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Bangkok Air Pollution

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18 hours ago, balo said:

Anyone knows why Indonesia always have cleaner air than the rest of SE-Asia?  I have checked the map daily and its always green or yellow numbers there. 

 

Capture.jpg

 

Poorer, less industrialized, less cars, and far away from China

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53 minutes ago, uhuh said:

Poorer, less industrialized, less cars, and far away from China

It has the worst air quality in the region, sometimes the world, when the agricultural burning starts.

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7 hours ago, edwardandtubs said:

It has the worst air quality in the region, sometimes the world, when the agricultural burning starts.

Actually much of that comes to Malaysia and Thailand - being islands there is normally natural wind removing such locally.  Philippines also has the wind advantage.  

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The Bangkok nighttime AQI has improved dramatically over last 3 days Friday-Saturday-Sunday (since the school shutdown).  It is a good sign that government policy can improve air quality dramatically.  AFIK there is no other reason for air to improve except government order.  The BKK weather pattern has been the same (temperature, wind velocity and direction, stagnant air, traffic).  All same.  If anything, there might be a little more driving right now because many people got paycheck at end of month and are driving to celebrate Chinese New Year with family and friends. 

Image 1: Refer to circle highlights below which draw attention to Nighttime AQI (start of day).

CaptureBurningHighlightDifference.JPG

Image 2: What has changed?  Inspection Order by Governor Aswin.  Weather has been same.

Capture Burning Call For Inspections Highlights.JPG

 

I'm just looking for the correct answer.  I don't mind being wrong.  Corrections and improvements welcome.

I am very happy for the government order, school shutdown, and locals wearing masks.

 

 

 

Edited by DaveInSukhumvit
Image Reposition

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The school shutdown would mean less traffic but expect more important were the number of Bangkok residents who chose to leave the city for an extended Chinese New Year Holiday rather than put up with city air.  Getting their vehicles off the streets would also improve conditions.  Construction would also take a nosedive during the New Year period.  Abandon Bangkok and air will normally improve.  

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3 hours ago, DaveInSukhumvit said:

The Bangkok nighttime AQI has improved dramatically over last 3 days Friday-Saturday-Sunday (since the school shutdown).  It is a good sign that government policy can improve air quality dramatically.  AFIK there is no other reason for air to improve except government order.  The BKK weather pattern has been the same (temperature, wind velocity and direction, stagnant air, traffic).  All same.  If anything, there might be a little more driving right now because many people got paycheck at end of month and are driving to celebrate Chinese New Year with family and friends. 

Image 1: Refer to circle highlights below which draw attention to Nighttime AQI (start of day).

CaptureBurningHighlightDifference.JPG

Image 2: What has changed?  Inspection Order by Governor Aswin.  Weather has been same.

Capture Burning Call For Inspections Highlights.JPG

 

I'm just looking for the correct answer.  I don't mind being wrong.  Corrections and improvements welcome.

I am very happy for the government order, school shutdown, and locals wearing masks.

 

 

Thanks. It had been peaking in the late evening an early morning and was in the red for 48 hours straight. The school shutdown may have helped in daytime, but doesn't explain why the unexplained sudden drop at 23:00 Thursday when on prior days it had begin to peak in the late evening and early morning hours - leading to speculation that there was nighttime field burning going on (to help avoid detection). Also, recent NASA FIRMS observations indicates to me a recent reduction fires in the vicinity of Bangkok (second image).

 

I've been tracking and snapshotting both the RTAQ and AirVisual sites and the NASA Fire Management site. The below RTAQ shows the dramatic drop Thursday evening and Friday early morning when it had been peaking earlier in the week during Thursday, which, to me, doesn't necessarily mean that the school closing was the source of the drop (or a reason why it would peak at 2300 or the early morning hours as it had been doing earlier in the week).

 

The below NASA FIRMS snapshot was a "Today" snapshot that was taken at 1430 (Bangkok) hours on 02/02. My best guess is that the FIRMS day starts around 0900 Bangkok because I have FIRMS snapshots at that time showing no fires for both Bangkok and Cambodia. In any event, the below 1430 (Bangkok) snapshot shows relatively sparse fire activity.

 

One thing that is not accounted for is a potential for a meteorological change that could explain the recent drop in PM2.5 particulates (which, BTW, is still showing peaks in the red this weekend that could be attributed to motor vehicle activity).

 

BTW, the RTAQ site is NOT RT (Real Time) because the display often is two hours behind. The AirVisual MAY be real time as well as the NASA FIRMS site, but it's difficult to determine with them (or at least I haven't figured out how to determine how "Real Time" they actually are).

 

Maybe we should get Al Gore and his ilk to do computer modeling to predict the future state of Bangkok's smog (aka haze in the Bangkok Media). 😁

 

RTAQ_020119_0600.jpeg.780b42c109d38e3bba2ef688e7fd7d1d.jpeg

 

FIRMS_02_02_2019_1430.jpeg.88c139246e40252dd62f9738053bc121.jpeg

Edited by MaxYakov

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4 hours ago, lopburi3 said:

The school shutdown would mean less traffic but expect more important were the number of Bangkok residents who chose to leave the city for an extended Chinese New Year Holiday rather than put up with city air.  Getting their vehicles off the streets would also improve conditions.  Construction would also take a nosedive during the New Year period.  Abandon Bangkok and air will normally improve.  

Sorry for not being clear.  With all due respect, none of these things (school, holiday, vehicles, construction) were significant changes at 3am over last 3 days as shown in highlighted circles.

