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In the discussion thread: Toxic Smog from China Engulfs Korea [View all]

Response to winstars (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 1, 2013, 11:35 AM

10. Back of the Envelop Calculation

The US Embassy in Beijing recorded some very high PM-2.5 readings back in 2008 before the Olympics. The highest daily PM-2.5 (fine particulate or smog) reading I found on the web was 722 ug/m3. The reading in Incheon was 122 ug/m3. Distance between Incheon and Beijing is about 570 miles so there was a reduction in PM-2.5 concentrations of roughly 0.169. The distance between LA and Beijing is about 11 times greater (6,250 miles) than the distance between Incheon and Beijing so linearly extrapolating this you'd get a reduction of 0.015. That would mean Beijing's PM-2.5 concentrations would be expected to be reduced to 11 ug/m3 once they get to LA. According to EPA's website the average 98th% worst daily readings of PM-2.5 (smoggiest days) between 2010 and 2012 was 38 ug/m3. So taking 11 ug/m3 and comparing it to LA's worst averages if Beijing air was transported to the west coast of CA would represent approximately 29% of the pollutant load.

This claim, by my calculation, would appear to be plausible.

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