China smog rises in April for first time this year

(Reuters, 18 May 2020) Air pollution in China plummeted during the lockdown but has now overshot its pre-crisis levels, Finnish researchers found.

Chinese air pollution rose in April for the first time since December, official data showed on Monday, with analysts attributing the rebound to the resumption of economic activity following the coronavirus outbreak.

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) said concentrations of hazardous airborne particles known as PM2.5 rose 3.1% in April to an average of 33 micrograms per cubic metre in 337 cities across the country, the first year-on-year increase since December when PM2.5 rose by 10%.

Concentrations of ground-level ozone, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide also rose over the month, the official data showed.

The worst performing cities in April were Changchun, Harbin and Shenyang, the capitals of the three northeastern provinces, the data showed.

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Reuters, 18 May 2020: China smog rises in April for first time this year