possible shift in travel patterns? And what are the health benefits?

Six scenarios were evaluated for a mix of expected shifts in the travel patterns in Delhi and the estimated health benefits are listed below. See the full report for details.

Also see

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Inforgraphics: Powering the Earth (CNN)

CNN presents an interactive map of carbon emissions and energy consumption across the world

The platform used for this infographics is similar to GAPMINDER, which I recommend that you all see. This demonstrates the power of having access to information and putting it in a form that all can understand.

"Unveiling the beauty of statistics for a fact based world view", Dr. Hans Rosling

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Role of Meteorology in Delhi's Air Pollution Problems

An article January 8th, 2010, in India Today reads "Blame air pollution for Capital's blanket of fog". This is true is some ways, for example, the low lying emissions do increase in Winter in Delhi, due to the extra heating and use of biomass (or anything people get their hands on). However, this phenomena has more to do with the meteorology typical to these latitudes.

This working paper is now published as a journal article in EMAS in May, 2012.

It is given that the air pollution can only be controlled at the source and the limiting factor is most often the balance sheet of costs and associated benefits (like health). However, in some cases, the possible reductions in emissions are a direct function of the geographical location and prevalent meteorological conditions. For example, in cities like Los Angeles or Ulaanbaatar, which form a valley terrain, irrespective of the wind patterns, the emissions tend to stay in the area longer and contribute more to the local air pollution problems. On the other hand, in cities like Bangkok, Beijing, Delhi, Dhaka, and Manila, with flat terrains, the meteorology tends to have higher impact on either dispersing or retaining the air pollution. The Beijing EPB considers the recent heavy snow fall is good for their blue-sky program, because the snow and rain precipitates most of the pollution.

In this regards, a study of air movement over urban areas can help us better understand the
movement of pollutants and their respective impact on pollution planning. The role of meteorology as a diffusing or non-diffusing agent, is studied using 20 year meteorological fields over Delhi, India and its impact on air pollution dispersion. See the animation of the dispersion patterns by clicking the image below.

See the detailed report "Role of Meteorology on Urban Air Pollution Dispersion".

Some figures from the report are presented below.

1. Mixing heights effect the observed air pollution levels in Winter months.

2. Average mixing heights in 2008 over Delhi, India

3. Variation of monthly average tracer concentrations compared to the annual average concentration for the Delhi emission domain. A clear conclusion is that irrespective of the constant emissions over each month, the observed concentrations are invariably 40% to 80% higher in the winter months (November, December, and January) and 10% to 60% lower in the summer months (May, June, and July) when compared to the annual average tracer concentrations. See a comparison to the measured pollution below.

4. PM2.5 monitoring data from the ITO monitoring station in Delhi, India

A back trajectory analysis was also conducted to assess the influence of emission sources outside Delhi. See the full report.

Other articles linked to Air Pollution in Delhi under SIM-air Working Paper series

1. AQM in Delhi: Then, Now, & Next
2. Photochemistry of Air Pollution in Delhi
3. Monitoring & Mapping Air Pollution
4. Impact of Metro System on Air Pollution in Delhi

Air Pollution Alerts - January 10th, 2010

News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on January 03, 2010)

Monthly Review, January 10th, 2010
Advertising Is a “Serious Health Threat”—to the Environment.

The Star, January 9th, 2010
Air pollution causing premature deaths in Sheffield, UK.

The Daily Star, Lebanon, January 9th, 2010
Minister unveils three-year plan to protect environment.

The Hindu Business Line, December 8th, 2009
6-year-high car numbers raise Nov vehicle sales 46%.

India Today, January 8th, 2010
Blame air pollution for Capital's blanket of fog.

Scientific American, January 7th, 2010
Has the U.S. Reached Peak Vehicles?

Epoch Times, January 7th, 2010
Rapid Urbanization Has an Impact on Health.

Vietnam Forum, January 7th, 2010
Ha Noi starts pollution battle.

NPR, January 7th, 2010
US EPA Proposes New, Stricter Smog Limits.

China Daily, January 7th, 2010
Heavy snow good sign for blue-sky project.

The Guardian, January 7th, 2010
US climate change legislation Q&A: what will happen in 2010?

Bloomberg, January 7th, 2010
India to Combat Climate Change Without Waiting for Funds.

BBC, January 6th, 2010
Methane release 'looks stronger'.

Brazil Mag, January 6th, 2010
3.14 Million in 2009: Brazil Has Never Sold So Many Vehicles.

AHN India, January 6th, 2010
India To Set Up School To Train People In Climate Studies.

Reuters, January 6th, 2010
Energy use surges as cold shocks northern hemisphere.

The Guardian, January 5th, 2010
Boiler scrappage scheme.

Energy Publisher, January 5th, 2010
Africa: 33 cities now exceed 1 million inhabitants.

World Changing, January 5th, 2010
The Next Decade's Top Sustainability Trends.

Science Daily, January 5th, 2010
Second-Hand Pollution.

Central Chronicle, January 5th, 2010
Volvo unveils CNG bus; to export 30 pc of Bangalore plant's capacity.

Press Bureau of Information, India, January 5th, 2010
More accuracy in weather forecasting.

Gulf Times, January 4th, 2010
Brown Clouds Pose Health Risks.

AFP, January 4th, 2010
Hong Kong air pollution: 'life-threatening' levels.

Science Daily, January 4th, 2010
GDP Is Misleading Measure of Wealth.

Indian Express, January 3rd, 2010
Govt to come up with traffic plan for 7 cities in India.

Hindustan Times, January 2nd, 2010
UPA government’s 100-day promise comes a cropper in India.

New York Times, December 31st, 2009
Studies Find Heavy Heating Oil Has Severe Effect on Air Quality.

New York Times, December 29th, 2009
Urban Environment - Sustainability Comes of Age.

New York Times, December 26th, 2009
Air Quality Guidelines Face Unexpected Critics.

New York Times, December 24th, 2009
Where There’s Smoke ... There’s a Trade-In.

China Dialogue, December 24th, 2009
Briefing: the Copenhagen Accord.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Air Pollution Alerts - January 3rd, 2010

News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on December 27, 2009)

Scientific American, January 3rd, 2009
Climate Numerology: How Much Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Is Safe?

Khaleej Times, January 2nd, 2010
Plans to Expand Rail Services in Dubai.

Clean Techniqa, January 1st, 2010
New Delhi Contemplates Closing Down Industrial Units for ‘Clean’ Commonwealth Games 2010.

Shanghai Daily, January 1st, 2010
Cold brings air pollution.

Indian Express, January 1st, 2010
Metro network set to double.

Thaindian, December 31st, 2009
2010 dawns, but Delhi unprepared for Commonwealth Games.

Economist, December 30th, 2010
China's thing about numbers.

Wall Street Journal, December 29th, 2009
A Fast, Cheap Way to Cool the Planet.

Science Daily, December 29th, 2009
Mystery Solved: How Fine Particulates Are Formed in the Air.

South Asia Express, December 28th, 2009
Dhaka city's air pollution.

India Press Information Bureau, December 28th, 2009
Environmental Assessment of Industrial Clusters.

Wall Street Journal, December 28th, 2009
The New Climate Litigation.

Guardian, December 27th, 2009
Copenhagen has given us the chance to face climate change with honesty.

Taiwan News, December 27th, 2009
Poor air quality in southern Taiwan.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year !!

Wishing you all a merry and happy 2010