China and India reach a 'pack a day' cigarette equivalent in air pollution

From the “EPA helped export the problem overseas” department, comes this press release from Berkeley Earth:

Smog hangs over a construction site in Weifang city, Shandong province, Oct 16. 2015. Air quality went down in many parts of China since Oct 15 and most cities are shrounded by haze. [Photo/IC]
Smog hangs over a construction site in Weifang city, Shandong province, Oct 16. 2015. Air quality went down in many parts of China since Oct 15 and most cities are shrounded by haze. [Photo/IC]
Horrific Air Pollution in Europe Reaches 7 cigarettes per day equivalent, a pack a day in India and China

It’s winter, and that’s the worst air pollution period for Europe and China. The levels over much of the continent are in the unhealthy range. In the figure we show a map of the pollution of particulate matter in Europe, “PM2.5”, the most lethal of the common air pollutions.

The map was taken from our website: http://berkeleyearth.org/air-quality-real-time-map/, where it is updated hourly. Grey areas (such as in Italy and Russia) are regions in which hourly updates are not publicly available.

The scale of “cigarettes per day” is used to make the levels easiest to understand. They were calculated by comparing the known health risk of cigarettes to the known health risks of PM2.5 as estimated by the World Health Organization. Throughout much of Europe the pollution levels give a health effect equivalent to that of every man, woman and child smoking 5 cigarettes per day; in the worst regions of Europe, the level exceeds 7 cigarettes per day equivalent.  For more information on PM2.5 and cigarette equivalence, see our memo: http://berkeleyearth.org/air-pollution-and-cigarette-equivalence/

The second plot shows yesterday’s air pollution around the world.  The worst pollution is in India and China, where levels reach over a pack of cigarettes per day (PM2.5 above 400 micrograms per cubic meter). It was not a good day for much of the world, except for the US, Japan, and some small scattered regions. The pollution tends to be exacerbated in winter, when more fuel is burned for heat (even renewables such as wood and biomass contribute to air pollution) and when atmospheric conditions are likely to trap the pollution.

For more detailed information on Berkeley Earth’s work on air pollution, see: http://berkeleyearth.org/air-pollution-overview/.

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Bruce Cobb
January 26, 2017 10:47 am

Wow, look at all that “carbon pollution”.

Geoff
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 26, 2017 2:39 pm

Main thing to note is that sub 2.5 micron particles do not form clouds. Nor do charged sub 2,5 micron particles.

catweazle666
Reply to  Geoff
January 27, 2017 3:42 pm

Apologise to Dr Crockford, you slimy little creep.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Singapore
Reply to  Geoff
January 28, 2017 4:54 pm

Catweazle
That’s Griff, not Geoff.
Geoff, almost all particles that form clouds (cloud condensation nuclei) are PM2.5 which is a designation meaning ‘less than 2.5 microns in aerodynamic diameter’. CCN’s are in the ‘few nanometre’ size all of which are ‘PM2.5’.
For interest, PM10 includes all PM2.5 because it means ‘smaller than 10 microns’.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 26, 2017 4:31 pm

No, this is not “carbon pollution”. It’s PM2.5 “Particulate Matter, 2.5 micrometers or less”. There are claims that the hazards it poses are seriously exaggerated. From a paper about measurements at sea, “Sea spray aerosol is an important component of the climate
system and the largest single source of aerosol mass injected into the atmosphere after wind-blown dust” so in coastal regions you’ll be counting sea spray droplets and salt crystals amongst other things like tire dust and smoke. PM2.5 is pretty seriously uninformative unless you know what KIND of particles you’re talking about; some will be hazardous and some won’t and the mix is going to differ from coastal town to heavy industry site.
Looking at the linked site two things struck me.
(a) Why discard all regions without hourly data?
(b) The figures in my own country must be largely fill-in. (And in fact a large “scenic” chunk *isn’t* filled in.) Roughly speaking, the sensors are placed where people think there is going to be trouble that matters, both factors leading to the result “where the people and industry are”.

