Thursday, May 23, 2013

Air Pollution in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - Emissions, Dispersion, and Health Impacts Modeling (Journal Article)

Article published in the journal of Air Quality, Atmosphere, and Health

Particulate Pollution in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


The World Health Organization (WHO) listed the air pollution in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) among the top 5 cities with the worst air quality in the world. The air quality in the winter season reaches highs of 750 micro-g/m3 for daily average fine particulates (PM) due to increased coal combustion, lower mixing heights (less than 200m), coupled with city’s geography surrounded by mountains, which further restricts the vertical and horizontal dispersion of the pollutants. The annual average concentrations in 2010-11 ranged 136±114 micro-g/m3 (WHO guideline for fine PM is 10 micro-g/m3).

Single largest source to particulate pollution in Ulaanbaatar is coal and biomass combustion in the households and heat only boilers, followed by power plants. In this paper, we present sector specific emissions for 2010 accounting for 62,000 tons of fine PM; 55,000 tons of sulfur dioxide; and 89,000 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions.

The inventory is spatially disaggregated at 0.01° resolution on a GIS platform, for use in a chemical transport model (ATMoS).

The modeled concentrations for the urban area ranged 153±70 micro-g/m3, when overlaid on gridded population, resulted in estimated 1000 to 1500 premature deaths per year due to outdoor air pollution. This study also highlights the linkages between indoor and outdoor air pollution.

In these harsh temperate conditions, with 50% of the emissions originating from Ger households, they are as big a health risk for indoor air quality, as they are for outdoor air quality. Any intervention improving the combustion efficiency or providing clean fuel for these stoves will have a combined benefit for indoor air quality, outdoor air quality, and climate policy. The analysis shows that aggressive pollution control measures are imperative to protect the population in Ulaanbaatar from excess exposure levels and implementation of control measures like introduction of heat efficient stoves, clean coal for heating boilers, and urban transport planning, will result in significant health benefits, which surpass any costs of institutional, technical, and economic interventions.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Go Fish Somewhere Else (NPR)

From Mr. Lalloobhoy Battliwala

"As oceans warm — a result of climate change — fish maintain their preferred water temperature by moving away from the equator and toward the poles."

"80 percent of our seafood is imported, and we don't know whether fishermen are catching our swordfish in the tropics or the North Atlantic. Also, half of all seafood is now produced in enclosures — not caught in the wild.

 But if it's invisible to us, that's not the case for many people who rely on their local fisherman for protein."

Time to find alternative protein sources for the poor of the South.

Or reduce CO2 emissions perhaps?

************* From NPR **********

Climate change is gradually altering the fish that end up on ice in seafood counters around the world, according to a new study.

"The composition of the [global] fish catch includes more and more fish from the warmer areas, and cold-water fish are getting more rare, because the temperatures are increasing," says at the University of British Columbia, a co-author of the study.

As — a result of climate change — fish maintain their preferred water temperature by moving away from the equator and toward the poles.

So, for example, people in Denmark are now encountering swordfish, which you'd normally find in the Mediterranean and off the coast of Africa.

"In British Columbia, where I live, we have Humboldt squid, giant squid from Mexico," Pauly says. "They eat all the herrings and stuff, and people don't know them. They are stranded on the beach, and people think they are sea monsters."

And fishermen have scuffled over Atlantic mackerel quotas, as the fish moves north to new grounds around Iceland.

The new study in Nature shows these anecdotes aren't simply a fluke. Data from fish catches from around the world show it's happening everywhere the ocean is warming — which is .

This trend isn't obvious at American fish counters. That's because 80 percent of our seafood is imported, and we don't know whether fishermen are catching our swordfish in the tropics or the North Atlantic. Also, half of all seafood is now produced in enclosures — not caught in the wild.

But if it's invisible to us, that's not the case for many people who rely on their local fisherman for protein.

"In the tropics, there are lots of developing countries' fisheries where their ability to adapt to changes in the resources is much lower," says William Cheung, the report's lead author. Like Pauly, he's at the University of British Columbia's Fisheries Center in Vancouver.

The paper documents a migration of some species out of the tropics, as they seek cooler waters. But there are no fish to replace the ones that are leaving. As a result, "these fisheries in the tropics will be most vulnerable to climate change impacts," Cheung says.

The United States will gradually feel the effects as well.

"Imagine a reef fish that is driven by temperature into North Carolina or the Delaware coast," Pauly says. "That reef fish will not find reefs. It's like you having to move, but you cannot take your furniture with you, or your house. That is the problem."

Many fish will have a hard time adapting to this very rapid change, he says.
at the National Institute for Aquatic Resources in Denmark was not involved in the research, but he's impressed by the result.

"This is suddenly a wake-up call," he says. "It's a strong suggestion that climate change is here. It's real, and it's really starting to affect what we catch and, therefore, what we eat."

