An employee yawns as he walks among General Motors' new Chinese-made cars at a parking lot in Shenyang, Liaoning province April 21, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer More
BEIJING (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM)
News Article | December 25, 2015
A blanket of thick gray smog obscures the skies in New Delhi. Breathing or seeing through the grim air is not healthy, but for some residents, buying a protective mask or an air purifier costs too much. The same thing occurs in Hanoi, where the toxic smog limits visibility. Wearing a mask through the smog will only help a little, as a resident in the city says, because there are other air pollution effects that you have to escape from. Unfortunately, the air pollution in these two cities is a large fragment of the cumulative smog that swathes the planet. New Delhi and Hanoi are part of a list of cities where air pollution is literally seeping into the lives of all inhabitants, causing more harm than what is manageable. Although several of these cities may have clean streets and clean water on the surface or comprehensive waste management programs, a sky teeming with noxious air pollution still implicates deep strife for city inhabitants. Air Pollution in Tehran and Turkey during Winter Months The skies in Tehran are among the most polluted in the world, health experts said. Dangerous levels of air pollution in the city have prompted authorities to temporarily shut down schools and kindergartens. Because of the unhealthy and polluted weather, authorities have also ordered the closure of schools in Arak and Isfahan. Since Dec. 22, the air quality in Tehran has been in the red-alert zone. The volume of air pollutants in the city has elevated seven times more beyond acceptable levels. The Tehran City Council Secretary Mehdi Chamran said the rising air pollution has caused the average number of deaths in the city to increase to 180 people per day. Chamran said the air pollution that plagues the city is "a silent killer." Aside from schools, officials have also ordered the postponing of sand mining in the area, but Chamran believes that this is not enough, and that permanent closure should be done. Meanwhile, data from Acıbadem University Atakent Hospital (AUAH) in Turkey revealed that at least 29,000 people in the country die of air pollution-related diseases, including lung cancer. Haluk Çalışır of AUAH said about 40 percent of patients die by either chronic obstructive pulmonary and respiratory infections or lung cancer. About 34 percent are killed off by stroke, while 26 percent die from ischemic heart disease, Çalışır said, noting that those who are exposed to air pollution are at higher risk for cardiovascular diseases. Air Pollution in Beijing is Getting Worse In Beijing, cars are taken off roads, while schools and factories are temporarily closed down. Authorities in the city have already issued two red alerts for smog this December, as the United States Embassy in Beijing has recorded a PM2.5 (particulate matter) index of more than 400. The hazardous level threatens respiratory risks for the city's inhabitants. The thick smog in Beijing does not only come from within the city, but also from neighboring industrial hubs such as Handan, Shijiazhuang, and Tangshan. "Often these surrounding areas already emit more pollution than Beijing," said Berkeley Earth scientist Robert Rohde. In China's Northeast cities, smog is also prevalent. Changchun, Harbin, and Shenyang experienced greater pollution spikes than that in 2014 - sometimes, the surge is higher than that of Beijing. Air Pollution in New Delhi is Often Worse than in Beijing New Delhi is also among the top list of cities with the most polluted air. In the early months of 2015, authorities in New Delhi have noted that the levels of PM2.5 in the city are 45 percent higher than the levels in Beijing. Beijing contains more than 30 government monitors that track the city's air quality, while New Delhi only has four and one U.S. embassy monitor. "Delhi doesn't have nearly enough," said Joshua Apte of University of Texas. "And it's still the best off in the country." Mike DeAngelo who had moved to Beijing said the thick smog has left him feeling more than depressed. "In the throes of the most severe bout of smog we suffered in Beijing a few weeks ago, it was five days of walking around in what looked like a nuclear winter," said DeAngelo. DeAngelo said he has learned not to take for granted days when there are blue skies in the city. Meanwhile, 14-year-old Sun Tian said that on days when the smog is bad, they avoid going outside and make sure the windows are all shut. "If I see an open window or door in the hallway, I try to close it. But some windows are too high up for me to reach," said Tian. Sun Tian and 30 others in his class saved up money to buy their classroom an air purifier, and not everyone can afford one. In New Delhi, Surabhi Srivastava said she uses a scarf to cover her nose and mouth, but it does not have any practical benefits. "I would like to buy a mask and/or an air purifier, but they are quite expensive, and while they might be useful in the short term, air pollution in New Delhi is a structural problem that requires a more comprehensive long-term solution," said Srivastava. Lise Wagnac in Beijing said that in the first week of her stay at the city, she had already felt the harmful effects of air pollution. "I've had chronic chest pain and hard time breathing on a daily basis. I never realized the impact of pollution before moving to Beijing," said Wagnac. In Hanoi, Vietnam, Dan Buckley said he and his wife have become "air-quality evangelists." He said despite wearing a mask outside, one will still feel the side effects of air pollution, which often include sore lungs, headaches, and an irritated throat. Why Are Levels of Air Pollution Rising? Volumes of PM2.5 are increasing because of several reasons. Turkey's Çalışır said rapid industrialization, irregular urbanization and heavy traffic are all factors that worsen air pollution not just in Turkey, but also worldwide. In China, the country's heavy reliance on coal has negative effects to the atmosphere. Air pollutants in the country also have the ability to travel far from their sources, thus spreading the toxicity. Coal is often used for heating in China's Northeast cities, which are blanketed in cold weather. Berkeley Earth scientist Rohde said cold weather conditions trap air pollutants close to the ground, thus increasing pollution. Amid all the rising levels of smog, authorities in China have vowed to make its cities "livable" again. "The government will take a more sophisticated approach to its urban planning and encourage enterprises and citizens to participate in creating the cities of the future," revealed a statement by Xinhua news agency. The plan is part of China's goal to improve its urban planning, where authorities will emphasize on the "harmony between people and nature."