I have been following the nighttime spike in pollution for many months.  It usually starts after dark and goes down around dawn.  The primary factor seems to be burning.  Many other things are blamed (busses, construction, factories, BTS, cooking, cars) but most of that is idle by 1 am.  Air velocity is usually near zero at night so it isn't Cambodia, or China.

Maybe you know that China stopped importing garbage January 2018.  Nearby countries picked up the slack.  Plastics are used as fuel to burn unsorted waste.  There was an article in paper last year about a container coming in to Thailand with garbage from 30 different countries.

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1 hour ago, MaxYakov said:

Also, recent NASA FIRMS observations indicates to me a recent reduction fires in the vicinity of Bangkok (second image)

Thanks MaxYakov.  I have been tracking the same site and comparing before/after fires.  I agree with the time delay adjustment.  I'm not completely up to speed on that site, so I didn't include those screen shots.

 

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Has anyone measured the pm readings in different locations like bts, mrt, shopping malls, river boats, taxis, drinking a beer at hooters etc... I would be interested to know when I need to wear my mask.


Sent from my iPhone using Thaivisa Connect

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Serious question, do you guys ever have the thought that thinking or worrying about this could actually do way more harm to you in the long run than if you never thought of it for even a second? I am not trying to minimize the effects but I find questions like this very interesting. 

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29 minutes ago, utalkin2me said:

Serious question, do you guys ever have the thought that thinking or worrying about this could actually do way more harm to you in the long run than if you never thought of it for even a second? I am not trying to minimize the effects but I find questions like this very interesting. 

Yes, at the beginning when I was first thinking about it I couldn't sleep or breath as I knew I was breathing in the bad stuff, I now think I'm making the air too clean and it has given me a headache. I've still spent the hole day again trying to find a cable to build a detector and buying some other bits and pieces to try and make my DIY solution safe and automated whilst I am out of the country as I cannot rely on the GF to have it on.

 

I noticed that the number of mask wearers was lower today, I counted about 20% usage on the MRT and BTS

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8 hours ago, DaveInSukhumvit said:

Sorry for not being clear.  With all due respect, none of these things (school, holiday, vehicles, construction) were significant changes at 3am over last 3 days as shown in highlighted circles.

I have been following the nighttime spike in pollution for many months.  It usually starts after dark and goes down around dawn.  The primary factor seems to be burning.  Many other things are blamed (busses, construction, factories, BTS, cooking, cars) but most of that is idle by 1 am.  Air velocity is usually near zero at night so it isn't Cambodia, or China.

Agricultural burning is mainly ďone at nighttime,  because there is no wind at night. You can't control agricultural fires if there is. wind. 

 

Very early in this thread we read that agricultural fires account for 50% of Thailand's air pollution.

Edited by uhuh

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1 hour ago, uhuh said:

Agricultural burning is mainly ďone at nighttime,  because there is no wind at night. You can't control agricultural fires if there is. wind. 

 

Very early in this thread we read that agricultural fires account for 50% of Thailand's air pollution.

If that's the case Bangkok can't win for losing - fires at night/early morning and motor vehicles, industry and cooking the remainder of the day. Here's the NASA FIRMS "Today" image (assuming their day starts around 0900, Bangkok time) at 0240. I've seen it much worse at this time (I think).

 

FIRMS_02_04_2019_0240.jpeg.f247a63a14e6085ed3af604e3b910ea7.jpeg

 

And the corresponding RTAQ at 0100 (image taken at 0250 because RTAQ is not really Real-Time)

 

RTAQ_02_04_2019_0250.jpeg.5269b0cf9f294b124f66c2ed0bcfe321.jpeg

 

Ignore this. I yet to figure out how to delete unwanted images that I've inserted. Can anyone help?

 

Screen shot 2019-02-04 at 2.48.56 AM.jpeg

Edited by MaxYakov

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12 hours ago, fishism said:

Has anyone measured the pm readings in different locations like bts, mrt, shopping malls, river boats, taxis, drinking a beer at hooters etc... I would be interested to know when I need to wear my mask.

I have done many of these tests.  It is important to know the methods.  I have a retail AQI meter not $2000 meter. So exact numbers are difficult.  Humidity is the biggest challenge.  Moisture in the air reads like PM2.5.  Cold inside buildings (and BTS) have lower moisture and read falsely low AQI.  Nearby an active rice cooker or water boiler reads very high.  Also retail meters need about 1 minute to "settle" for good reading because of the fan/sensor air tube.  I've take 3 meter brands apart with different sensors but the air tube (labyrinth) is all similar design.  Here are the results I found.

  • Air inside is the same as air outside with very few exceptions.  EG: You see an air purifier.  (AC units here do not have particle filters & home pro doesn't even sell in store common western-style AC filters)
  • Proximity to heavy stop/start traffic shows hot spots - bad for soi dogs & people should wear masks.  BTS platform level is usually a little better because no bus exhaust nozzle near meter (for example)
  • When you feel good breeze, the measurements are all the same as air mixes well
  • The only time I saw a verified a "hot spot" was near a cooking stand under an awning.
  • Parking garages are somewhat higher AQI also.  Air is stagnant and some drivers leave engines running.
  • Most modern cars have air filters, including taxis.  Car filters work remarkably well and can produce good results in 5-10 minutes after getting inside.
  • Floor levels of condo don't make any difference unless maybe if you are above 30th floor.
  • Rain doesn't help reduce AQI more than 5-10%.  Wind helps.

So if you go to Terminal 21, for example, expect same air as outside. If you like to hang out at bar/restaurant/coffee shop near busy street like Sukhumvit - expect some soi dog air.  A block or two away from Sukhumvit, is a little better depending on wind.  If you smell cooking odor, expect higher readings.

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