Reply to  Richard A. O'Keefe
January 26, 2017 7:01 pm

We require hourly data so that we can begin to
Address the issues of preferential sampling..
Basically we use wind an precipitation data hourly to predict where the pollution originated .

lee
Reply to  Richard A. O'Keefe
January 26, 2017 8:03 pm

Yeah, you goota watch out for the Blue Mountains in Australia, looking at the Berkeley Earth map.;)

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 27, 2017 3:53 am

Might as well smoke! Yay!
Now why did I quite many decades ago?

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 27, 2017 4:04 am

We wrote in 2002, re the now-defunct Kyoto Protocol:
“Kyoto focuses primarily on reducing CO2, a relatively harmless gas, and does nothing to control real air pollution like NOx, SO2, and particulates, or serious pollutants in water and soil.”
Originally published in November 2002 on the APEGA website, now at https://friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/KyotoAPEGA2002REV1.pdf
Quelle surprise! Plus ca change, plus can change pas!
This is what happens when you let scoundrels and imbeciles establish public policy.
Best, Allan

Lucius von Steinkaninchen
January 26, 2017 10:50 am

And somehow now the liberal media is trying to vent the narrative that the Chinese will become leaders in renewable energy and green technology because “Trump is killing environmentalism in the US” or something.

Hugs
Reply to  Lucius von Steinkaninchen
January 26, 2017 1:10 pm

Typical communist double think. Also see how there is no information from Russia.
However, the air quality depends on weather. High pressure (cold winter days) is worse than low pressure (wind and rain). CO2 causes warm winter weather, they say.

oeman50
Reply to  Lucius von Steinkaninchen
January 30, 2017 11:27 am

Yeah, the Chinese have been playing us like a fiddle, using their “superior” environmental stance to make Europe and the US buy in even more into handicapping ourselves.

jorgekafkazar
January 26, 2017 10:51 am

Sniff. Sniff. I smell computer models.

climatereason
Editor
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
January 26, 2017 11:24 am

I agree. I think this model is much too generalised. From personal experience I can confirm the air quality in both south west England and northern Austria is currently excellent. Are these readings for major cities which have then been smudged over a wider area?
Which is not to say that the idea of the cigarette equivalent isn’t a Useful one
Tonyb

Reply to  climatereason
January 26, 2017 11:50 am

Tony, I was curious about the data Berkeley uses. It is from a Chinese website, aqicn.org. They have aggregated data from 60 countries. For example, they list three locations in the London metropolitan area. Did not run down whose stations. Berkeley maps are developed by kriging infill from the agicn data aggregation. You can punch up just about any major city in the 60 countries. They even have a station in Broward county close to Fort Lauderdale.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
January 26, 2017 7:07 pm

No computer model. Just basic physics.
1. Concentration at location X
2. Wind direction and speed.
3 precipitation.
4. PartiCle residence time.
5. PBL
Basic trajectory analysis.

catweazle666
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 27, 2017 3:44 pm

Heh, I wondered what dodgy modelling scam you would shift to now Trump has shot your CAGW BS out of the sky.
Now we know!

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Singapore
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 28, 2017 5:17 pm

Dispersion modelling is well studied. Give up the grasping at straws.
What the chart doesn’t show you is anything smaller than PM0.1 to PM0.22 (depending on the instrument). In terms of particle numbers (not mass) there are far more particles not counted than counted.
Re hourly v.s. 24 hourly, the hourly can easily be transcribed into 24 hourly numbers. Why is this not done?
There is (as per EPA) an assumption of ‘equitoxicity’ embedded in the exposures that are tolerable and permissible. The equitoxic argument is of course convenient bunk. It is a convenient guess filling in for knowledge.
This means the ‘equal to cigarettes’ argument fails conceptually at the starting gate. Cigarette smoke is not ‘equitoxic with sand’ or ocean spray or wood smoke or road dust or diesel soot. It is a well-proven medical danger while the others are not.
Using cigarettes as a ‘measure’ is scientific fraud, clear and concise. Cigarette smoke is definitely hazardous to human health in known amounts. There is virtually nothing known about almost the health impact of all other PM2.5 particles and anyone who claims there is, is appealing to public ignorance of the details. The weasel position will be that ‘we didn’t mean health impact we mean numbers of particles’ so watch for the fall back position.
PM2.5 particles are not equally toxic. The ‘x cigarettes per day equivalent ‘ metric is without physical scientific or medical validity. To me, that makes it a fraudulent claim.
For interest, a smoker gets about 45 mg of PM2.5 exposure from 1 cigarette. The charts above are in micrograms per cubic metre. Someone smoking 10 cigarettes a day would be exposed to the ambient PM2.5 (whatever it is) plus 450,000 micrograms from the cigarettes. To get that exposure from breathing would require one to inhale 1,500,000 litres of 300 microgram/m^3 air per day.
450,000 µg x 1000 litres / 300 µg = 1,500,000 litres
or 1,000,000 litres of 450 µg/m^3 air,
Good luck with that.

