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Smoke, Smog, Dust 2014 Chiang Mai


Tywais

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That is why I have been saving crops of the firemap to remove the unnecessary elements. Here is todays updated snapshot and I have added a transparent overlay on it to distinguish Thailand.

attachicon.gifFIREMAP OVERLAY.jpg

Sorry about that having trouble posting today. I meant mark where Chiang Mai is not Thailand. Been a hit or miss situation on posting for two days now. Good for a while then nothing. Tried to edit it and couldn't.

Ah, got it. I had just downloaded another overlay map with the cities identified and will try to put that on top of the cropped fire map in the future.

attachicon.gifFiremap Overlay March 4 2014.jpg

Thanks looks good.

Will that be on the one on the first page.

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Thanks, Tywais, for the border layer over your SE Asia snapshots. Your maps do, of course, give a very general reflection of the annual agricultural conflagration in SE Asia. That does reflect the general agricultural situation in these rice producing countries, but I have chosen to be more local in observation around the city of Chiang Mai. My area of focus (by FIRMS satellite report) is relatively "local": the Doi Suthep - Pui Protected Area and a 15km radius around it. You might wish to look differently.

Again, as I have mentioned before, the satellites don't capture it all. They are not overhead all of the time. Smaller fires and fires of short duration are generally not captured. And, having worked with this a little bit, I know that the reported coordinates are not necessarily right on target (They trend to an Eastward error of a couple of hundred meters.) Anyway...

The good news is that there isn't much to report! I have not yet seen the concentration of clearly agricultural burning of last year along Rte 1095 (the road to Pai) in the general Mae Taeng area, both east and west of the main route north.

The last time we had a "good year," it was a couple of years ago, as I recall, due to an unusual series of early intermittent rains that limited burning. This year, with quite moderate pollution to date, can not been so characterised. I have no explanation for this. Has the government been successful in its educational mission!! Forgive me for being cynical, but I wonder about that as a convincing reason. To be cynical, maybe it has to do with Yingluck's celebrity appearance at a couple of administrative cake and coffee official meetings. There are not enough economic incentives in place to limit burning as there were decades ago to limit poppy agriculture. Maybe so many farmers are in hock because of late government subsidy payments that they are hesitating to plant in the face of little money for upfront costs and worry over the enormous government stockpiles of rice that Yingluck can't get rid of that will continue to cause a huge problem for the foreseeable future. Farmers are generally not fools.

So, for now, enjoy relatively clear skies! And, to close, I'll wager that the problem does not come from China. More about that some other time. In the meantime, is there anyone here that might be interested in researching seasonal upper atmospheric wind patterns at various latitudes in combination with seasonal monsoon winds? Take look.

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That is why I have been saving crops of the firemap to remove the unnecessary elements. Here is todays updated snapshot and I have added a transparent overlay on it to distinguish Thailand.

attachicon.gifFIREMAP OVERLAY.jpg

Sorry about that having trouble posting today. I meant mark where Chiang Mai is not Thailand. Been a hit or miss situation on posting for two days now. Good for a while then nothing. Tried to edit it and couldn't.

Ah, got it. I had just downloaded another overlay map with the cities identified and will try to put that on top of the cropped fire map in the future.

attachicon.gifFiremap Overlay March 4 2014.jpg

Thanks looks good.

Will that be on the one on the first page.

The one on the first page is a dynamic fire map. That is, it is automatically updated every 8 hours on that page so I need to take a snap shot of that page one map to 'freeze' it for that day and post it here as an attachment. So the date that I post the snapshot will be the activity at that date/time.

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@Mapguy - I talked to a Thai friend of mine at the university and he indicated it had something to do with Yingluck's visit and some 'payment' involved to farmers to not burn. How long that lasts he is not sure.

Also, wonder how much has to do with the lack of payment by the government for the rice and farmers not able to afford to plant now and as such no incentive to prep the fields?

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@Mapguy - I talked to a Thai friend of mine at the university and he indicated it had something to do with Yingluck's visit and some 'payment' involved to farmers to not burn. How long that lasts he is not sure.

Now, there's a conspiracy beyond the usual political stories these days !!!! blink.pngcheesy.gif

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Thanks, Tywais, for the border layer over your SE Asia snapshots. Your maps do, of course, give a very general reflection of the annual agricultural conflagration in SE Asia. That does reflect the general agricultural situation in these rice producing countries, but I have chosen to be more local in observation around the city of Chiang Mai. My area of focus (by FIRMS satellite report) is relatively "local": the Doi Suthep - Pui Protected Area and a 15km radius around it. You might wish to look differently.

Again, as I have mentioned before, the satellites don't capture it all. They are not overhead all of the time. Smaller fires and fires of short duration are generally not captured. And, having worked with this a little bit, I know that the reported coordinates are not necessarily right on target (They trend to an Eastward error of a couple of hundred meters.) Anyway...

