Strange Pollution Figures Recently

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  • #10327
    Charlie
    Keymaster

    Does anyone know what’s happening yesterday and today with the pollution figures in Chengdu? US consulate reports high figures in the 300’s but the Chengdu government readings are sky high. Ordinarily, the US figures are always higher.

    I’ve heard speculation that a construction site could be responsible for the very high PM10 rating, but that explanation doesn’t make sense to me since I’m sure that Chengdu collects pollution values from dozens of locations around the city.

    Anyone know what’s going on?

    Here’s an image from yesterday which describes what I’m talking about:

    readings.jpg

    #27973
    Liam
    Participant

    If the figures are jumping all over the place like they seem to have been, that doesn’t sound like an average from multiple sources. Could be that one of the nodes is corrupted and giving really high numbers and they just haven’t fixed it yet.

    #27974
    trudat
    Participant

    I’ve heard speculation that its because the farmers in Sichuan are burning their fields.

    #27975
    Lino
    Participant

    I noticed the same. I had a reading of over 600 for a while but after refreshing a few times the reading for the same time changed to 800+. I’d say something wrong with the reading.

    #27977
    Brian
    Participant

    Yeah, at the 21st floor level we get the smell and well as the particles, and it smells like burning up here. We had a lot of this in the fall, someone told us that farmers were burning their fields. It makes more sense than any construction related pollution, because Mianyang and Deyang had super high PM10 over the weekend too.

    #27980
    Eric
    Participant

    if the farmers are burning in the fields, the air would look brown like we’re in the middle of a habboo

    #27983
    Liam
    Participant
    Quote:
    if the farmers are burning in the fields, the air would look brown like we’re in the middle of a habboo

    *Looks outside* Check.

    #27986
    Eric
    Participant

    Which side of the city are you on? I’m in the city center and it’s “clear” for chengdu standards.

    #27987
    Charlie
    Keymaster
    Quote:
    I’ve heard speculation that its because the farmers in Sichuan are burning their fields.

    Any idea why they would be doing that now in larger than normal amounts?

    Quote:
    Which side of the city are you on? I’m in the city center and it’s “clear” for chengdu standards.

    Despite the really high pollution yesterday, it looked relatively clear. What I’ve noticed from photographing the sky and keeping track of pollution figures on a daily basis is that there isn’t necessarily any relationship between the appearance of the sky and the actual pollution levels.

    #27988
    Chris Ziich
    Moderator

    My guess is that it’s been sunny all weekend. Less cloud cover gives the illusion that air is cleaner.

    Anyways, my roommates reported a strange burning smell last night from our 9th floor apt. We closed the windows after that.

    #27989
    Rick in China
    Participant
    Quote:
    Any idea why they would be doing that now in larger than normal amounts?

    We don’t have pollution stats from last year to compare, but since farming is seasonal and ash can provide useful by-products for crops I guess it makes sense…

    #27990
    Brian
    Participant

    I’m on the east/southeast near the first ring road and can look east and south from my place, looks like around 250. Visually it has been a lot worse before.

    #27991
    SS
    Participant

    I usually look at the page with multiple readings, but they seem not to have been updated today. Yesterday was bad; I don’t usually get affected, but I had a headache last night after being outside unprotected all day.

    Link here.

    #27992
    Eric
    Participant

    actually, it started smelling horrible during the evening last night now that i think about it. i don’t know about it smelling like ash, but it smells more like cigarettes and garbage. I assumed I just had a disgusting neighbor.

    #27995
    Liam
    Participant
    Quote:
    Link here.

    Wow. Are those numbers the same scale that the US consulate uses?

    @iameric: It looked pretty nice here yesterday as well, despite the pollution levels. I’m in the Southwest.

    Quote:
    since farming is seasonal and ash can provide useful by-products for crops I guess it makes sense…

    It’s also the start of planting season so this does make sense.

    #28001
    Brendan
    Moderator

    I haven’t noticed the burning smell yet, and I have done for the previous two years, even when I was up on the 35th floor!

    My theory is that with the ludicrous push to finish up the viaduct and associated construction, there’s going to be hot spots across the city that essentially encircle us. Some of those locations will be in close proximity to some of the testing ‘stations’, hence the abnormal counts.

    My guess is we can expect to see this continue right into June ahead of the Forum. It will be an impressive feat if the city pulls it off, but I’m starting to wonder just how many corners are being cut in order to complete. The roads adjacent to this thing are already cut to pieces, and if I ride over another road cut that dings my back wheel I’m going to want to kill someone!!

    #28006
    Thomas
    Participant

    a joke, from my friend close to the city government:

    the chengdunese, suffering from roadwork traffic jams and detours and air pollutions, have fiercely cursed the current CD party boss Huang Xinchu, who commissioned all these roadworks since his appointmnet, on the internet. He was given a nickname “黃挖挖” Huang WaWa, or Huang Dig Dig. It becomes a topic tag on weibo, (china microblog)

    Huang was angry, and requested Sina to filter out this derogative nickname and all other negative posts about him.

    Sina replied him, “Service only available to central government state leaders”

    #28009
    Thomas
    Participant

    weibo.jpg

    #28022
    Kim Duistermaat
    Participant

    The difference in the two readings is because US consulate does not take PM10 into account but only PM2.5, while the PM10 was ridiculously high the past two days. Normally, PM2.5 is more of a problem in CD which is why the consulate readings are normally higher. It was very clear that this was not a wrong reading: while the ‘normal’ pollution, even when it reached the 400s in January, never smelled, yesterday and today there was a very distinct and dusty stink in the air. Whoever was burning something or dusting cement somewhere has stopped doing it, apparently, since readings are now back to ‘normal’, as far as normal goes…

    #28023
    Kim Duistermaat
    Participant

    You can see how PM10 and PM2.5 contribute to the readings very nicely on this site, http://www.aqicn.info/?city=chengdu (the readings are blank today because the thing got stuck yesterday evening at 1008 AQI….)

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