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URI researcher: China can't fully fix air quality problem for Olympics
Date:7/14/2008

urrounding provinces, it's going to have a minor effect," said Rahn. "They've tried to relocate some of the polluting industries over time, and Beijing has gotten a little cleaner each year because of it, but the background pollutants still blow in just the same."

The government's plan to reduce pollution during the Olympics focuses on cutting automobile use in half while also temporarily shutting down factories and other large polluters. Rahn said that it is an expensive plan, since the government must reimburse the factories for their economic losses, and the plan will remain in place through the conclusion of the Paralympic Games in late September.

A test run of the transportation component of the pollution reduction plan conducted last summer resulted in undetectable air quality improvements.

"I sympathize with them. They're doing all the right things, but unfortunately the right things may not be good enough," Rahn said. "There will surely be some good days and some bad days. But the meteorological uncertainties mean that you can't predict how bad it will be more than two or three days ahead, and that may not be enough time for them to reschedule the marathon or the long-distance bike races.

"My advice to them at this point is to keep up the good work and then pray to the Mongolian Weather Gods to send cold fronts. That's their best hope for clean air."


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Contact: Todd McLeish
tmcleish@uri.edu
401-874-7892
University of Rhode Island
Source:Eurekalert

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