Thursday, May 02, 2013

A Giant Electronic Screen on Tiananmen Square Showing Blue Sky

A giant electronic screen on Tiananmen Square projects a blue sky as part of a propaganda video on a polluted day in Beijing. Air quality has become a serious concern for the world's second-biggest economy.

Read more on Courier-Journal.

Charcoal Pellet Press (Youtube)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Air Pollution in Ulaanbaatar - Inspections Measure Car Exhaust Pollution

From UB Post: April 30th, 2013

The Ulaanbaatar City Air Quality Department(UCAQD), the Traffic Police Department, the National Auto Transportation Center (NATC), and the National Agency of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environment Monitoring (NAHMEM), are jointly organizing inspections to measure cars’ exhaust emissions.

Inspections are particularly measuring whether the carbon monoxide emitted is within the permitted levels. Inspections will continue for a year. If the results indicate that most of the cars operating in Ulaanbaatar are emitting above the permitted levels of exhaust fumes, measures will be put in place to import better quality fuel and less-polluting cars. Car exhaust fumes currently comprise over 20 percent of Ulaanbaatar’s air pollution.

Below is a short interview with an official of NAHMEM, D.Unurbat, regarding the matter.

How do you measure the level of car exhaust fume emissions?

UCAQD officials, NATC engineers and police officers are diagnosing the emission levels at police departments at Bayanburd, Chuluun-Ovoo, Sapporo Intersection and 120 Myangat with a specific tool that measures exhaust fume amounts. Any car with exhaust fume emissions exceeding the permitted level will be prohibited from being driven and its state number plate and official documents will be confiscated. Owners of these cars will be able to get the documentation back once the car is brought within the permitted level of emissions.

Air Pollution News & Alerts - May 1st, 2013

Resource UK, May 1st, 2013
UK in breach of EU air quality laws.

Huffington Post, May 1st, 2013
Air Quality Awareness Week.

UB Post, April 30th, 2013
Inspections measure car exhaust emissions.

NRDC Switchboard, April 29th, 2013
Air Quality in Latin America: High Levels of Pollution Require Strong Government Action.

This is Beijing, April 27th, 2013
Air pollution monitored with 'eyes' in sky.

International News, April 27th, 2013
A case for public transport.

China Dialogue, April 25th, 2013
A Beijing view of London’s air pollution.

Air Quality News, April 25th, 2013
Defra publishes annual UK air quality statistics.

AQMA, April 25th, 2013
Relative roles of emissions and meteorology in the diurnal pattern of urban PM10: Analysis of the daylight saving time effect.

Science Daily, April 24th, 2013
A Simple Solution to Air Pollution from Wood-Burning Cookstoves.

Bloomberg, April 24th, 2013
U.N. to Issue Guidelines for Reporting Black Carbon Emissions for Global Inventory.

Times of India, April 24th, 2013
How air pollution may cause heart disease.

Parent Herald, April 24th, 2013
Air Pollution in China Forces Kids Indoors.

Patriot News, April 24th, 2013
Truck traffic, power plants continue to hurt Harrisburg region air quality.

Bangkok Post, April 23rd, 2013
Govt clean air push targets crematoriums.

ACP Discussion, April 23rd, 2013
Global and regional temperature-change potentials for near-term climate forcers.

Atlantic Wire, April 23rd, 2013
Beijing Residents May Not Be Able to Escape China's Bad Air.

NDTV, April 23rd, 2013
Smog is altering childhood in China's cities.

Smithsonian, April 23rd, 2013
Heart Attacks May Be Linked to Air Pollution.

Balkan News, April 23rd, 2013
“everyone in the world will have access to electricity” - World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim.

Motherboard, April 22nd, 2013
Reducing Black Carbon and Other Short-Lived Climate Pollutants Could Reduce Sea Level Rise by a Third.

WRI Insights, April 22nd, 2013
5 Keys to Sustainable Development in Indian Cities.

Press Bureau of Information, April 22nd, 2013
Impact of CNG and LPG on Air Pollution.

Vietnam Net, April 22nd, 2013
Bicycles will help reduce pollution, but will make traffic jam more serious.

Egypt Independent, April 21st, 2013
Air pollution indoors and outdoors high, threaten health and environment., April 19th, 2013
Living with More Pollution: Why Race and Place Still Matter.

Air Quality News, April 19th, 2013
Low Emission Zones ‘part of answer to air pollution’.

Switchboard, April 19th, 2013
It's More Important Than Ever for China to Develop Sustainably.

Auto Car, April 19th, 2013
Smog on the Yangtze.

Times of India, April 19th, 2013
Traffic pollution can give you a heart attack.

China.Org, April 18th, 2013
New air pollution law to set limits for emissions.

Indian Express, April 17th, 2013
Rising Ozone levels choking Bangalore.

Global Times, April 17th, 2013
Expats reconsider living in Beijing over growing pollution.

Indian Express, April 17th, 2013
India lacks strong auto fuel policy.

