Air pollution levels in Taiwan - grim reading


#181

A few years back I didn’t take any interest in east coast air pollution. But in 2013, there were a few very obvious hazy days which we suddenly realised was nasty air. Before that, either too busy or too unobservant :whistle:. But https://www.windyty.com/ along with http://aqicn.org/map/taiwan/ is really bringing home what happens here on the island.

Polluted air rolled in this morning, as HH said, vertically down the east coast. Hualien earlier today was 91, considered high on the east. Now, after an afternoon of steady rain, it’s dropped back into the green (just, 46).

I don’t know what the solution is here. Even if the west coast managed to clean up its own emissions (and that seems impossible in the short-term, there’s no clear plan that I know of), it would still be affected by air from the Chinese mainland. In the meantime, whilst the Hualien air is often still good, local development is increasing all the time and traffic congestion is growing. Bridges and wider roads are being constructed which will lead, as everyone knows, to an increase in vehicles. The new Su-Hua highway is well underway and will open in a few years, bringing a stream of steady traffic down from Taipei through Yilan. The air quality here is only going to go downhill, and I’m pessimistic.


#182

Just finished reading an article about pollution in China
PM2.5 up to 1100 and even 1400 yesterday in somewhere called… oops… lost the link
will find it

Found it. From AFP in French called
Nouvelle vague “d’airpocalypse” dans le Nord Est de la China

In Shenyang / Liaoning and Changchun / Jilin
Last Sunday 1157
Monday 867
But according to CCTV. Peaks up to 1400 in some areas…
Reminder… WHO recommends 25 maxi


#183

The numbers in China are ridiculous. I am not happy that the 85 building is just a shadow in the haze from my apartment 5kms away. I can’t imagine being somewhere with visibility limited to a couple hundred meters.


#184

Awful days… last week I had a cold and now my nose is even worse. Waterfalls by Enya comes to mind. Had to take allergy medication and guess what? I am a zombie at work… and still dripping… added nasal spray to the arsenal…

Shoot me… Kill me… Save me from this misery…


#185

From here: international.thenewslens.com/post/243421/

“The director of the EPA’s monitoring department Tsai Hung-de says that the main reason of low air qualities in the morning is emission from vehicles, thermal power generators, steel plants, and large-scale factories. Despite the west and northwestern winds covering western Taiwan, their weak forces don’t help much in air diffusion, so air pollutants aren’t dispersed. Moreover, the coastal areas of China have recently gone through massive downpours, indicating the country has nothing to do with the current poor air quality in Taiwan. PM2.5 is fine particles generated by factory incineration, vehicular engine combustion, paper money burning or firecrackers. They are composed of toxins, such as heavy metal and dioxins.”


#186

I am not completely convinced of that article but ‘It’s China’ has been a convenient excuse to not do something for too long.


#187

[quote=“Poagao”]From here: international.thenewslens.com/post/243421/

“The director of the EPA’s monitoring department Tsai Hung-de says that the main reason of low air qualities in the morning is emission from vehicles, thermal power generators, steel plants, and large-scale factories. Despite the west and northwestern winds covering western Taiwan, their weak forces don’t help much in air diffusion, so air pollutants aren’t dispersed. Moreover, the coastal areas of China have recently gone through massive downpours, indicating the country has nothing to do with the current poor air quality in Taiwan. PM2.5 is fine particles generated by factory incineration, vehicular engine combustion, paper money burning or firecrackers. They are composed of toxins, such as heavy metal and dioxins.”[/quote]

Nice, but how does it get so bad in Taipei? We do not have factories. Is it all vehicles? Then maybe we can make a dent on it with some policing -especially now that we have Super Ko in action. More public transportation, more enforcement of strict gas emissions for cars… and getting rid of gas powered scooters, turn them to electric or bikes.

heck, I am not so sure on that factory bit. Isn’t it that exports are down and production has been slashed?

No wonder my blood pressure is also way up, 140ish.


#188

Bali and Beitou garbage incinerators anyone? I think Neihu is affected by the latter the most, if the wind comes from west/northwest. The one at Muzha should disperse the particles more to the east, so not the Taipei city center. Or are the chimneys high enough up to blow it all out to sea?


#189

[quote=“Poagao”]From here: international.thenewslens.com/post/243421/

“The director of the EPA’s monitoring department Tsai Hung-de says that the main reason of low air qualities in the morning is emission from vehicles, thermal power generators, steel plants, and large-scale factories. Despite the west and northwestern winds covering western Taiwan, their weak forces don’t help much in air diffusion, so air pollutants aren’t dispersed. Moreover, the coastal areas of China have recently gone through massive downpours, indicating the country has nothing to do with the current poor air quality in Taiwan. PM2.5 is fine particles generated by factory incineration, vehicular engine combustion, paper money burning or firecrackers. They are composed of toxins, such as heavy metal and dioxins.”[/quote]

That article was poorly written even though I agree with the sentiments that most of the pollution on the west coast is home grown, the last bout of pollution was blown down from China, check the wind direction and source on relevant apps. The picture is pretty clear but the author never checked this. The author just succeeds in confusing the situation further
instead of using data to make his case!

