北京赛车pk10将输改赢 www.dfcfafa01.cn Beijing, Tianjin issue orange alerts as PM2.5 levels rise


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The city of Dalian in Northeast China's Liaoning Province is blanketed by heavy smog on Tuesday. Northern cities across China have witnessed similar poor air quality, with smog alerts being issued. Photo: VCG


 Heavy smog has blanketed North China's Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region since Monday as spring temperatures rise.


The return of poor air quality following a winter season which saw better air due to a drive to convert coal to gas indicates that China's "war on pollution" is far from over, analysts said.


The air quality index (AQI) in downtown Beijing at 2:00 pm on Tuesday reached 260, with PM2.5 and PM10 both exceeding 200, according to data from the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.


Temperatures in Beijing reached as high as 27 C on Tuesday, 15 degrees higher than the city's average daytime temperature in March.


Beijing issued an orange alert for air pollution Saturday night, followed by Tianjin on Monday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.


Smog will prevail from Monday to Wednesday, according to a statement sent to the Global Times by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.


The pollution alert came after heavy pollution blanketed the region from March 9 to 15 during the annual meetings of the country's top political advisory and legislative bodies.


The ministry statement indicated that since North China has entered spring, temperatures have been rising and winds from the south and east would bring a lot of water vapor to the region, which lead to adverse air quality conditions.


 "North China has been experiencing low pressure, which weakens the circulation of air and allows pollution to stay," Wang Gengchen, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Atmospheric Physics Institute, told the Global Times on Tuesday.


"Since many industries have resumed operations after temporarily being shut down in winter, even though heating emissions are lower in spring, emissions from factories and the transport of goods have significantly increased," the statement noted.


The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region relies on the heavy chemical industry and land transportation, that's why pollution remains high, it said.


Last winter, North China experienced improved air conditions than in previous years, thanks to several measures, including switching the heating energy from coal to gas or electricity in northern cities, which caused a gas shortage and controversies.


"Some people might be overly optimistic by the sight of improvements in air quality. However, North China's air quality remains very fragile and the country is developing.  That means an increase in emissions would immediately create pollution," Wang noted.


"This is a reminder that fighting air pollution will be a protracted war," he said.


To create a stronger environmental watchdog, China merged the old environment ministry with relevant functions from other ministries to cap world-leading carbon dioxide emissions and clear the air.