IBM Helps China’s Air Quality Management

by | Jul 7, 2014

IBMIBM has launched a 10-year initiative to help China deliver on its environmental and energy goals.

Dubbed “Green Horizon,” the project focuses on three areas critical to China’s sustainable growth: air quality management, renewable energy forecasting and energy optimization for industry. Led by IBM’s China Research laboratory, the initiative will use the company’s network of 12 global research labs and partner with government, academia, industry and private enterprise.

One of the first partners to come on board is the Beijing Municipal Government. Through a collaboration agreement, the two parties have agreed to work together to help tackle the city’s air pollution challenges. The collaboration will leverage IBM’s technologies such as cognitive computing, optical sensors and the internet of things all based on a big data and analytics platform and using weather prediction and climate modeling.

The city of Beijing will invest more than $160 billion to improve air quality and deliver on its target of reducing harmful fine Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) particles by 25 percent by 2017. To support the initiative, IBM is partnering with the Beijing government on a system to enable authorities to pinpoint the type, source and level of emissions and predict air quality in the city.

IBM’s cognitive computing systems will analyze and learn from streams of real-time data generated by air quality monitoring stations, meteorological satellites and IBM’s new-generation optical sensors — all connected by the internet of things.

By applying supercomputing processing power, scientists from IBM and the Beijing government aim to create visual maps showing the source and dispersion of pollutants across Beijing 72 hours in advance with street-scale resolution.

With real-time data about Beijing’s air quality, the government will be able to take rapid action to address environmental issues by adjusting production at specific factories or alerting citizens about developing air quality issues.

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