Jakarta's Air Quality is now the worst in the world

dafluff

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I suppose Jakarta's air quality was never great, but it is now objectively the worst in the world, according to AirVisual.com.

This morning Jakarta tops all major cities in the world, with an air quality index (AQI) at 169 (high numbers are bad). In recent days, Jakarta has even topped 200 on a few occasions. An AQI is measured based on five pollutants: particulate matter (PM), sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone. Anything above 100 is considered “unhealthy”, while scores over 200 – looking at you, Jakarta – are “very unhealthy”.

Jakarta is followed by Dhaka and Delhi. Beijing, the capital of China, and also famous for it's terrible air quality, is in 7th position.

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According to this article, research from the University of Chicago shows that Jakarta’s air quality is now so bad that it’s cutting 2.3 years off the average resident’s lifespan. Also that at least 7,390 Jakartans die early every year due to high levels of PM2.5, with almost 2,000 babies born with low birth weights for the same reason. Out of 44 sub-districts in Jakarta, 16 list “upper respiratory infections” as the top cause of illness.
 

vocalneal

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Not good enough? All the whingers in Chiang Mai Thailand claim theirs is the worst.

All based on PM2.5 which only became popular when someone invented a widget to measure it.
 
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"7,390 Jakartans die early every year due to high levels of PM2.5". I would estimate that many many more than this die early due to smoking, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet.

Also there is some slightly strange maths going on there. 7,390 people dying early each year (whatever "early" means) does not equate to an average 2-3 years off everyone's lifespan. It's less than 0.1% of the population of Jakarta. Even if they all died 40 years early (eg 36 instead of 76) that's still 99.9% who don't die early each year, so there is no way of getting to an average of 2-3 years over the whole population when 0.1% die early and 99.9% don't. Even over a 10-year period, when 1% die early and 99% don't, I calculate the average change in lifespan would only be a few weeks.

However the pollution has clearly been bad since June, anyone can see that, dodgy stats or not
 

jstar

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"7,390 Jakartans die early every year due to high levels of PM2.5". I would estimate that many many more than this die early due to smoking, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet.

Also there is some slightly strange maths going on there. 7,390 people dying early each year (whatever "early" means) does not equate to an average 2-3 years off everyone's lifespan. It's less than 0.1% of the population of Jakarta. Even if they all died 40 years early (eg 36 instead of 76) that's still 99.9% who don't die early each year, so there is no way of getting to an average of 2-3 years over the whole population when 0.1% die early and 99.9% don't. Even over a 10-year period, when 1% die early and 99% don't, I calculate the average change in lifespan would only be a few weeks.

However the pollution has clearly been bad since June, anyone can see that, dodgy stats or not

It seems we're having two threads on the same topic(s again)?!

Anyway, June always has been one of the worse months. After the rainy season, wrong wind direction, ultra hot, busy traffic, ...
 

dafluff

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Also there is some slightly strange maths going on there. 7,390 people dying early each year (whatever "early" means) does not equate to an average 2-3 years off everyone's lifespan. It's less than 0.1% of the population of Jakarta. Even if they all died 40 years early (eg 36 instead of 76) that's still 99.9% who don't die early each year, so there is no way of getting to an average of 2-3 years over the whole population when 0.1% die early and 99.9% don't. Even over a 10-year period, when 1% die early and 99% don't, I calculate the average change in lifespan would only be a few weeks.
It's actually two different organizations that did the estimate, the 7,390 people dying is from U. of Chicago, and the 2-3 years lifespan is from Greenpeace.

But yeah, "people dying early of air pollution" is kinda difficult to quantify...
 

Jaime C

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At least Jakarta can finally claim the #1 prize for something. ;)
 

Jaime C

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They’ve been burning garbage in my neighborhood in Bandung almost every day for the last week. Gives me a big headache!
 

Ruserious

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Whilst the air quality is bad in Jakarta I am very surprised that it is worse than Delhi or more specifically Gurgaon. As i type this there is blue skies here and I have not seen that at all on any of my frequent India trips. I visited some high offices in both cities and the views in Jakarta is not too bad whilst in Delhi you can really only see a couple hundred meters and then it looks like smog.
 

jstar

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I've seen beautiful blue skies in New Delhi though. A lot. Just some morning fog in the (colder) winters. The climate is difficult to compare to Jakarta, which is much more humid. And besides temperature and wind speed, humidity does play a role in pollution.
 

Edward

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It seems we're having two threads on the same topic(s again)?!

Anyway, June always has been one of the worse months. After the rainy season, wrong wind direction, ultra hot, busy traffic, ...
The numbers have been high long before June this year.
 

Jusri

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Not easy to improve with so many causes like vehicles, burning, factories and so on. When i take a breath, i can sniff so many different unknown things in the jakarta air.
 

jstar

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From the article reporting on the lawsuit by Jakartans:

"The acting head of the Jakarta environmental agency recently dismissed the poor June readings, saying the government “doesn’t really respond to real-time data” and in general the air quality had been “moderate” this year.

Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan has put the problem down to the high number of vehicles on the road, but Greenpeace energy campaigner Bondan Andriyani argues that is only part of the picture."

“In 2018 the data showed that traffic in Jakarta was improving, but the air quality, declined. It’s a contradiction,” said Bondan, “The PM 2.5 data showed that number of unhealthy days almost doubled in 2018 from the year earlier.”"

Of course Anies knows best. And it's kind of flabbergasting to see the government is not willing to look at and consider real-time data? That explains a lot on the forest fires that affect Singapore but also Indonesia itself...
 

jstar

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The LRT is still for free btw. It should have been operational before the 2018 ASEAN games but is still in a test phase as we speak....

 

Edward

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A look at the air outside this evening in Jakarta bears out the 30% improvement over the week? (Index 111)
 

rabbit_39

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doesn't it always get better over the weekend with less cars and the car free day? Which bears the hypothesis that vehicle emissions is one of the contributors to the bad air quality? Perhaps.
 

Edward

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I'd like to think so. But from my observations, and news articles, there is a suggestion this typical and logical pattern is no longer happening.
 

jstar

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doesn't it always get better over the weekend with less cars and the car free day? Which bears the hypothesis that vehicle emissions is one of the contributors to the bad air quality? Perhaps.
Now the odd/even number plate schedule seems to be more effective. If cars attribute 45%, if would be kind of nice to tackle the 55% also.

But as in any other country, the car is an easy milk cow...
 

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