rms
January 26, 2017 10:53 am

Steve Milloy’s book pretty much debunked the “known health risks with PM2.5”.

Perry
Reply to  rms
January 26, 2017 11:21 am

Tony Heller mentioned Steve Milloy.
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims that outdoor air kills hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. EPA has used this claim to: wreck the coal industry; justify expensive and job-killing air quality and climate rules; and to scare Americans about the air they breathe. Milloy not only debunks the outrageous EPA’s claims and exposes them as rank scientific fraud in no uncertain terms, but offers a roadmap for fixing the rogue and out-of-control EPA.
https://realclimatescience.com/2016/12/scare-pollution-why-and-how-to-fix-the-epa/

Ben of Houston
Reply to  rms
January 26, 2017 12:51 pm

Well, PM2.5 doesn’t have “no risks”. It’s still soot. That being said, I have serious problems with the comparison to cigarettes in how it’s soot. It’s not toxic. It’s not carcinogenic. It’s not in any way good for you, but it’s in no way comparable to tobacco.

Reply to  Ben of Houston
January 26, 2017 4:36 pm

No, *some* of it is soot, and some of it isn’t. It’s not a homogeneous mix all over the planet. One thing it’s not is pollen (too big) but some fungal spores are in the PM2.5 range.

Reply to  rms
January 26, 2017 7:17 pm

In the places. In the world where cold hard facts like emergency admissions on bad air days matter to folks rest assurred they know Miloy is a liar.
There are some interesting debates about low exposure over time… epidemiology is fun. But go to an emergency room in china on bad air day and count the children and elderly admitted for respiratory related acute conditions.
People are getting tired of paying the bill for coal plants
That pollute the air without compensation.
We have it lucky in the USA.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 26, 2017 10:07 pm

“Steven Mosher January 26, 2017 at 7:17 pm
In the places. In the world where cold hard facts like emergency admissions on bad air days matter to folks rest assurred they know Miloy is a liar.
There are some interesting debates about low exposure over time… epidemiology is fun. But go to an emergency room in china on bad air day and count the children and elderly admitted for respiratory related acute conditions.
People are getting tired of paying the bill for coal plants
That pollute the air without compensation.”

“Cold hard facts”
“Miloy {sic} is a liar”
“Emergency room in China”
“Respiratory related acute conditions”
“coal plants… That pollute the air without compensation.”
Not too far over the top Steven, perhaps just beyond the moon’s orbit.
Did you wipe tears from your keyboard while typing?
Did you mistype Milloy to avoid legal complications?
Visit many emergency rooms in China?
From a study in Beijing:

” Associations of respiratory ERV with NO2 concentrations and 100–1,000 nm particle number or surface area concentrations were of similar magnitude—that is, approximately 5% increase in respiratory ERV with an interquartile range increase in air pollution concentration.”

Not that the study is anything more than a study.
Correlation is not causation.
Nor have the patients studied been vetted for non-smokers, smokers, heavy smokers.
Coal plants without compensation?
Got a burr about coal plants Steven?
Exactly which plants have you yourself actually witnessed particulates coming from?
Where and who, actually proved those particulates harm anything?
More hand waving, straw man distractions, play on emotions, accusatory ad hominem, precautionary principle dancing; without music.

