Despite often large, thick clouds of smog that hang over Beijing, China the countries officials have often complained that it’s nothing more than fog. Now under intense scrutiny from citizens the country has begun to release official detailed data about smog in the city. But surprise surprise the data is overly positive.
Beijing’s official weather websites on Saturday began including PM2.5 readers, particulate matter that is less than 2.5 micrometers in size and which is considered especially dangerous. Yet even with those readers experts are calling output display “surprisingly low” given the amount of smog in the area.
Furthering the crisis in Beijing is the fact that governmental readers of PM2.5 was listed as “Good” under EPA standards at a time when US Embassy data shows “moderate” smog conditions in the country.
As one expert noted, it’s all a “bit suspicious” especially when examining Beijing’s seven ultra-low readings. The expert tells the Associated Press:
“In all of 2010 and 2011, the US Embassy reported values at or below that level only 18 times out of over 15,000 hourly values or about 0.1% of the time.”
It’s no surprise smog levels are so high in the country, preceding the Beijing Olympics the city was forced to shut down many factors and private transportation in order to allow for smog levels to decrease while providing fresh air to athletes participating in the countries Summer Olympics events.
Do you think the Chinese government is attempting to pull “rosy” numbers out of thin air in order to quell fears over a growing problem?