Deccan Herald, April 16th, 2013
Children falling victims to air pollution in City.

Climate Spectator, April 16th, 2013
Europe's toxic air: clearer but not clean.

Knowledge@Wharton, April 15th, 2013
The Economics of China's Pollution Problem.

Hydrocarbons21, April 15th, 2013
Cutting HFCs and other SLCPs could reduce the rate of sea-level rise by 18%.

Economic Times, April 15th, 2013
Policy soon to end ambiguity on auto emission.

India Express, April 15th, 2013
A Japanese solution for curbing air pollution in India.

Xinhua Net, April 15th, 2013
Smoking, air pollution major health threats in China.

Times of India, April 14th, 2013
Two-wheelers are biggest pollutants in Bangalore.

Wall Street Journal, April 12th, 2013
Why Leave Job in Beijing? To Breathe.

WRI insights, April 11th, 2013
Connecting Sustainable Transport to Urban Development in India.

Global Post, April 11th, 2013
Poor fuel quality major cause of air pollution.

Bangkok Post, April 11th, 2013
Bangkok must break the mould to become world class.

Los Angeles Times, April 10th, 2013
China pollution may hold silver lining for California.

Times of India, April 10th, 2013
Childhood cancers result of air pollution.

The Daily Shift, April 10th, 2013
An Taisce blames air pollution for thousands of premature deaths.

Yahoo News, April 10th, 2013
Now, a Japanese solution for curbing air pollution in India.

China Daily, April 8th, 2013
Beijing to charge people for soot emissions.

New York Times, April 8th, 2013
Air Pollution Tied to Birth Defects.

Vietnam Net, April 8th, 2013
Urban areas getting dirtier.

Power Engineering, April 8th, 2013
Stricter air pollution standards to drive shift from coal to natural gas for power generation.

Forbes, April 8th, 2013
How Much Do Health Impacts From Fossil Fuel Electricity Cost The U.S. Economy?

UN News, April 8th, 2013
Dangers of air pollution worse than previously thought, UN health agency warns.

India Press Information Bureau, April 8th, 2013
Steps to Reduce Air Pollution in the Country.

The Guardian, April 7th, 2013
Pollutionwatch: When temperatures drop, pollution levels can soar.

Hindustan Times, April 6th, 2013
Deforestation cost govt Rs. 2000 cr.

The Energy Collective, April 6th, 2013
Air Pollution in China: The Kids Aren't Alright.

China Dialogue, April 5th, 2013
Beijing won’t meet WHO air pollution standards until 2030s.

Washington Post, April 5th, 2013
Beijing residents rethink life in the big smoke.

Air Quality News, April 5th, 2013
Air policy review one of four ‘key’ EU priorities.

Christian Science Monitor, April 4th, 2013
Beijing is booming, but talent is leaving due to bad air.

Atlantic Wire, April 3rd, 2013
China's Deadly Air Pollution Is Already Up 30 Percent This Year.

Global Cement, April 3rd, 2013
Shanghai to halt cement production when air pollution bad.

Huffington Post, April 1st, 2013
The Air We Breathe: China, Pollution and the EPA As it Awaits a New Director.

Global Times, April 1st, 2013
City to issue air pollution alerts.

New York Times, April 1st, 2013
Air Pollution Linked to 1.2 Million Premature Deaths in China.

Indoor Air Pollution Updates, March 29th, 2013
WASHplus Weekly – Health Impacts of Household Air Pollution.

New York Times, March 29th, 2013
Cost of Environmental Damage in China Growing Rapidly Amid Industrialization.

The Guardian, March 28th, 2013
Malawi warms to sustainable stoves.

Times of India, March 28th, 2013
Air pollution turning Charminar black.

Indian Express, March 27th, 2013
On the anvil: A daily health advisory based on air pollution.

The Hindu, March 27th, 2013
The past & present of Indian environmentalism.

The Globe and Mail, March 26th, 2013
Use of coal power costs $300-million a year in health expenses.

The Global Urbanist, March 26th, 2013
The horrendous costs to human health of motorised transportation in (Indian) cities.

The World Bank, March 25th, 2013
India's Air Pollution Woes.

Vietnam Net, March 23rd, 2013
The smoky streets in Hanoi.

Times of India, March 23rd, 2013
A rot is brewing in the air in Bangalore.

NY Times, March 22nd, 2013
India’s Coal Power Plants Kill Tens of Thousands Every Year.

NY Times, March 21st, 2013
As Pollution Worsens in China, Solutions Succumb to Infighting.

The Atlantic, March 21st, 2013
Carbon Copy: Why China's Air-Pollution Problem Isn't Unique.

Oil Price, March 21st, 2013
The Time has Arrived for China to Take Responsibility for the Environment.

Cringlish, March 16th, 2013
Alternative Energy to Improve China's Air Quality.

Times of India, March 8th, 2013
India can cut vehicular emission through robust inspection and maintenance of on-road vehicles.