Winter is Coming

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Another year, another winter. As winter arrives in Beijing and soon in Shanghai, I got to wondering: how much worse is winter air in Beijing?

To get to the bottom of it, I analyzed the last eight years of US Embassy PM 2.5 data for Beijing and Shanghai. I found that the capital’s air has averaged 111 micrograms in the winter versus 92 micrograms for the rest of the year. Shanghai was a little better at 65 micrograms in winter versus 40 micrograms in summer.

 

Beijing summer-winter Shanghai summer-winter

Just how bad is that? The WHO 24-hour PM 2.5 limit is 25 micrograms (the year PM 2.5 limit is just 10 micrograms!). That means Beijing’s summers average three times the 24-hour limit, and winters average over four times the limit.

China whole year trend

Don’t live in Beijing or Shanghai? Then don’t get complacent! This trend is the same across China:

Breathe safe this winter!

Paddy graduated in aeronautical engineering from Bristol University, and now runs Smart Air’s operations from Beijing. He’s an advocate for open data, free information and transparent business.

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