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Sunday, October 19, 2014

ALL IS NOT WELL WITH PLANET EARTH


Yesterday, 25,000 (or 30,000, depending on source) runners participated in the Beijing Marathon.  Masks of various types were used.  However, air pollution did not bother Girmay Gebru of Ethiopia, who won in 2:10:42:


While it was reported that "most" runners finished, it wasn't clear how many died.  The government had issued a BLUE WARNING, meaning, the air quality was unsuitable for outdoor activities.  Not sure what blue means, for:


Maybe blue means off the charts, for there were readings in Dingzhou yesterday that went beyond the highest level on the index.  From another source, here is what I found about BLUE:

Beijing Initiated a Blue Warning  

From Beijing’s severe air pollution emergency director’s office), the reporter found out, Beijing’s unfavorable weather conditions continued to influence the air quality, as the air current moved poorly. At the same time, the fireworks and firecrackers set off on the night of Lantern Festival increased the degree of pollution. From 6 pm on the day of Lantern Festival, the density of PM2.5 increased markedly, rising to a peak hourly average of 500 micrograms per cubic meter. There was even an individual instance of 900 micrograms per cubic meter recorded. Compared with the peak recording on New Year’s Eve, Lantern Festival was 50% higher.

Apparently BLUE means an Air Quality Index greater than 500.  There was some sense of humor, as the general theme had to do with airpocalypse and there was no Ebola scare, for no one wore a Hazmat suit.  Interesting that, as bad as Beijing might be, here are the world's worst air polluted cities:


If you're wondering why Beijing is not listed, this has something to do with the use of particulate matter (PM) size:  PM10 micron by the world and PM2.5 micron by China.  In general, you can inhale a 10 micron particle, but the smaller 2.5 micron is far more dangerous, as it gets into your blood stream.


Last month, September, was the hottest on record. This April, May, June and August also equalled or broke the all-time monthly highs:

"We shouldn't be beating the all-time records without an intense El Nino," said Andy Pitman (right), director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of NSW. "What the hell's going to happen when we do get [one]?"

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Hurricane Ana remains at 80 MPH, is today south of Kauai/Niihau, and will turn north from tomorrow.


Best as I could tell, Ana was kind to Hawaii.  Honolulu has had gentle rains for a day and a half now, with sunlight expected this afternoon.  Whew!

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