Website predicting Beijing’s air quality to aid athletes
Belgian and Dutch athletes can benefit from the website by adapting their training schedules to pollution levels.6 August 2008
BELGIUM – A website monitoring air quality in Beijing aiming to allow Belgian and Dutch athletes to train in the best circumstances has been set up by the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO).
Air pollution is a serious problem in Beijing, posing a serious threat to athletes' health during the upcoming Olympic Games.
In order to help Belgian and Dutch athletes, the VITO has developed a special computer model to forecast the air pollution during the upcoming hours and days.
The system allows forecasts up to 72 hours ahead, using data from local Chinese weather stations and satellite data.
"We next combine these data with the AURORA air quality modelling systems and also find out in which direction the wind blows", explains Karen Van De Vel of VITO.
"This allows us to predict ozone and fine particulate matter levels."
Everyone has free access to the site, including athletes who will be able to adapt their training schedule to expected pollution levels.
"We developed the system at the request of the Dutch Olympic Committee", says Karen Van De Vel of VITO. "We hope that Belgian - and, of course, Dutch - athletes will perform better now."
VITO has developed the computer model in cooperation with the Dutch Met Office. The initiative is part of the European AMFIC project, which stands for Air Quality Monitoring and Forecasting in China.
More information can be found on http://wwwa.vito.be/english/index.htm.
[flandersnews.be / Kao Shiyang / Expatica]