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Ground stations monitoring carbon emissions to be set up in Shanghai

By XING YI in Shanghai | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2022-07-27 10:30
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Shanghai will set up eight carbon monitoring stations as part of national efforts to reduce emissions, according to the Shanghai Bureau of Ecology and Environment.

The plan, submitted to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, also includes the deployment of a monitoring drone and using satellite remote sensing.

Fu Qingyan, deputy director of the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center, told media outlet Shanghai Observer that the pilot project is tasked with providing firsthand and more accurate data on the emission of greenhouse gases in the city, and laying foundations for building a carbon emission verification system.

After preliminary research, the locations of the eight stations have been determined and include Waigang, Jiading district; Dongtan, Chongming Island; and Zhangjiang, Pudong New Area.

The choice of the locations has taken into consideration factors such as topography and geography, climate and weather, as well as industrial layout and economic development.

"Data obtained from the monitoring system will supplement and verify the amount of greenhouse gas emissions calculated through traditional measures," Fu said. "With more accurate data, we can make our case more convincingly in the world."

Liu Min, associate professor of ecology at East China Normal University, said the previous carbon dioxide monitoring stations were mostly built far from urban areas, noting that urban areas cover only 2.4 percent of the world's land but emit more than 70 percent of carbon dioxide.

"Firsthand data on urban carbon emissions have been lacking for a long time," Liu told China Daily. "As a scholar, we are happy to see Shanghai build a carbon emission monitoring system. It will provide scientific data for the study of the role of cities in the global carbon cycle."

The multi-source monitoring method adopted in Shanghai will help precisely monitor carbon emissions despite the complex urban environment, according to Liu Qizhen, deputy head of the atmosphere monitoring division of the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

Liu said some monitoring sites have to be installed on skyscrapers, and therefore the ventilation facilities and microclimate of wind direction in areas with a lot of high-rise buildings all need to be taken into consideration.

"That's where the monitoring drone and satellite remote sensing will play a role," he told Shanghai Observer.

The center has also dispatched vans equipped with monitoring devices to measure greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane at ground level in winter.

In September, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment selected 16 cities, including Taiyuan, Shanxi province; Nantong, Jiangsu province; and Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, and five key industries, including coal-based power plants, steel plants and waste treatment plants, and added them into the pilot plan for carbon emission monitoring and evaluation.

The ministry plans to establish an exemplary monitoring system for carbon emissions focusing on key regions, cities and industries by the end of 2022.

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