Of course Taipei has plenty of local pollution sources mainly the large number of motor Vehicles, the emissions can get trapped close to the ground and ozone, NOx, SOx is a big problem. Rules of thumb I have heard are 30-60% of PM2.5 and ozone, NOx, sox can be attributed to vehicle traffic in cities. Obviously can be worse in places like Taipei with a lot of scooters and basin effect and inversion effect at certain times of year. NOx in particular has cardiovascular effects.

Having lived in Taichung for some years I was shocked at the severe pollution there in the Autumn and Winter time , that was almost all home grown from local power stations, factories, refineries, vehicles, rice stalk burning, ghost money and fireworks. The first 3 being something particularly problematic in central and southern Taiwan. Again check the wind direction to largely rule out China sourced pollution. North Taiwan has some coal powered plants , Keeung, Ruifang, new one in Linkou to open I believe . Fortunately (for residents of) north Taiwan factories and refineries are rarer here.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of … in_Taiwan#


#190

Christ, it’s like the end of the world here in South Taichung today…it’s 10 am, and the pollution is so bad it’s DARK. My normally busy neighborhood is like a ghost town…nobody walking around outside.


#191

If you look at this map up close you can see the wind is pushing horizontally into the west coast mountains, effectively trapping the pollution.

earth.nullschool.net/#current/pa … 20.13,3000


#192

Cool link.

Crap…there goes the weekend. I guess my poor, neglected bicycle is staying in the basement yet again . I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to exercise outdoors.


#193

[quote=“saisai”]Cool link.

Crap…there goes the weekend. I guess my poor, neglected bicycle is staying in the basement yet again . I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to exercise outdoors.[/quote]

you could always buy a p95 mask. but they are expensive here.


#194

[quote=“nonredneck”][quote=“saisai”]Cool link.

Crap…there goes the weekend. I guess my poor, neglected bicycle is staying in the basement yet again . I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to exercise outdoors.[/quote]

you could always buy a p95 mask. but they are expensive here.[/quote]

Yes, I have some, and they seem to work very well. But it’s not really much fun cycling when wearing one, especially if you’re going for it.


#195

[quote=“saisai”][quote=“nonredneck”][quote=“saisai”]Cool link.

Crap…there goes the weekend. I guess my poor, neglected bicycle is staying in the basement yet again . I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to exercise outdoors.[/quote]

you could always buy a p95 mask. but they are expensive here.[/quote]

Yes, I have some, and they seem to work very well. But it’s not really much fun cycling when wearing one, especially if you’re going for it.[/quote]

Are you using the one with the ventilation or without? I’ve seen two models, one a normal mask and one with a ventilation slot. Ventilation is OK in cold weather, but sucks in hot weather,


#196

m.appledaily.com.tw/realtimenews … 08/728433/

I read above that there’s some kind of air pollution protest planned in Taichung on Nov 28th. I’m thinking of heading down there and joining the protest. Although I don’t live there anymore, the situation is still dire for the residents and air pollution affects all of us in Taiwan in one form or another.

On a light note, for residents of Northern Taiwan its glorious weather with relatively clean air today. Enjoy!


#197

Be sure to get some photos of protesters ignoring people burning ghost money, or better yet protesters actually burning ghost money, as well as protesters riding smoking two-stroke scooters to the protest.


#198

Now now there’s already enough cynicism to go around around here. :laughing:


#199

Well, we’re all eco-warriors until we have to do something inconvenient such as not using heaters / aircon, not driving, not eating meat, buying plastic crap, and so on.

If everyone stopped doing something they really wanted to do (for me it’d be aircon) for just one day, it’d make a difference. We care, just not that much. We mostly want to ‘raise awareness’, not do stuff.


#200

It was. Danshui’s spiked up to 109 on AQICN.org in the past hour! The rest of Taipei still seems fairly good. Heading out for a bike ride in a couple of minutes, going into the city - I hope I leave the smog behind, rather than have it follow me.

EDIT to add a few hours later: interesting, and troubling, that wind swept through and made the skies significantly clearer and prettier - and yet those PM2.5 numbers are still over 100. Or at least they are at AQICN.org; over at Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network they’re not as bad. It’s kind of weird how different their numbers are.