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 27, 2017 7:03 am

Pollution in China includes a lot of stuff. Not just PM2.5.
I love the bait and switch that you pull here..

Frank
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 29, 2017 4:33 am

Steve: When I first moved to the LA area for college in 1970, it hurt to take a deep breath for the first few days. Children who grew up in LA had half the lung the lung capacity I did.
We weren’t lucky in areas like LA – we paid a lot of money to reduce the air pollution problem there to tolerable levels.

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Jakarta
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 30, 2017 4:08 am

Mosher
The correlation you mention between air quality and hospital admissions is a very important one to highlight because it is frequently mentioned and just as frequently misrepresented.
People with asthma have problems breathing air with high ozone. Ozone often accompanies PM2.5 but not always, and PM2.5 can also be a problem – it depends on what is in it.
However, it is a big leap to say that PM2.5 causes asthma which is the implication of saying ‘go to the hospital and see all the people coming in on bad air days’. If PM2.5 caused asthma, them billions of people would suffer from it, and obviously they don’t.
Thus to make broad claims that PM2.5 cause this or that condition is not supported by hospital admission data. There is a widely repeated claim that PM2.5 exposure causes COPD, URT infections, pneumonia and all sorts of lung conditions. Yet surprisingly there is little to zero support for this from epidemiological studies. Why is that?
If PM2.5 has all the power ascribed to it, there would be a wealth of data. What I find when looking at this matter is a great deal of modelling of ‘health impact’ based on premature deaths and attribution of those deaths (by a committee, not death certificates – be clear how the Global Burden of Disease numbers are generated) to a plethora of ’causes’. Now, attributing to a cause is not the same as providing evidence that completely removing it will prevent anything. ‘Attributability’ does not mean ‘avoidability’ because the attribution maybe in error and in any case applies to population cohorts, not individuals.
A recent attempt to generate the ‘evidence’ in Malawi (see The Lancet) a study of more than 10,000 children over two years showed no benefit to health from replacing traditional three stove fires with expensive wood burning stoves or LPG. None. Why? Because they were seeking to prove that PM2.5 causes childhood pneumonia and, well done or not, there was no statistical evidence that changing exposure significantly created any detectable health benefit.
We do know that really bad air quality creates a rise in hospital admissions/visit by people who are already sick but not that it causes those conditions often and happily attributed to it. If it was simple, all smokers would have asthma. They don’t. They have all sorts of other long term problems because tobacco is a toxic substance – for that there is plenty of epidemiological evidence, but not for “PM2.5”.

Bob Davis
January 26, 2017 11:05 am

Thanks for addressing one of the more subtle problems with what I call “warmongering”.
1. By focusing on a false narrative, funds, attention, and political capital are being diverted from the real air pollutants that cause health and visibility problems: NOx, ozone, particulates and the like.
2. As the public is coming to realize, the largely fraudulent claims of the warmongers are not true, and therefore, the legitimate aspects of the environmental movement will suffer from a general backlash against real pollutants (in air, water, and land).
Just as those of us concerned about scientific ethics and standards are appalled by the warmongers, so too those of us who are concerned about air quality should resist what will ultimately cause a degradation in the environment.
Bob Davis, pastor and former air quality consultant.

RobbertBobbertGDQ
Reply to  Bob Davis
January 26, 2017 6:46 pm

Bob, Would you consider …Warm Mongering and Warm Mongers?

Bob Davis
Reply to  RobbertBobbertGDQ
January 27, 2017 6:27 pm

Yes, it makes the point a bit clearer. Warm Mongering it is!

PJJM
January 26, 2017 11:05 am

Yes, Steve Milloy’s book “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA” is a masterpiece in demonstrating the anti-scientific poseur analysis of the EPA in regards to PM2.5. There is no evidence of harm from PM2.5. The EPA will not let anyone see their supposed studies. #DefundTheEPA

Reply to  PJJM
January 26, 2017 7:22 pm

Go live in china.
Go work in an emergency room.
Report back on admissions during periods of hazardous air quality.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 26, 2017 10:14 pm

Tell us about your work in an emergency room in China, Steven?
How many years?
Also tell us exactly how you determined that air pollution was the cause.
That emotional soap opera stuff only works on people with low common sense.

