I realize that scientify data — sometimes — tends to skew towards where scientists want to, but this one is quite interesting:
Beijing’s notoriously dirty air was cleaner during last summer’s Olympic games, but pollution levels were still much worse than at recent Olympics, despite a massive Chinese cleanup campaign, a new report said.
Athletes in Beijing faced pollution levels that were up to 3.5 times higher than those in recent Olympic cities like Athens, Atlanta and Sydney, said the study published Friday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The pollution often exceeded what the World Health Organization considers safe.
The joint American-Chinese study – the first major one published on air pollution during the Olympics – also found that the weather, and not the Chinese government’s strict controls imposed in the run-up to the games, played the largest role in clearing the air.
Beijing saw 146 “blue sky days” during the first half of the year, which means the city’s residents breathed in the least amount of pollutant in nine years, an environment official said Tuesday.
The blue sky days so far this year was 23 days more than the corresponding period last year and 47 days than the average level in recent years, said Du Shaozhong, deputy chief of Beijing municipal environmental protection bureau.