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Smoke, Smog, Dust 2014 Chiang Mai


Tywais

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Visibility down to about 1.5km at Sansai this morning.

Got the 3M Filtrete (replaced after just 4 days) a/c and dedicated air filter running on max.

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The overall fire density from the firemap seems to have jumped up quite a bit from a week ago. Suspect winds are still keeping the levels down.

March 04, 2014

attachicon.gifFiremap Overlay March 4 2014.jpg

Today March 10, 2014

attachicon.gifMarch 10 2014 overlay.jpg

This is ground level today at our home, 10th march 2014. 4.45 p.m You can see the blue haze/smoke that people are breathing in.

This year is really bad. The crackdown by authorities definitely is not working.

I'd be the last to claim that the very good year we're having so far is due to the authorities doing anything (I think weather and other random factors account for more). However we are having a very good year so far.

What many people seem to be doing is similar to what climate-change deniers do whenever there is a very cold day. Then they go: 'see? Cold!'. (See? Smoke!). But that's not how you approach a very wide-spread seasonal haze problem. You do that by looking at frequent, standardized measurements and then compare this to see how things are progressing over the years / decades.

Just like you can with near certainty predict that 'it'll get colder' when you're in early December, it is also a complete given that the air will get worse now that we're in early March. At the end of the season we then look at the numbers and may very well conclude that overall this was the best year on record when there wasn't unseasonal rain going on. (I don't know this yet, it might, but it might also get insanely bad for the second half of March. We'll know next month)

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The overall fire density from the firemap seems to have jumped up quite a bit from a week ago. Suspect winds are still keeping the levels down.

March 04, 2014

attachicon.gifFiremap Overlay March 4 2014.jpg

Today March 10, 2014

attachicon.gifMarch 10 2014 overlay.jpg

This is ground level today at our home, 10th march 2014. 4.45 p.m You can see the blue haze/smoke that people are breathing in.

This year is really bad. The crackdown by authorities definitely is not working.

I'd be the last to claim that the very good year we're having so far is due to the authorities doing anything (I think weather and other random factors account for more). However we are having a very good year so far.

What many people seem to be doing is similar to what climate-change deniers do whenever there is a very cold day. Then they go: 'see? Cold!'. (See? Smoke!). But that's not how you approach a very wide-spread seasonal haze problem. You do that by looking at frequent, standardized measurements and then compare this to see how things are progressing over the years / decades.

Just like you can with near certainty predict that 'it'll get colder' when you're in early December, it is also a complete given that the air will get worse now that we're in early March. At the end of the season we then look at the numbers and may very well conclude that overall this was the best year on record when there wasn't unseasonal rain going on. (I don't know this yet, it might, but it might also get insanely bad for the second half of March. We'll know next month)

Now 7.05 p.m in Sansai/Sansainoi area. Went outside to lock the front gate and had to wrap a towel around my head. It is impossible to breathe outside and we have the place totally locked up and the air conditioners and humidifiers working flat out.

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Now 7.05 p.m in Sansai/Sansainoi area. Went outside to lock the front gate and had to wrap a towel around my head. It is impossible to breathe outside and we have the place totally locked up and the air conditioners and humidifiers working flat out.

Sorry to hear how bad it is for you out that way. Wonder why it is so much different in the Sansai area versus Mae Hia where I live as it is still pretty good here. Well, except for the mosquito foggers who came by when I had my car door open. My car interior is now mosquito proofed. biggrin.png

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Now 7.05 p.m in Sansai/Sansainoi area. Went outside to lock the front gate and had to wrap a towel around my head. It is impossible to breathe outside and we have the place totally locked up and the air conditioners and humidifiers working flat out.

Sorry to hear how bad it is for you out that way. Wonder why it is so much different in the Sansai area versus Mae Hia where I live as it is still pretty good here. Well, except for the mosquito foggers who came by when I had my car door open. My car interior is now mosquito proofed. biggrin.png

between around 10.00 a.m and 4 p.m it is bearable but outside those times it is hell, burning eyes and so hard to breathe. I normally get up at 5 a.m and like to go outside but at the moment I open the door and it hits you in the face.

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Now 7.05 p.m in Sansai/Sansainoi area. Went outside to lock the front gate and had to wrap a towel around my head. It is impossible to breathe outside and we have the place totally locked up and the air conditioners and humidifiers working flat out.

