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The air pollution map for Shenyang is very easy to find from the main city page. There will be a map at the top of the page which contains the link to a completely new page that deals exclusively with air quality in and around the city.
The first thing a viewer will notice is the overall colouration of the map. This general colour is an indication of the overall air quality. The meaning of the various colours used is explained in the legend at the foot of the page. The colours range from pale green for good air quality to dark maroon which shows the air could be hazardous to some vulnerable people. The viewer will also notice several coloured discs on the map. Each disc contains a number which is the US AQI reading from that station.
This US AQI number is calculated by measuring the levels of up to six of the most commonly found pollutants in city air and is then used as a metric when comparing different cities from across the globe. It is endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Flicking back to the main city page, it can be seen that the air quality in August 2022 was “Good” with a US AQI reading of 37. All six pollutants were measured but it is the PM2.5 measurement that remains the benchmark. This was found to be 9 µg/m³ which is 1.8 times higher than the target figure of 5 µg/m³ as recommended by the WHO.
Once the air pollution map for Shenyang is opened in full-screen mode, the user will be presented with four choices which appear on the left-hand side of the screen. These can all be accessed individually and deactivated one by one if desired.
The first choice shows the location of all the ground-level air monitoring stations situated in and around the city and its environs. As previously stated in the first paragraph, they appear as coloured discs each containing a number. If some of them overlap, expanding the map slightly will separate most of them. Each one can then be chosen and a new page will open which is dedicated to that specific area of the city.
The second option reveals the position of any fires which may be burning in the vicinity. In August 2022, there were two fires burning in the Jianshe area to the northeast of the city. When looking at option four, this shows the direction of the prevailing winds. Fortunately, the wind was blowing in a direction away from the centre of the city.
The third option is perhaps the most impressive as it can change the entire background colour of the map to reflect the overall air quality. Currently, it is a greenish/yellow which would indicate “Good” to “Moderate” quality. Some may find the colour too much and may find the map difficult to understand, but it can be deactivated so the map will then revert to a more natural set of colours.
Across on the other side of the screen, at the right-hand side, can be seen a table which shows the ranking of world cities, according to their level of pollution.
There are several options available which can determine areas of higher pollution on the air pollution map for Shenyang. The first one would be to look at the coloured discs on the map and try to find the one with the dark colour and high number.
However, the easiest option would be to scroll down to below the map where the stations are ranked according to their level of pollution. The current dirtiest area is around the Yunong Road Station which recorded a US AQI reading of 41. (Even though this figure is still classified as being “Good”).
Following on from this, the next table shows the popularity of the stations with the one on Wenhua Road currently being the most popular with over 32,000 followers.
In Northeast China, straw burning is carried out for a period of time after the autumn harvest and before sowing in spring, and the diffusion conditions during this period are worse than those in summer. If straw burning occurs in Shenyang and surrounding cities, it will superimpose the winter heating pollution emissions. Under unfavourable weather conditions, it is easy to cause regional pollution accumulation and a pollution process.
The volume of pollutants emitted by cities is relatively large. Shenyang is an important city in the Northeast region, with a large urban area and a large population, and the emissions of motor vehicle exhaust and cooking fumes are relatively large. At the same time, as a northern city has a large demand for heating in winter, the boiler rooms in the central urban area are relatively dense, and the proportion of pollutants generated by the combustion of coal in boilers and the combustion of scattered coal in villages is relatively large. Affected by unfavourable meteorological conditions, the local pollutants spread unfavourably and are prone to pollution.
Fine particulate matter or PM2.5 refers to particulate matter with an aerodynamic equivalent diameter of less than or equal to 2.5 microns in the ambient air. It can be suspended in the air for a long time, and the higher its concentration in the air, the more serious the air pollution is. Although PM2.5 is only a very small component in the composition of the earth's atmosphere, it has important effects on air quality and visibility. Compared with coarser atmospheric particles, PM2.5 has a smaller particle size, larger area, stronger activity, and is prone to carry toxic and harmful substances (for example, heavy metals, microorganisms, etc.), and has a long residence time in the atmosphere and a long transportation distance. Therefore, it has a greater impact on human health and the quality of the atmospheric environment.