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 27, 2017 7:04 am

Pollution includes lots of things. Not just PM2.5. This report is about PM2.5 only.
What is it with you trolls and your inability to debate honestly.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 27, 2017 12:34 pm

Atheok.
It’s easy.
Take a day with low levels of pm25.
Count emergency admissions for heart attacks and respiratory issues.
Then take a day with pm25 levels at the worst levels days when your doctor suggests you should stay inside.
Do another count.
Do this for years.
What is your prediction. ?
Your prediction would be no difference because you thinK air as thick as dirt is safe. ..
You would be wrong.
Ps.. working in ER would give you anecdotes.
I prefer more data.

MarkW
January 26, 2017 11:09 am

The health risks of PM2.5 are assumed, not known.

January 26, 2017 11:19 am

Largest sources of pollution are the two stroke motors and coal plants with no pollution controls and coal, dung or wood burning stoves.

John F. Hultquist
January 26, 2017 11:21 am

Green means better – really good.
The 3 Rs:
Rich is better.
Rule of law is better.
Reliable energy is better.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
January 26, 2017 11:59 am

Makes me proud to be an American.

joel
January 26, 2017 11:26 am

How much of this is due to diesel cars?

Reply to  joel
January 27, 2017 12:22 pm

One problem is figuring out the sources. Some pm25 is natural. And the rest is caused by cars, industry power gen.
The issue is getting good estimates on various sources.
Even then we know that some pm25 is more hazardous than other pm25.
The lack of precise knowledge about all the sources and the lack of knowledge abour the exact details on all the different varietis of pm25 shouldn’t deter us from putting limits on how much crap you can poop into the sky. Long before we understood how human waste in water could cause issues we knew enough not to drink from toilets.

diogenese2
January 26, 2017 11:34 am

You have a good point. 7 cigarettes a day is quite moderate and that is 365/365! not a few days.
I can just remember this one;
http://www.history.com/news/the-killer-fog-that-blanketed-london-60-years-ago
This one is very clear in my memory;
http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/6/newsid_3251000/3251001.stm
I Survived and eventually worked as a smoking cessation counsellor ( smoking is a far worse problem for the health of the Chinese!).
The current angst in London is laughable really. The major problem was dealt with in Europe 50 years ago. The far east can do the same IF they use modern generation technology.
Note; Carbon Dioxide does not exist as PM 2.5, nor is such produced by Natural Gas fuel, also biofuel in its many form is as bad.
In the UK the problem was eliminated by converting DOMESTIC heating to grid supply of electricity (mostly coal fired) and natural gas. No windmills were built or roofs defiled by solar panels in this process.
Mind you LA looked like this when I drove in from Vegas in 1973 but I believe that was managed as well.

Bruce Cobb
January 26, 2017 11:38 am

Temperature inversions are big causes of this, as well as the geography. The bottom line is, richer countries are less susceptible to actual air pollution, and so-called “green” energy can make it worse by creating energy poverty (as in Europe).

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 26, 2017 7:50 pm

Well said. Forcing the serfs to burn wood because they can’t afford gas and electricity only exacerbates the real pollution problems.

jimmy_jimmy
January 26, 2017 11:40 am

Quick question – from that picture on this post…what do you think the PM2.5 and PM10 are?
Wouldn’t the State Council of the PRC desire cleaner air? Can’t they enforce their manufacturing plants and coal electric plants to scrub their smoke? Ponderous man, ponderous

January 26, 2017 11:49 am

Kind of tells me that the laws governing particulate pollution work pretty well in the US. It will be nice to see Trump use common sense and keep the laws that affect actual pollution and get rid of laws governing make-believe CO2 pollution.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  chilemike
January 26, 2017 7:59 pm

I’m waiting for the renouncement of “carbon pollution” and the proper credit being given to its necessity for all life on the 3rd rock.

