Wednesday, July 30, 2008

API of 43

In a dramatic turn-around, today's API is just 43.Take a look at the API data since the car ban went into effect on 7/20:

The dramatic reduction from earlier this week seems clearly the result of light rain yesterday morning, which many people (including some media) are attributing to cloud seeding. I don't doubt this, though neither I nor anyone else I know has a direct source to confirm it.

The four consecutive days (7/24 - 7/27) exceeding the Blue Sky Day limit were putting major pressure on Beijing to deliver some answers about why the temporary environmental measures weren't working, and what they planned to do about it. If the data alone weren't enough, foreign media had a field day taking pictures of Monday morning's extreme haze.

Beijing's three-fold response was as follows:

1) Delay publishing the API data. I don't know if anyone else noticed this, but Monday's API wasn't made available until Tuesday, when both days were reported simultaneously as 96 and 90, respectively. Despite my previous post arguing against the trump card of doubting official data, China is nothing if not a place that makes you question and re-question what you think, and in this case I must say I have a hard time believing Monday's 96 reading.

2) (Presumably) seed clouds, as mentioned previously, to wash away all the particulates in the air.

3) Launch a PR campain calling Monday's event "fog" instead of "haze."

And so the game continues.

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