Tech

IBM to Help Beijing Fight Smog and Air Pollution

By | Jul 09, 2014 03:26 AM EDT
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IBM

(Photo : reuters.com)

IBM and Beijing will cooperate in using advanced weather forecasting technology and cloud computing to alleviate the city’s stubborn smog problem.

Over the past three decades, China’s central government has tried to lessen the damage on China's environment caused by smog and air pollution. As part of this effort, China needs to improve its forecasting skills to be able to prevent smog and pollution scares.

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Beijing has been using an alert system based on the data received from 35 monitoring stations. However, residents of the Chinese capital stated that the current efforts are not enough to get the job done.

Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, said that predictions are helpful to prevent exposure but are not enough because they only state which days people should only stay indoors or wear masks.

The city government of Beijing will team up with IBM to focus on the planned 10-year Green Horizon for China. Beijing will capitalize on IBM’s expertise in forecasting and real-time emissions data collection to predict the build-up of smog.

Xiaowei Shen, director of IBM Research in China, said that the agreement is all about helping cities improve their management by using ‘big data’ that gives better prediction about pollution for immediate government action.

“With China’s pledge to reduce the share of coal in its energy mix, IBM’s cloud-based analytic systems could also be tailored to make better use of renewable energy,” Shen said.

In a previous success, IBM helped decrease wasted power from 30 percent to 20 percent using its technologies.

IBM representatives see many opportunities the Green Horizon initiative can generate in pollution control and renewable energy in China.

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