A Williams
Reply to  chilemike
January 30, 2017 5:02 am

Everytime I realize my child’s scientific community tells her that placing insulation between a fire and a rock make that rock give off more energy,
than when that rock was getting more energy,
it makes me want to kick something.
The arrogance of such bombastic fake science’s existence comes to me as a reminder when I see the likes of none other than Steven Mosher, the man the Climategate files were addressed to,
still being given a free public forum for his pseudo-science drivel.
I know other scientists such as myself pray for the day when we see people speaking the word ‘lukewarmer’ with the same past-tense connotation they speak of Piltdowners.
The disgusting arrogance of an entire field of scientific fakes assaulting the sciences with en-Masses Stupid is as fully repugnant to any real scientist today, as it was when Climategate revealed the full extent of the fraudulent nature of AGW

January 26, 2017 11:49 am

Smoking cigarettes increases the chance for various cancers and it is a major contributor to heart disease as well, so if the Graphic was even REMOTELY reality-based, there would be a tidal wave of cancers and heart attacks, etc..

Reply to  Dave Stephens
January 26, 2017 7:26 pm

Look at chinese mortality . It’s pretty grim.
In the USA? The numbers are much lower.

MarkW
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 27, 2017 7:06 am

Poor Steve, he can’t win using the facts at hand, so he drags in everything he can find including the cat.
The article references PM2.5 and that alone.
Chinese pollution includes pretty much everything considered air pollution.
Trying to equate the two is the height of dishonesty, however it is what we expect from you.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 27, 2017 11:36 am

Mark.
You obviously did not look at the references.
Suggest you read the papers in the bibliography.
Your mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Reading can help.

Steve Fraser
January 26, 2017 11:52 am

Probably not much wind farm generation there at that time….

January 26, 2017 11:55 am

They aren’t generally the same. And the PM2.5 EPA research is suspect. Its the old response threshold versus linear no threshold debate again. And Chinese smog is a lot more than just pm2.5. High sulfur dioxide from heating coal as can be seen from the yellow tint.

Editor
Reply to  ristvan
January 26, 2017 12:54 pm

ristvan ==> Yes, Berkeley Earth has just jumped onto the PM2.5 bandwagon giving them another scare to promote.
While it is true that some parts of China and India have terrible real air pollution (I grew up in Los Angeles, Calif. in the 50’s and 60’s, so am familiar with eye burning, lung choking smog), the PM2.5 scare is highly suspect.
Most of the research is madcap epidemiology — with all its faults including P-value mining, failure to set a lower limit of risk, trend-line extending in all directions — far worse than even the second hand smoke ‘science’.
The Berkeley map does not show what most people would recognize as air pollution — it is a map of PM2.5 levels.
There is almost no evidence that low levels of PM2.5 are harmful to anyone.
A hint about the break from reality is shown in the US portion of the map that has Moderate PM2.5 “pollution” over pristine Idaho, and eastern Washington and Oregon, along with much of south-central Florida (which does NOT have an air pollution problem).

lee
Reply to  ristvan
January 26, 2017 8:10 pm

Don’t forget those nasty natural terpenes etc.

Reply to  ristvan
January 27, 2017 4:13 am

I was in Beijing twice recently, in Dec2016, at the airport. I was surprised that the air quality looked pretty good both days. Not a good statistical sampling of winter air quality, but still far better than I expected,

January 26, 2017 11:56 am

Here in Santiago it is only cold for a few months. My building turns on the central heat from about June thru September. It is pretty darn expensive. The poorer folks use wood and whatever else they can burn to stay warm. The pollution is horrible here in winter and I would say it is mostly caused by the fact that clean fuel (including electricity) is relatively expensive, although we also have an LA type basin topography. I wonder if that is the same in case in Europe with the price of clean fuel. Also, I think there are a lot more diesel cars in europe (yes I know the new one’s are cleaner but the buses and older cars still spew black exhaust).

u.k.(us)
January 26, 2017 12:11 pm

It is amazing how clean and fresh the air smells/tastes when breathing thru a gas mask when cleaning up an acid/enamel spill in a wire coating factory.
Best way to stop the burn when splashed by the acid/enamel mix, is to flood the affected area with 100% alcohol. Probably not best practice, but it worked.
Learned a lot during those 4 years, most of it was spent driving a forklift, the boss let me do what I wanted, cus I worked hard.

charles nelson
January 26, 2017 1:15 pm

So…the only safe way to breath the air in Peking is…through a cigarette?

