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The First Joint Report Published on the Long-range Transboundary Air Pollutants in Northeast Asia

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▷ Fine dust reduction for each country was ed as necessary to improve the air quality of Northeast Asia.

▷ A very meaningful report for the creators of air quality policies was reviewed by the governments of Korea, China, and Japan.

The National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER, President Jang Yoon-seok), an affiliate organization of the Ministry of Environment, published a summary report of the 'Joint Research Project for Long-range Transboundary Air Pollutants in Northeast Asia (LTP)' for policymakers on November 20th, based on the research of the long-range transboundary air pollutants in Northeast Asia.

To create the report, researchers in Korea, China, and Japan carried out phased research on air pollutants, including sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxide, and added the recent research on ultrafine dust (PM2.5) during 2013-2017, their fourth research period.

The report was reviewed by the people in charge of the projects in each country. The publication was scheduled in 2018 but was postponed due to the differing opinions of China.

However, Minister CHO Myung-rae of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea and Minister LI Ganjie of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People's Republic of China agreed on the publication before the 21st Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (23rd to the 24th of November 2019, Japan) in February 2019.

The researchers in the three countries analyzed the long-term monitoring data from 2000 to 2017, collected the monitoring points* of background concentration in each country, and discovered that the concentration of sulfur oxides (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NO2), fine dust (PM10), and ultrafine dust (PM2.5) had been decreasing in every country.

* Korea (Baekryeong, Ganghwa, Taean, and Gosan), China (Dalian, Yantai, and Xiamen), Japan (Rishiri, Oki)

In particular, regarding the annual national ultrafine dust (PM2.5) concentration level, from 2015 to 2018, it decreased in Korea by 12% and in China by 22%, and in Japan* by 12% from 2015 to 2017. 

* Japan used data from 2017 since the 2018 data had yet to be finalized.

According to research on the domestic and international effects of ultrafine dust (PM2.5) in major cities** of the three countries in 2017, using air quality model techniques*, the annual domestic contributions of fine dust were 51% in Korea, 91% in China, and 55% in Japan.

* To use the most optimized models for each county, Korea and Japan used CMAQ and China used CAMx.

** Three cities in Korea (Seoul, Daejeon, Busan), six cities in China (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Qingdao, Shenyang, and Dalian), and three cities in Japan (Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka)

Based on the averaged annual data of 2017, the average impact of Chinese fine dust sources over the total annual amount of fine dust of the three cities in Korea was 32% and the three cities in Japan was 25%.

On the other hand, based on the same standard, the impact of Korean sources over China was 2% and over Japan was 8%, and the impact of Japanese sources over Korea was 2%, and over China was 1%.

The scientists of Korea, China, and Japan gave significant meaning to the study, as it analyzed the 'relations between the sources and effected areas' based on the latest emission data of each country.

In addition, the scientists suggested future joint projects to measure air pollutants in detail as well as improve the related models and the accuracy of emission measurement.

"The meaning of this report is significant, because it is the first fine dust report based on the joint research projects of researchers in Korea, China, and Japan, which was also reviewed by the governments of the three countries," stated Jang Yoon-seok, President of NIER.

"We hope that this report provides scientific data for international discussions to improve air quality in Northeast Asia, such as discussions on fine dust."

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Last modified : 2017-12-12 08:38

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