The good news is that there isn't much to report! I have not yet seen the concentration of clearly agricultural burning of last year along Rte 1095 (the road to Pai) in the general Mae Taeng area, both east and west of the main route north.

The last time we had a "good year," it was a couple of years ago, as I recall, due to an unusual series of early intermittent rains that limited burning. This year, with quite moderate pollution to date, can not been so characterised. I have no explanation for this. Has the government been successful in its educational mission!! Forgive me for being cynical, but I wonder about that as a convincing reason. To be cynical, maybe it has to do with Yingluck's celebrity appearance at a couple of administrative cake and coffee official meetings. There are not enough economic incentives in place to limit burning as there were decades ago to limit poppy agriculture. Maybe so many farmers are in hock because of late government subsidy payments that they are hesitating to plant in the face of little money for upfront costs and worry over the enormous government stockpiles of rice that Yingluck can't get rid of that will continue to cause a huge problem for the foreseeable future. Farmers are generally not fools.

So, for now, enjoy relatively clear skies! And, to close, I'll wager that the problem does not come from China. More about that some other time. In the meantime, is there anyone here that might be interested in researching seasonal upper atmospheric wind patterns at various latitudes in combination with seasonal monsoon winds? Take look.

Yes I have not been keeping up with the technical details so I do not know how much forest fires have affected the city.

I know that there is fires in Loa and Burma that also have an affect on us. But not how much this year as compared

to other years. They have the potential to be a large factor.

Also no I am not a Thai. Just bad luck with getting posts up and edited for a day and a half. Hopefully it is OK now.

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No disrespect but yes as we all know "Enforcement" is the issue.

As I said in an earlier post the worst year for the 'Smog', IMHO, was the year of the Flower Project when all the tourist buses appeared around CM.

So many belched Black Exhaust Smoke as do many of our daily Songthows and other badly maintained diesel powered vehicles.

Enforcement of present law would solve so many of our medical problems.

We can't blame the Farmers for ever, have they not been burning since before Buddha ?

john

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^ The March regional haze has nothing to do with traffic conditions of any kind.

You can see this easily as the worst of it is way out near the Burma border. Few vehicles, buses or otherwise.

Well, Winnie, you have a point, of a sort. But two observations, nonetheless.

First, there is the seasonal nature of agricultural and forest burning. They are absolutely the big contributors to the overall effect seasonally. That poisonous atmosphere is, unfortunately, also contributed to by some other seasonal weather factors that bring temperature inversions. That means that vehicular fossil-fueled pollution is also trapped, which isn't such a serious problem in other seasons.

Second, if you have looked at the log of measurements taken by the two dominant (sometimes with a third) PCD stations (urban, suburban and, infrequently, rural mountaintop) in Chiang Mai over the years, regardless of season, you'll see that the pollution readings in the "middle of town" at Yupparaj School do indeed very much reflect the contribution of urban vehicular pollution we deal with.

And, I suppose, that I should add if you have been stuck at a traffic signal in Muang Chiang Mai behind some songtao with an ancient untuned diesel engine, you really don't give a happy dam_n what season it is. It is simply awful.

To pause a moment to consider other notorious (but generally unrecognized) contributors to air pollution in other places, you might consider methane pollution over India, usually the highest for a general region over the world. Fortunately, Winnie, there are not so many kwai (or their cousins) in Thailand !! biggrin.png

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All this talk about Songthaew's and burning black diesel smoke.

I ride in them quite often and it is very few of them that blow black diesel smoke. When you sit in them just looking out the back you tend to notice.

Yes the vehicle's in the city do contribute to the smog. Even the motor bikes. I doubt the flower festival busses added that much to the whole city. What gets me is the tour busses that will stop and let every one out to see the attraction and leave the bus running for an hour or so. It is a combination of many many little things and to pick out one or two items as the cause is denying your part in it. Unless you are driving one of them.

I believe what we have here in the valley is what we called a heat inversion shield in the valley holding it all in. That was back home in the Okanagon valley.

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Been to two mountainous areas to the south of Chiang Mai in the last week.

Near Mae Tha, fire engines seen putting out fires a few times, not many fires.

Near Li, road into the forest, dry, dusty, fires everywhere, no sign of anyone putting them out. Smoke terrible there.

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Visibility in Mae Taeng is down to 3 km this morning and it is the first morning where our white outside table is visibly dusty overnight. Hoping the winds come up again to clear the air, otherwise this could be the start of worsening air quality.

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Trying to find most recent readings of Chiang Mai area, the link seems to not include our area anymore. Do I need to log in and if so how do I sign up? Or s there another site that would provide me with good current info?

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Trying to find most recent readings of Chiang Mai area, the link seems to not include our area anymore. Do I need to log in and if so how do I sign up? Or s there another site that would provide me with good current info?

Fill in the parameters here and you should be able to graph it. Chiang Mai stations are #35 and #36. http://aqmthai.com/public_report.php

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The air in Chiang Mai is really bad today - by far the worst I've seen it this year. From Chang Klan road looking toward Doi Suthep all I can see is a brown haze. Seems to be worst to the west and north.

