China To Get Vertical Gardens In 2018 To Help Tackle Pollution

What’s the best way to deal with urban smog? Well, here’s an intriguing solution – vertical gardens that scale up buildings.

Several such projects have already sprung up around the world, in places like Italy and Mexico. Now, an Italian architecture firm called Stefano Boeri Architetti is planning to build the first one in Asia, specifically in Nanjing, China.

The firm is planning to build two towers laden with greenery, known as a Vertical Forest or the Nanjing Green Towers, in Nanjing’s Pukou District. Due to be completed in 2018, the towers would be covered in 600 tall trees, 500 medium-sized trees, and 2,500 cascading plants and shrubs. In total, this would cover an area of 6,000 square meters (64,600 square feet).

“A real vertical forest that will help to regenerate local biodiversity, will provide 25 tons of CO2 absorption each year and will produce about 60 kg of oxygen per day,” the firm said in its statement.

Stefano Boeri Architetti

The taller of the two towers would be 200 meters (656 feet) high, with a “green lantern” on top, offices, a museum, a private rooftop club, and a “green architecture school”. The second tower would be 108 meters (354 feet) tall, with a Hyatt hotel inside and a swimming pool on the rooftop. Nice.

The firm said that these constructions help increase biodiversity, providing a place for birds and insects to colonize. The diverse plants also help to create humidity and absorb CO2 and dust, producing oxygen in the process.

Green urban architecture has been around for a while. In Stuttgart, Germany, for example, around a quarter of all flat roofs are green, while London has 121,000 square meters (1.3 million square feet) of greenery on roofs.

China’s smog problem is no secret, with Beijing in particular suffering immensely in recent years. Are vertical forests the answer? Who knows. But it’s a pretty neat idea – and they look pretty good too.


Stefano Boeri Architetti

Stefano Boeri Architetti

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Monster Super Typhoon Meranti on course to smash into China

Super Typhoon Meranti is heading for landfall in eastern China after bringing winds over 100 mph and more than 20 inches of rain to Taiwan.

Tuesday afternoon, Meranti peaked at 190-mph sustained winds. This tied Typhoon Tip as the second-strongest tropical cyclone in the northwest Pacific since 1970, and made it the strongest tropical cyclone anywhere on the globe so far in 2016.

Latest Status on Meranti

As of Wednesday morning (EDT), or Wednesday evening China time, Meranti was centered about 46 miles west-southwest of Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 180 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).

Current Storm Info

Current Storm Info

Wind gusts in southern Taiwan topped 100 mph in several locations as the center of Meranti passed by just to the south. This includes 112 mph at Kaohsiung International Airport and 113 mph in Hengchun.

In Taiwan’s Penghu County, a wind gust to 134 mph has been clocked. This is a group of islands located west of Taiwan’s main island.

In the 48 hours ending Wednesday early evening Taiwan time, rainfall totals in excess of 20 inches have been measured in the mountains. Taiwu Township in Pingtung County has seen nearly 30 inches of rain.

Basco in the Philippines Batanes Islands saw winds sustained winds near 90 mph early Wednesday morning, local time, before the weather station stopped reporting.

Meranti Forecast Impacts in China, Taiwan

The center of Meranti will move on a path that will likely take it inland near Xiamen, China, early Thursday morning, local time. This is Wednesday afternoon U.S. time.

Meranti is expected to be the equivalent of a Category 4 near the time of landfall, according to the JTWC.

Projected Path and Intensity

Projected Path and Intensity

China 

  • Timing: Meranti is forecast to move into southeastern China early Thursday, local time.
  • Possible Impacts: Damaging winds and storm surge flooding will be threats along the coast, especially in and either side of Xiamen, China. Another major concern is heavy rainfall which will likely result in flooding. Some locations will pick up more than a foot of rain.
Rainfall Forecast

Rainfall Forecast

Taiwan

  • Heavy rain and gusty winds will continue in Taiwan through early Thursday, local time. The rain may contribute to flooding and mudslides.

Meranti’s History

The typhoon underwent rapid intensification Sunday into Monday, which means maximum sustained winds increased by at least 30 knots (about 35 mph) in 24 hours or less.

Meranti’s winds increased from 85 mph to 180 mph in the 24 hours ending Monday at 11 a.m. EDT, according to the JTWC. That’s a 95 mph increase in winds during that time, or more than double the rapid intensification criteria.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency estimated Tuesday that Meranti’s pressure was 890 millibars. For perspective, only two Atlantic hurricanes have had lower pressures (Wilma and Gilbert).

China’s Worst Flooding Since 1998 Kills 173, Takes Economic Toll

Weeks of torrential rain across central and southern China have caused the country’s worst flooding since 1998, killing 173 people, ruining farms and cutting major transportation arteries — and creating potential headwinds to economy growth.

A swollen Yangtze and other rivers spilled over their banks as flood waters moved toward the coast. That was compounded by the arrival of Typhoon Nepartak, which was downgraded to tropical depression as it made landfall on Saturday in Fujian province.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs said flooding and rain associated with the typhoon affected more than 31 million people in 12 provinces, submerged more than 2.7 million hectares (6.7 million acres) of cropland and caused 67.1 billion yuan ($10 billion) in damages.

The death toll is still less than the 4,150 reported in 1998. Flooding both then and now was caused by heavy rain linked to El Nino, which originates from warm waters in the Pacific Ocean near the equator and disrupts global weather patterns.

Road, Rail

While forecasters said the worst weather passed on Monday, analysts said the economic impact from farm damage and transport disruptions would be tallied for months to come.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement Sunday that fruit and vegetable prices had “risen significantly” in some flooded regions. It asked local authorities to “closely monitor prices” and implement price controls if needed.

Flooding will boost consumer prices in July and August by about 0.2 percentage point to levels above 2 percent, Zhou Jingtong, director of macroeconomic research at Bank of China Ltd. in Beijing, wrote in a note. The CPI rose 1.9 percent from a year earlier in June, less than a 2 percent gain in May, the National Bureau of Statistics said Sunday.

Economists said the floods would have both short- and long-term implications for the world’s second-largest economy. Food and product shortages could materialize soon from supply interruptions as transport hubs were paralyzed and factories and offices closed in some of China’s most industrialized provinces.

‘Negative Impact’

“The heavy rainfalls at present pose downside risks,” Raymond Yeung, an economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Hong Kong, wrote in a report Friday. “We expect some negative impact on third-quarter gross domestic product growth unless the government launches stimulus measures to offset the impact.”

Longer term rebuilding could prove to be a stimulus, according to Nomura Holdings Inc.

“The situation seems increasingly comparable to events in 1998,” Nomura economists wrote in a report. Repairs and rebuilding may boost growth in the fourth quarter “as post-flood construction may boost aggregate demand. We believe industrial production growth will likely rebound in September after a weak July and August.”