News Article | April 24, 2016
With the heightened tension on territories from northern to southern Asia, Japan takes a move on tightening its security environment with its first radar-evading fighter jet. The Japan's stealth fighter jet took its maiden flight on April 22. The stealth fighter jet X-2 took off for its first test flight in Nagoya Airport, Japan. The aircraft was tested with different maneuvers such as descending, circling and climbing. Its test flight reflected simulated training and it "was extremely stable," according to the pilot. After the test flight of the fighter jet, it landed on Japan Air Self-Defense Force at Gifu Air Base. The twin engine stealth fighter jet was manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. "[The X-2] integrates an airframe, engines, and other advanced systems and equipment all adaptable to future fighters," said Mitsubishi. The X-2 reflects the red and white colors of Japan. It also has a specialized coating to become less detectable by other devices. This fighter jet has the ability to absorb or deflect radar signals from other electronics. Data gathered from the test flight will be analyzed and reviewed by the Defense Ministry Program to be able to further develop the aircraft. Other countries such as China have also developed aircraft with the same characteristics as the Japan's stealth fighter jet. The Shenyang FC-31 of Beijing and fifth gen twin-engine J-20 also have stealth feature. United States' F-117 Nighthawk (no longer in service), B-2 Spirit Bomber, F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor all have the stealth designs. Japan's creation of the first radar-evading jet is just one way of increasing its defense in the country as China also increases its budget on military by 7.6 percent in 2016 and is being aggressive in its offense in territories of interest. Japan strained ties with China is due to a dispute on the Senkaku Island, East China Sea. Leaders across the globe are also alarmed with the increased tension and territorial dispute on the Korean peninsula and seas from northern to southern Asia. A record of 571 times of Chinese aircraft surrounded Japan's airspace in 2015. Just recently, Chinese aircraft are seen flying over Okinawa Island, Miyako Island and East China Sea. © 2016 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
The voestalpine Group has opened a new plant in its metal forming division, in Shenyang, China. The facility will produce ultra-high strength body-in-white parts for automotive customers. A total of around €25 million has been invested to date in constructing the plant which will employ a staff of around 70 during the first phase. Further expansion phases are already planned. The voestalpine Group currently generates around 32% of its revenue (2014/15) in the automotive industry which is regarded globally as a long-term growth sector. Against this background, for several years the group has been expanding its capacity in this sector, also outside Europe. As well as the additional plant in China, further significant investment is also currently being made in phase two and three of construction at the production site for ultra-high strength body-in-white parts in Cartersville, USA, which opened last year. ‘With the new international sites, particularly in the automotive sector, we are following our premium customers into the growth markets, thereby continually expanding our global presence,’ said Wolfgang Eder, chairman of the management board. This story is reprinted from material from voestalpine, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.
The recipient of the 2017 Acta Materialia Silver Medal is Jing-yang Wang, the distinguished professor and division head in the High-performance Ceramic Division at the Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science and Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is also the assistant director of Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science. Jingyang Wang received the B.A. degree in Physics in 1992 from Peking University, M.A. degree in 1995 and Ph.D. degree in 1998, both in Materials Physics from Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He joined the faculty in Institute of Metal Research where he became the assistant professor in 1998, associate professor in 2002, and full professor in 2006. He was the visiting scientist at International Centre for Theoretical Physics (Italy) in 2001, University of Trento (Italy) in 2001, and International Center for Young Scientists (ICYS) at National Institute of Materials Science (Japan) in 2007. Professor Wang focused over 15 years of research activities in the area of materials science of advanced engineering ceramics. He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed SCI papers (H-index factor 36), including 30 in Acta Materialia and Scripta Materialia, and has 17 patents in the field of ceramics. In addition, he presented ~50 keynote/invited talks and served 25 advisory board members and symposium organizers in international conferences. He is internationally recognized for his scientific contributions and leadership in high-throughput materials design and modeling, novel methods for processing bulk, low-dimensional and porous ceramic materials, and multi-scale structure-property relationship of high performance structural ceramics. His recent notable research contributions are: His contributions have been recognized on many scientific advisory boards and committees of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) and the American Society of Metals International (ASM Int.) and serves on the International Advisory Board of UK CAFFE consortium (University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and University of Manchester) on ceramics for nuclear applications. He also served as the volume editor ofCeramic Engineering and Science Proceedings and is the book editor ofDevelopments in Strategic Materials and Computational Design, both published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and is the Executive editor ofJournal of Materials Science and Technology published by Elsevier. Professor Wang’s scientific career has also been recognized with many awards and honors, including ASM-IIM Visiting Lecturer Award in 2016, Distinguished Professor of CAS Distinguished Research Fellow Program from Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 2016, National Leading Talent of Young and Middle-aged Scientist Award from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China in 2015, DisLate Shri Sardar Pratap Singh Memorial Award from the Indian Ceramic Society in 2015, JACerS Author Loyalty Recognition Award in 2014 and the Global Star Award Society in 2012 from the ACerS, Second Prize in 2012 and First Prize in 2011 for Science and Technology Progress Award from China and First Prize for Natural Science Award from Liaoning Province in 2005. The Acta Materialia Silver Medal honors and recognizes scientific contributions and leadership from academic, industry and public sector leaders in materials research in the midst of their careers. The Silver Medal was established in 2016 and nominees are solicited each year from the Cooperating Societies and Sponsoring Societies of Acta Materialia. Inc. Professor Wang will receive the Silver Medal at the TMS Annual Meeting in San Diego in March 2017.