中国的污染再受瞩目

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在最新的一期《自然》(Nature)杂志中,有一篇题为

Satellite view alerts China to soaring pollution

文章。文中说:Air quality is worse than thought — and is deteriorating fast(空气质量比想象的要糟糕,而且还在急速的恶化)。 在说北京时,前面有个形容词是:hazy(朦胧的)。数据显示中国的二氧化氮(大气污染的主要指标)在过去十年中增长了50%,更糟的是:恶化正在加速。在另一篇文章(Increase in tropospheric nitrogen dioxide over China observed from space)中给出了很多数据。可以看出我国的东部,特别是北京地区,在二氧化氮的浓度上,已经“超英赶美”了。

大气污染不是“内政”,是个全球性的问题,所以别总怪人家指指点点,自己必须重视起来。形式不容乐观啊,总是说要可持续发展,可最终还是落在了“发展”二字之上。但不知现在放在腰包里的银两以后够不够用来还环境这笔迟早要还的债的?别总是要刀架在脖子上才知道愁,就象煤矿,非要出事之后才治理一样。

中国大气污染
卫星图片现实中国大气污染的严重程度堪忧。越是红色越是严重。由图可见,欧洲日本普遍在比较低的蓝色领域,北美五大湖区是发展了二百多年的老工业集中地,但现在也不如我们红。还有些泛红的,如南非,印度,也和我们是一个毛病,只是不如我们崛起的那么快而已。

没有图书馆付费的用户恐怕看不到全文,我拷贝到此处,英语好有兴趣的可以看看。


Nature 437, 12 (1 September 2005) | doi: 10.1038/437012b

Satellite view alerts China to soaring pollution

David Cyranoski

Air quality is worse than thought — and is deteriorating fast.

Visitors to hazy Beijing can see how China’s industrialization is fouling the air. Now data suggest that the situation is even worse than it looks, and pollution levels are rising.

Direct satellite measurements of a key pollutant — nitrogen dioxide — are reported in this issue (see Increase in tropospheric nitrogen dioxide over China observed from space). The data show that concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in the atmosphere over China have risen by 50% during the past decade, and the build-up is accelerating.

In the 1990s, China introduced measures such as clean coal technologies to reduce air pollution (see Nature 435, 1152; 2005). Estimates of nitrogen dioxide concentrations still rose by 13% between 1994 and 2000 — but there were hints of a plateau (D. G. Streets et al. J. Geophys. Res. 108, 8809; 2003). The estimates were made as part of the ACE-Asia aerosol experiment and were based on ‘bottom-up’ calculations, which add up the fuel burned to gauge the pollutants released.

The satellite data come from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME), launched aboard a European Space Agency craft in 1995, and the Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY), launched in 2002. Both experiments measure concentrations of trace gases in the atmosphere from the Earth’s surface to about 10 kilometres high, although SCIAMACHY does so at a much higher resolution.

For nearly a decade GOME observations had shown increases in nitrogen dioxide over China at rates far greater than those estim-ated by the bottom-up measurements. But researchers didn’t feel entirely confident about their results until they got the data from SCIAMACHY. “There was an element of pie-in-the-sky to it,” says John Burrows at the University of Bremen in Germany, an author on the Nature paper. Burrows originally proposed both instruments: “We wondered, can you see this kind of thing? Now we know you can.”

China’s emission inventories may have failed to take account of sources of pollution such as cars, whose numbers doubled in the country between 1995 and 2002. “New sources have stepped in to take the place of old ones,” says another member of the Bremen team, environmental physicist Andreas Richter.

The team’s calculations depend on an assumption about how nitrogen dioxide concentrations vary vertically in the atmosphere. “But this should not affect measurements of trends,” Richter says.

“The satellite observations are a good starting point to tell us where to correct the predictions,” says Tami Bond, an environmental scientist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, who worked on the ACE-Asia inventory. However, she adds, “they don’t tell you exactly what is happening”.

The extent of the increase surprises Jianzhong Ma, an atmospheric chemist at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences in Beijing, who next year will begin a study of air pollution and aerosols. He hopes that ground-level observations and aircraft sampling will pin down exact amounts of nitrogen oxides. “We need to integrate the methods,” he says.

Meanwhile, the satellite researchers say they will hone their data. GOME II is scheduled for launch next autumn, and Burrows is already proposing a geostationary satellite that could observe continuously, reducing uncertainties about daily fluctuations.