• Animation shows NO2 levels in China from 2005-2018

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

The Financial Times has created an animation showing the changing concentrations of nitrogen dioxide across eastern China from 2005 to 2018 as measured by a NASA satellite. The levels vary from season to season, with the winter months of November-February being the worst because of heightened coal burning for heating, and January 2013 saw a highly intense peak (coinciding with a peak of coal-burning in the country). The worst polluted areas were the North China Plain (south of Beijing) and to the west of Shanghai. After the 2013 peak, NO2 concentrations declined until 2016 from a mix of lower economic activity, tighter pollution controls, and a shifting of industrial activity to summer months. However, in the last few years levels have once again begun to increase, presumably from an uptick of economic activity. The FT page also includes an interesting image showing pollution levels and the location of coal-fired power plants which demonstrates the link between the two (oil and coal firing contributes 50- 70% to total NO2 emissions).