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Thick smog often obscures the sky over Beijing and nearby regions. Residents are frequently warned to spend as little time as possible outdoors, due to the air pollution.
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Image Courtesy of NASA

Scientists to Assess Beijing Olympics Air Pollution Control Efforts
News story originally written on August 7, 2008

During the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, scientists have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe what happens in the atmosphere a heavily populated part of the world cuts back on everyday industrial emissions. Chinese officials have cut back on industrial activity by as much as 30 percent and required that people don't drive their cars very much in order to make the air in Beijing cleaner for the athletes competing in the Olympics.

An unmanned aircraft that has special scientific equipment will go on a series of flights to measure smog and and how it affects conditions in the atmosphere. The flights will start at the South Korean island of Cheju, located about 1,165 kilometers (725 miles) southeast of Beijing. Cheju is in the path of pollution plumes that begin in various cities in China, including Beijing.

Dust, soot, and other pollution aerosols are a major contributor to global warming. Scientists are interested in learning what happens in the atmosphere when less soot is released during the Olympics.

Last modified August 12, 2008 by Becca Hatheway.

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