Atmospheric Science

Clean Competition

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Science  24 Nov 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5803, pp. 1219
DOI: 10.1126/science.314.5803.1219a

Concern has arisen about air quality during planning for the August 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, as so many of the scheduled competitions are intensely aerobic, and summer pollution levels in Beijing can be high. Both the national and municipal governments there have introduced a range of measures to reduce locally generated air pollution, a strategy almost certain to have a positive effect. However, air pollution can also arise from remote generation sources, and thus local mitigation efforts may not be sufficient to meet the stated objectives of the Chinese officials toward air quality improvement. Streets et al. assess the importance of outside sources as contributors of two significant regional and urban air pollutants: fine particulate matter and ozone. Using a combination of emissions data and modeling, they conclude that sources far from the city exert a substantial influence on air quality in Beijing, and that fine particulate matter and ozone could exceed healthful levels in the unfortunate event of unfavorable meteorological conditions, even if local sources were eliminated entirely. The authors suggest that additional emission control measures in Beijing's populous, industrialized neighboring provinces should be considered. — HJS

Atmos. Environ. 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2006.08.046 (2006).

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