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Clearing the Air for 2008 Beijing Olympics

As a preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and to provide the best for the athletes, the first step is to ensure they breathe good air//, and thus remain healthy. The U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory has been exploring this option with leading institutions, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the University of Tennessee, Tsinghua University, Peking University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The team has joined together to aid the understanding of air quality management and improve strategies for better emission control. The research, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was initiated to promote air quality in developing countries and provide a better understanding of regional air quality management and emission control strategies.

David Streets, a senior scientist in Argonne's Decision and Information Sciences Division, said, 'Air quality in Beijing in the summertime is dictated by meteorology and topography. Typically, temperatures are high, humidity is high, wind speeds are low, and the surrounding hills restrict venting of pollution. Thus, regional pollutants and ozone build up over several days until dispersed by wind or removed by rain. Typical industrial, coal-burning cities within several hundred kilometers of Beijing add to the local pollution.'

The United States is putting its best foot forward along with cities like Beijing to ensure better environmental controls and decrease emissions, a natural fallout of fast paced economic development.

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