J Wurts
Reply to  charles nelson
January 26, 2017 4:25 pm

Unlit!

Berényi Péter
January 26, 2017 2:36 pm

Those in utter energy poverty are burning PET bottles, with the occasional piece of PVC mixed in, in stoves. The heat is sweet, but the smoke is lethal. Not because of its CO2 contents.

Goggles
January 26, 2017 2:55 pm

I think in some of these countries the average real number of cigarettes smoked is over a pack a day anyways.

January 26, 2017 7:19 pm

The basis is simple math. See the memo.

January 27, 2017 1:10 am

Looking at the map, it seems to track wood burning stoves/heaters.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/01/24/air-pollution-london-passes-levels-beijingand-wood-burners-making/
Shows that the UK is rapidly increasing its use of wood burners for the middle classes. Having been used to gas heating for decades after our clean air acts outlawed domestic use of unaltered coal.
Looking at Poland, which appears to be the largest European country affected, it has a large rural population, which I suspect (I do not know) would rely upon wood, rather than gas, oil or electricity.
So it could be evil renewable wood that will get us all in the end!!!

Reply to  steverichards1984
January 27, 2017 11:31 am

Yes wood burning is an issue. In seoul for example one of the causes is wood burning used in the very popular BBQs. Tough problem.

Greg
January 27, 2017 2:20 am

“PM2.5”, the most lethal of the common air pollutions.

Hang ON! I thought ‘toxic’ CO2 ‘pollution’ was the greatest threat to human health and well being. Wasn’t that the basis of the endangerment finding?

Reply to  Greg
January 27, 2017 11:29 am

No.

Johann Wundersamer
January 27, 2017 2:31 am

In Europe you go 700 meters above sea level and air quality is quite different.
Never trust alarmistic charts. Sole problem:
The Greens don’t allow Industries other than in crowded cities.
So in the rush hours everyone is sitting in the cars heading the same direction.

Johann Wundersamer
January 27, 2017 3:05 am

Other than the Greens insinuate –
since ‘industrialization’ life expectancy worldwide elongated by min. 20 years.
Since cancer as dementia needs time to build up it’s a competition between: cancer or dementia.
Hard to choose what to prefer, and not in everybody’s choice.

michael hart
January 27, 2017 4:06 am

“The scale of “cigarettes per day” is used to make the levels easiest to understand. “

Sure, just as some people like to measure energy in units of Hiroshima Bombs. No agenda at all. lol.
Oh, and was it Marlboros or Gauloises?

michael hart
Reply to  michael hart
January 27, 2017 5:10 am

If Berkeley Earth authors were truly interested in furthering understanding then maybe they might provide information about the normal background levels inside old-growth forests, expressed in terms of “cigarettes per day”.
And also maybe not label axes on graphs with things like “PM2.5 Air Pollution Concentration (μg / m3)”. A true scientist would not describe it as pollution, but the measured physical quantity of defined particulates. In open corn fields and inside old-growth forests far from human activity, the level of PM2.5 is not zero, but is this “pollution”?. Of course not. It is what it is. Pollution is a subjective term.
Now, it is genuinely possible that Berkeley Earth are not just environmental activists taking money to pretend that they are scientists, but they need to up their game.

Reply to  michael hart
January 27, 2017 10:56 am

Standard cigarette
If you want to argue that pm25 is safe then do it.

