Beijing Holds Its Breath as Ozone Levels Surge

Beijing and parts of neighboring Hebei province and Tianjin were blanketed by smog infused with high levels of ozone recently amid a heat wave sweeping across parts of northern China.

The concentration of ground level ozone peaked at 141 micrograms per cubic meter of air on May 19, 2017, data from the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau showed.

 Source: Caixin             Read The Story

PSR Analysis: The strengthening of emissions standards for engine-powered vehicles and equipment has helped reduce some air pollutants in China, but pollution resulting from coal burning power plants, cement factories and steel mills is still resulting in a continuing worsening of the air quality across China.

Beijing was the beneficiary of two weeks of clear skies leading up to the One Belt, One Road Forum held in the nation’s capital recently.  The government-mandated slowdown in manufacturing, and restrictions imposed on driving leading up to the forum, resulted in a temporary reprieve.  However, long-term solutions are needed to reverse the growth of severe respiratory disease in China. PSR 

Methane Hydrate Can Be Major New Fossil Fuel Reserve

Commercial development of the globe's huge reserves of a frozen fossil fuel known as “combustible ice” has moved closer to reality after Japan and China successfully extracted the material from the seafloor off their coastlines.

But experts say that large-scale production remains many years away, and if not done properly could flood the atmosphere with climate-changing greenhouse gases.

Source: Independent                 Read The Story

PSR Analysis: New technologies and innovations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are often evaluated solely at the time of use, and as a result the benefits appear clear and undeniable. But that's not the entire picture. An EV car produces no emissions when driven, and solar and wind power are remarkably quiet and benign while producing “free” energy. However, the lithium mining process, the natural instability of lithium ion batteries, and the difficulty in safely recycling them must be considered in the overall equation. The same is true for methane hydrate.  The sea floor deposits found off the coasts of Japan and China offer tremendous energy potential, and could be the “clean” source of fuel China desperately needs.  Yet, the potential for ecological disaster exists if extraction is careless, or falls prey to a natural disaster during recovery.  PSR