Remote cape “cleanest air” offers smog respite (Reports)

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Remote cape
Remote cape "cleanest air" offers smog respite (Reports)

Coronavirus USA news live: Latest updates

311,637
Confirmed
8,454
Deaths
14,828
Recovered

As much of Asia wheezes, coughs and sniffles its way through another smog season, one isolated and windswept corner of Australia is serving as the global standard for clean air.

With panoramic views of swaying tussock grass and the vast crystalline expanse of the Southern Ocean, Tasmania’s beautiful Cape Grim peninsula is an unlikely reference point for the scientific world.

But since 1976, this wild and blustery spot has been home to the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station — a small Australian government facility with the seemingly eccentric task of bottling air.

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‘Our job is essentially to find air as clean as you’re likely to find anywhere in the world and measure just how polluted it is,’ Sam Cleland, the officer in charge of the station, told AFP.

Coronavirus live updates:
Country Confirmed Deaths Recovered
USA 311,637 8,454 14,828
Spain 126,168 11,947 34,219
Italy 124,632 15,362 20,996
Germany 96,092 1,444 26,400
France 89,953 7,560 15,438
Iran 55,743 3,452 19,736
UK 41,903 4,313 135
Turkey 23,934 501 786
Switzerland 20,505 666 6,415
Belgium 18,431 1,283 3,247
Netherlands 16,627 1,651 250
Canada 14,018 233 2,603
Austria 11,781 186 2,507
Portugal 10,524 266 75
Brazil 10,360 445 127
S. Korea 10,237 183 6,463
Israel 8,018 46 477
Sweden 6,443 373 205
Australia 5,635 34 585
Norway 5,550 62 32
Russia 4,731 43 333
Ireland 4,604 137 25
Czechia 4,475 62 78
Chile 4,161 27 528
Denmark 4,077 161 1,283
Poland 3,627 79 116
Romania 3,613 146 329
India 3,588 99 229
Malaysia 3,483 57 915
Ecuador 3,465 172 100
Japan 3,139 77 514
Philippines 3,094 144 57
Pakistan 2,880 45 170
Luxembourg 2,729 31 500
Saudi Arabia 2,370 29 420
Thailand 2,169 23 674
Indonesia 2,092 191 150
Finland 1,927 25 300
Mexico 1,890 79 633
Panama 1,801 46 13
Peru 1,746 73 914
Greece 1,673 68 78
Serbia 1,624 44 54
South Africa 1,585 9 95
Dominican Republic 1,578 77 17
UAE 1,505 10 125
Argentina 1,451 43 279
Iceland 1,417 4 396
Colombia 1,406 32 85
Qatar 1,325 3 109
Algeria 1,251 130 90
Ukraine 1,225 32 25
Singapore 1,189 6 297
Croatia 1,126 12 119
Egypt 1,070 71 241
Estonia 1,039 13 59
New Zealand 1,039 1 156
Slovenia 977 22 79
Morocco 919 59 66
Iraq 878 56 259
Hong Kong 862 4 173
Lithuania 811 11 7
Armenia 770 7 43
Moldova, Republic of 752 12 29
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Paraguay 104 3 12
Trinidad and Tobago 103 6 1
Rwanda 102 0 0
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Aruba 64 0 1
El Salvador 62 3 2
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French Guiana 61 0 22
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French Polynesia 40 0 0
Zambia 39 1 2
Ethiopia 38 0 4
Bermuda 37 0 14
Cayman Islands 35 1 1
Saint Martin 29 2 7
Eritrea 29 0 0
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Guyana 24 4 0
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Gabon 21 1 1
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Tanzania, United Republic of 20 1 3
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Syrian Arab Republic 16 2 2
Benin 16 0 2
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Antigua and Barbuda 15 0 0
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Greenland 11 0 3
Angola 10 2 2
Sudan 10 2 2
Liberia 10 1 3
Suriname 10 1 0
Lao People's Democratic Republic 10 0 0
Mozambique 10 0 1
Seychelles 10 0 0
MS Zaandam 9 2 0
Zimbabwe 9 1 0
Nepal 9 0 1
Chad 9 0 0
Saint Kitts and Nevis 9 0 0
Swaziland 9 0 0
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Holy See (Vatican City State) 7 0 0
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 7 0 1
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Nicaragua 5 1 0
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Gambia 4 1 2
Belize 4 0 0
Malawi 4 0 0
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Anguilla 3 0 0
British Virgin Islands 3 0 0
Burundi 3 0 0
Caribbean Netherlands 2 0 0
Falkland Islands (Malvinas) 1 0 0
Papua New Guinea 1 0 0
Timor-Leste 1 0 0
China 81,669 3,329 76,964

Looking out from his office atop the high sea cliffs, the nearest landmass to the west is Argentina, and there is nothing to the south except Antarctica.

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The facility’s isolated location makes it perfect for collecting what many have dubbed the cleanest air in the world — what air would be like without choking exhaust fumes or industrial smoke.

When the wind blows from the southwest, Cleland and his team capture a sample using finely tuned instruments.

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Their kit is so sensitive that delivery trucks chugging down the dirt track from the nearest town — an hour away — are all logged, in case they potentially skew the readings.

While the world’s most polluted cities struggle to attract talent or manage chronic illnesses, residents around Cape Grim have made a virtue of their relatively pristine environment.

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