January 27, 2017 5:08 am

“Life expectancy in Beijing and Shanghai has reached 80 years and it’s 82 in Hong Kong. All have massive pollution problems. Life expectancy in Berlin is 79.8, San Francisco and New York are barely 80 ”
http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/china-health-miracle

Reply to  englandrichard
January 27, 2017 11:18 am

Life expectancy doesn’t address the issue. The issue is life expectancy with high levels versus life expectancy with low levels controlled for all other variables. Studies show a shortened life expectancy. Peroid.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 28, 2017 5:18 am

Studies seem to be different to the actual facts. Period.

January 27, 2017 5:11 am

“68% of Chinese men are smokers”

Reply to  englandrichard
January 27, 2017 11:21 am

Controlling for that we still see that pm25 levels still cause shorter life expectancy. Sorry. Dirty air is not a benefit.
If it were smart people would choose to live in the worst polluted places.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 28, 2017 5:20 am

and yet it in china it seems to be having no impact in the polluted cities compared with cleaner cities in the West.

A. DiNota
Reply to  Steven Mosher
January 30, 2017 5:10 am

The main problem with the information in the study is you are associated with supporting it, Mosher. I remember when the man who released the Climategate files actually called you by name, and asked you if you still thought the fake science of AGW is real.
You’ve never overcome – and never will – the fact you think that shi*’s real.
What kind of adult human being buys a story about rocks heated by fire, made warmer by having insulation between the rock and the fire?
Apparently – computer programmers.
Who – in spite of perhaps having science degrees,
are distinctly separate from natural scientists.
Natural scientists know when a story’s so stupid it’s impossible no matter how many programmers swear it’s real.

taxationistheft
January 27, 2017 5:23 am

Surprised no-one has mentioned the fact that as we, in developed countries, have shut our heavy industries down (steel, paper making, aluminium, etc) production has moved offshore, to China especially. It’s not that we don’t use these products anymore, we just import them. But production in these areas has very poor pollution control, (and I mean real pollution) and CO2 prodction is probaly higher too – these plants in developing countries tend to be less energy efficient. So the global pollution load (real and imagined) is increased, and air quality in these countries is much worse – because we have shipped production out of our countries. And here in the UK the governemnt and greenies crow about reducing CO2 production in the UK – but that’s only because we don’t count the CO2 in the products we import. It is a “green” fiasco.
How do I know this to be true – been there, done all that.
By the by – I think the idea of the map is neat, but the extrapolation of pollution spoils it. I can assure everyone that the air in the Surrey Hills (where I live) is a lot cleaner than the air in central London. For the moment anyway, until this government gives permission to concrete over it and bring London’s pollution out here.

ddpalmer
January 27, 2017 5:27 am

“the known health risks of PM2.5 as estimated by the World Health Organization”
Sorry but if the risk is KNOWN then what are they estimating?
It is estimated because they DON”T know the health risk. In fact they don’t even know if PM2.5 poses any health risk.
And before ‘someone’ whines about Chinese emergency rooms again. First correlation is not causation and second the Chinese smog/pollution is much more than PM2.5, it is also a whole host of chemicals which DO have know risks. But ‘someone’ has been told this multiple times in these comments yet hasn’t gotten around to answering the critique of his claims.

Reply to  ddpalmer
January 27, 2017 11:27 am

Pm25 from industry is loaded with heavy metals. Yes there are low levels of natural pm25. But the shit with heavy metals is not a friend to your health. I’m in korea now. The levels are moderately bad. One hour outside was enough. Buying a dust mask.

Resourceguy
January 27, 2017 10:16 am

Add to that dead birds at wind mill farms and deforestation and you have the real tally of the cost of the great climate change diversion of the world’s environmental priorities.

January 27, 2017 10:32 am

Mexico City used to have world class (Beijing-grade) smog, but was relatively clear last time I was there (about 10 years ago). Did they relocate a lot of industry and clean up their vehicles, or was it just luck of the draw?
The EPA has admittedly done a lot to clean up US air pollution, even if only by forcing our smog-producing industries to move to Asia. It is unfortunate that it has discredited its work against true pollution by identifying CO2 as a “pollutant” when in fact it would be more justly called a “calorigen”.

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