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Clean air at centre of US-China discussions

US Environmental Protection Agency figure will travel to China to discuss the country’s air pollution problem

Talks on air quality and climate pollution are to take place between the United States and China from Monday (December 9), to ensure greater co-operation between the two nations.

Air pollution in China has been heavily under the spotlight this year after several outbreaks of smog

Air pollution in China has been heavily under the spotlight this year after several outbreaks of smog

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy will travel to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong during her four day visit of the country, which will see her highlight steps already taken to address air pollution.

Mrs McCarthy will also co-chair the US-China Joint Committee on Environmental Cooperation, deliver a keynote speech at Tsinghua University, and meet with senior officials, business leaders and NGOs.

The meeting follows the introduction of a pollution monitor at the US embassy in Beijing in January, which uses an air pollution index that differs from the one used in China to measure PM 2.5 particulates.

Meanwhile, arriving and departing flights from Shanghai Pudong international airport were cancelled this morning due to heavy smog.

Levels of PM2.5 hit 408 on China’s air quality index shortly before 10am, the highest recording since the six-tier system was implemented.

Last month research based on modelling of cloud data from the western pacific, south eastern China, and Oklahoma, found a correlation between aerosol particles and longer-lasting thunderstorms (see airqualitynews story).

The research, carried out by a team led by scientists from the US department of energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, also found aerosol particles can decrease the daily temperature range through storm clouds.

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