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wolfmuc..... Check out post #120 on this thread for a major contributor. Some of those sites you graphed also have local sources like coal-fired electric plants.

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wolfmuc..... Check out post #120 on this thread for a major contributor. Some of those sites you graphed also have local sources like coal-fired electric plants.

Near Lampang is Mae Mo lignite mines and coal fired power plants and are a major contributor to pollution in that area.

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wolfmuc..... Check out post #120 on this thread for a major contributor. Some of those sites you graphed also have local sources like coal-fired electric plants.

Thanks T_Dog, local sources might be an explanation.

Will try to find out the nearest power plants when the internet

is a bit faster than today.

Check out #120? - Didn't find this 'major contributor'.

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wolfmuc..... Check out post #120 on this thread for a major contributor. Some of those sites you graphed also have local sources like coal-fired electric plants.

Thanks T_Dog, local sources might be an explanation.

Will try to find out the nearest power plants when the internet

is a bit faster than today.

Check out #120? - Didn't find this 'major contributor'.

Burning up in the mountains to open up farm land and to improve mushroom production is a major cause of our smoke. Tywais has a pinned link at the beginning of this thread and also on post # 120. Here it is again, and it shows the active fires in Asia.

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/692704-smoke-smog-dust-2014-chiang-mai/?p=7221266

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T_Dog, thank you for the answers. - Maybe it's slash&burn too, but I don't think predominantly.

If you would have a look at this site

http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-254.09,20.00,295 .

As I see it there might be a circuit of winds, blowing the haze from Beijing, Shanghai

and Hong Kong via the north of Vietnam even into Thailand.

http://aqicn.org/map/ shows the air pollution in Asia conveniently displayed, yet the results

for Thailand seem to be too low. - But there might be another route (south-west) for the haze

coming from Beijing as I noticed the last weeks. Of course based on the results of that site.

But all the same, it's really bad here in Phrae province.

And it's not the farmers burning their fields.

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Rode up the cable car to the highest point in the Langkawi Is. group just over the S border and at 700m ASL the horizon had a noticeably brown tinge in all directions, even though at sea level the viz is excellent.

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More local observations: There are some new (FIRMS) instances of blazes which appear strongly to be agricultural burning on a north-south line from Rte 1095 (Mae Taeng-Pai Road) about 20km west of Rte 107 to somewhat north of Samoeng.

What is missing, comparably, this year to last ---so far --- are many agricultural fires in a close radius around the intersection of those two roads.

And the incidence of blazes appears to have dropped considerably within the same time frame. Of course, it ain't over until it's over.

In looking at the attachment, I should note that FIRMS misses a lot, and the coordinates seem consistently skewed to the East a couple of hundred meters. These eyes in the sky miss a lot, especially the small stuff.

Otherwise, there seemed to be a rather distinctive (and unfamiliar) odor in the Muang Chiang Mai air this morning, not a wood/rice straw smell but something different. Anyone else notice that?

post-55418-0-37698000-1394188597_thumb.p

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This website has not been noted much lately. Some people may wish to follow it.

Notice the general SW pattern of the winds which are very much consistent with monsoon patterns year after year. I think you'd have a difficult time making a persuasive argument correlating seasonal pollution here with industrial pollution in Northern China. The barometric effect contributing to a high pressure "lid" is a different matter.

Incidentally, it is the Japanese who got furious with the Chinese (not just about property rights to rocks in the Sea of Japan or the East Sea (take your pick!) but wind-blown air pollution, as I recall from last year's press. That indicates Westerlies typical, I believe, of those latitudes. Here we have the seasonal SW monsoon toward Southern China, not the reverse.

post-55418-0-53773600-1394190196_thumb.p

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Incidentally, it is the Japanese who got furious with the Chinese (not just about property rights to rocks in the Sea of Japan or the East Sea (take your pick!) but wind-blown air pollution,

The Japanese can't complain about jacksh1t, with all the radiation circulating the Pacific......

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This remains a fascinating thing every year.. By relative virtue of being stuck in a hospital room this week I've had a near continuous view of the mountain, with not much else to do.

It's interesting that there was a big dip in visibility (spike in haze) around noon. And then a dramatic clearing up afternoon. (Mountain completely disappeared from view for me around noon). Then I look at the figures from the Yupparaj measuring station (in town) and it matches that exactly:

post-64232-0-03381800-1394191606_thumb.j

And now I can see trees and separate ridges again. It's just remarkable how it can come and go like that in a matter of an hour or two. And again, this is absolutely nothing yet compared to how bad it can get. I think we'll end up at a daily average of about 80 ug/m3

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Been here 7 yrs and this seems to be the worst year ever. Never before have my eyes watered or been red, never before has my wife coughed so much or even me. Before you could always make out Doi Suthep if you looked hard but now you can't. What happened to the law enforcement clamp downs they have been promising for 7 years, things are getting worse not better.

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