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Air Conditioning and Coolant
Waste and Recycling
Air Pollution

How bad is the air in Beijing?

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Wiki User
December 06, 2011 6:20AM

Another point of view:

It is bad. China had a per capita carbon emission of about five tons in 2008, exceeding the world average of 4.18 tons per capita.

Older answers:

Data on the air quality in Beijing is difficult to come by and difficult to interpret when available. Factors such as the location of monitoring sites strongly impacts the perception of quality. However, the following external information may prove useful.

According to the European Space Agency, Beijing and its neighbouring north-east Chinese provinces have the planet's worst levels of nitrogen dioxide, which can cause fatal damage to the lungs. The Chinese independent environmental researchers list Beijing as No. 28 out of 113 on the Chinese list of polluted cities in China.

Beijing does not make the Top 10 list of polluted cities for particulate matter (Wikipedia data), or the Forbes Top 25 most polluted cities in the world (data prepared by Mercer Human Resources Consultants).

China itself is second on the list of carbon dioxide emitters in the world (Wikipedia data).

106 Tons of Carbon Dioxide per year:

  • United States: 2,795
  • China: 2,680
  • Russia: 661
  • India: 583
  • Japan: 415
  • Germany: 356
  • Australia: 300
  • South Africa: 232
  • United Kingdom: 212
  • South Korea: 185

It may be assumed that the majority of these emissions are related to heavily industrialized areas such as Beijing. There will be a burden of other pollutants with the carbon dioxide.

Municipal environmental departments in Beijing report deceases in SOx emissions of several percent in recent years.

Previous Answers

  • Not too bad.
  • Beijing air is just like that of New York or New Delhi.
  • Not true; their air is so bad you can't even see anything. The only reason they started to clean it was because of the 2008 Olympics event.

Since the 1980s, the city has experienced rapid industrial development, urbanization and increased traffic. Pollution from coal-fired power plants and emissions from slow-moving gas guzzlers have combined to cast a dun-colored haze over Beijing and its sprawling suburbs.