2020 Was a Good Year for Air Pollution

  • By Sun Jung-min

    January 05, 2021 13:03

    Air pollution was at its lowest in recent memory here in 2020 amid factory closures here and in China due to the coronavirus epidemic.

    Ultrafine dust or PM2.5 concentration was the lowest since records began in 2015. Frequent rains and winds also helped.

    The annual average ultrafine dust level observed at 472 nationwide air quality monitoring stations stood at 19 ㎍/㎥ last year, according to the National Institute of Environmental Research on Monday.

    That was down 17.4 percent from 23 ㎍/㎥ a year earlier and the lowest since 2015's 26 ㎍/㎥.

    The average fine dust level in China also decreased by a whopping 50 percent from 62 ㎍/㎥ in 2014 to 31 ㎍/㎥ during the January-November period in 2020.

    Another factor was frequent rains and winds. The average national rainfall increased 34 percent last year and more winds blew than usual, clearing the air.

    Ultrafine dust levels were "bad" or higher than 36 ㎍/㎥ for only 27 days, down from 41 days the previous year. 

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