Under much public pressure to release data on fine particulate matter, the Beijing government has incorporated preliminary measurements in real-time. Of course, there is a lot to be desired – the PM 2.5 is labeled as “for research purposes,” and is only from one station in Chegongzhuang, which is in the Northwest corner of Beijing’s second-ring road. There is also no indication of the date of the data, although it is presumably available on a daily basis.

Part of me thinks that they were rushing to get this up before the lunar new year, as they had promised, but in terms of how useful these data are so far, they still have a ways to go. I have already heard grumblings from some that don’t believe the data are that accurate, however it’s not possible to directly compare the U.S. Embassy’s @Beijingair readings directly with the Beijing governments, because of their locations on opposites sides of town. Part of me thinks that the government did this on purpose so that direct comparisons couldn’t be drawn. However, at least the PM10 trends between the two sites seem consistent, as there is an official monitoring station somewhat close to the U.S. Embassy (农展馆).


You can see the clear spike at around 1 am Jan. 23, which is likely due to Chinese New Year fireworks.

 Other cities including Qingdao, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Dalian all are supposed to start reporting PM 2.5 soon as well. However, I checked their respective websites today and wasn’t able to find similar information like Beijing’s.