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Beijing enveloped in hazardous sandstorm, second time in two weeks

BEIJING -- The Chinese capital Beijing woke on Sunday morning shrouded in thick dust carrying extremely high levels of hazardous particles, as a second sandstorm in two weeks hit the city due to winds from drought-hit Mongolia and northwestern China.

Visibility in the city was reduced, with the tops of some skyscrapers obscured by the sandstorm, and pedestrians were forced to cover their eyes as gusts of dust swept through the streets.

One of Earth’s giant carbon sinks may have been overestimated - study

The potential of soils to slow climate change by soaking up carbon may be less than previously thought

The storage potential of one of the Earth’s biggest carbon sinks – soils – may have been overestimated, research shows. This could mean ecosystems on land soaking up less of humanity’s emissions than expected, and more rapid global heating.

Hanoi air quality improves in pandemic year but still a concern

Air quality in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi improved in 2020 but was still the 12th worst among cities in the world.

Its average annual PM2.5 concentration improved after worsening for three straight years, according to the 2020 World Air Quality Report published by IQAir on Tuesday.

The report by the Swiss air quality technology and monitoring company said in 2020 the average pollution exposure in Vietnam fell by 18 percent from 2019 levels.

Lethal pollution high in 2020 despite lockdowns: report

Deadly small particle pollution in four of five nations exceeded World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations last year despite COVID-19 lockdowns, according to a report released Tuesday.

The partial or complete shutdown of transport and industry for months at a time in 2020 reduced average levels of so-called PM2.5 pollution across the world, including in major cities, the IQAir quality report found.

Air pollution top environmental concern among Vietnamese citizens

With 79 percent of respondents worried about it, air pollution is the foremost environmental concern among Vietnamese citizens.

It is followed by water pollution (71 percent), food contamination (62 percent), plastic waste pollution (59 percent) and deforestation (55 percent), according to a survey done by market research firm Q&Me which interviewed 792 Vietnamese citizens aged 18-49.

Other issues of leading concern were global warming (46 percent), ozone depletion (32 percent) and wildlife extinct (30 percent).

A room, a bar and a classroom: how the coronavirus is spread through the air

The risk of contagion is highest in indoor spaces but can be reduced by applying all available measures to combat infection via aerosols. Here is an overview of the likelihood of infection in three everyday scenarios, based on the safety measures used and the length of exposure

Social gathering in a living room

Coronavirus detected on particles of air pollution

Exclusive: Scientists examine whether this route enables infections at longer distances

Coronavirus has been detected on particles of air pollution by scientists investigating whether this could enable it to be carried over longer distances and increase the number of people infected.

The work is preliminary and it is not yet known if the virus remains viable on pollution particles and in sufficient quantity to cause disease.

Is air pollution making the coronavirus pandemic even more deadly?

Dirty air is well known to worsen the heart and lung risk factors for Covid-19 - early research is cause for concern

In many respects, it makes perfect sense.

Patients with severe Covid-19 are twice as likely to have had pre-existing respiratory diseases and three times as likely to have had cardiovascular problems.

And decades of gold standard research have shown air pollution damages hearts and lungs.

So is dirty air, which already kills at least 7 million people a year, turbo-charging the coronavirus pandemic?

World’s largest platform for air quality data launched at tenth World Urban Forum

Abu Dhabi, 10 February 2020 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), together with UN-Habitat and IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company, today launched the world’s largest air quality data platform, bringing together real-time air pollution data from over 4,000 contributors, including citizens, communities, governments and the private sector to work towards healthier, more sustainable cities.