Sorry to hear how bad it is for you out that way. Wonder why it is so much different in the Sansai area versus Mae Hia where I live as it is still pretty good here. Well, except for the mosquito foggers who came by when I had my car door open. My car interior is now mosquito proofed. biggrin.png

between around 10.00 a.m and 4 p.m it is bearable but outside those times it is hell, burning eyes and so hard to breathe. I normally get up at 5 a.m and like to go outside but at the moment I open the door and it hits you in the face.

Local source? It seems unlikely that haze differs that much, since we're seeing consistent measureements from Well North of town all the way to Lamphun. But if there is local burning going on then you will of course encounter actual smoke.

Also the times don't match.. the mornings (until a bit past noon) see the wordt readings currenlty. If you experience something in the afternoon then can you identify a source? Is it actual smoke that's floating in?

I'd almost want to go see for myself.. San Sai is a big place though, what area are you in, roughly?

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Now 7.05 p.m in Sansai/Sansainoi area. Went outside to lock the front gate and had to wrap a towel around my head. It is impossible to breathe outside and we have the place totally locked up and the air conditioners and humidifiers working flat out.

Sorry to hear how bad it is for you out that way. Wonder what it is so much different in the Sansai area versus Mae Hia where I live as it is still pretty good here. Well, except for the mosquito foggers who came by when I had my car door open. My car interior is now mosquito proofed. biggrin.png

between around 10.00 a.m and 4 p.m it is bearable but outside those times it is hell, burning eyes and so hard to breathe. I normally get up at 5 a.m and like to go outside but at the moment I open the door and it hits you in the face.

Local source? It seems unlikely that haze differs that much, since we're seeing consistent measureements from Well North of town all the way to Lamphun. But if there is local burning going on then you will of course encounter actual smoke.

Also the times don't match.. the mornings (until a bit past noon) see the wordt readings currenlty. If you experience something in the afternoon then can you identify a source? Is it actual smoke that's floating in?

I'd almost want to go see for myself.. San Sai is a big place though, what area are you in, roughly?

Like I have posted the sansia/sansainoi area. I posted photo's last night of the low level smoke haze in the area. I am on the 121 next to where they are building the new homepro super store. At the moment outside 8.16 p,m it burns your eyes.

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The Chinese site (Aqicn) gave accurate information for a while but at the moment doesn't seem to be showing current values. Either way it's supposed to be data from the same source, from the measuring stations run by the Thai Pollution Control Department. (Just with the difference that the Chinese site showed the two-day average)

So stick with the Thai site. It provides values in real time, and I've checked the readings visually for about a week and I'm quite confident in the readings (for the Yupparaj downtown station).

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If you have Google Earth installed then you can download this MODIS firemap file and open it in Google Earth. You can zoom in to the CM area to see the hotspots. Right click and "Save Link As" and then open in Google Earth. Fire data can be obtained here - MODIS Active Fire Maps

MODIS.kml

Example of current 48 hours

post-566-0-62447900-1394600459_thumb.jpg

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Interesting report elsewhere today on ThaiVisa Chiang Mai about a NIDA study about cancer. See: http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/692704-smoke-smog-dust-2014-chiang-mai/page-8#entry7553896



Not really good news when you think about it, so nothing to really make you feel much better!



Keep in mind that cancer is only one danger from carbon emissions of various kinds, and it is not clear what else might have been included in the study.



One could wonder about the regional analysis, too, and whether there is an apples and oranges problem in the research design.



Ignored, of course, is that the morbidity and mortality rates due to agricultural burning probably have much more to do with respiratory and other diseases, not cancer. See under “Health Effects” here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particulates .



NIDA is basically a business school, but does have a Faculty of Social and Environmental Development. Perhaps that is where the research came from. One might think that the Ministry of Public Health or Natural Resources and Environment would have done some research like this. Maybe they have. There is one quite good study on the hazards agricultural burning involving concentrations of PM<2.5 done by someone at CMU. It was posted on "Smoke, Smog, Dust 2013 CHiang Mai, as I recall. Anyway, a little cross-disciplinary research can be a good thing.



All in all, of course, inhaling automotive exhaust or smoke from agricultural burning or forest fires is not recommended, to say the least!


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