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Dust and Haze Over Northeastern China

39.9N 116.4E

March 13th, 2013 Category: Clouds, Dust Storms

China – March 10th, 2013

A cloud of dust that has swept across northeastern China from near the border with Mongolia can be seen stretching towards Beijing and the Bohai Sea (upper right). The dust intermingles with haze, in the lower half of the image, reaching the coast by Shanghai (right). The haze may be a combination of smog, dust and other forms of air pollution.

Haze Over Northeastern China, From Shanghai to Beijing

39.9N 116.4E

January 28th, 2013 Category: Climate Change, Clouds, Rivers

China – January 26th, 2013

A thick haze hangs over the plains northeastern China, thinning near the coast. It veils cities including Shanghai (bottom center) and Beijing (upper left quadrant), as well as the mouth of the Yangtze River (by Shanghai), and reaches the shores of the Bohai Sea (above center).

Haze forms when concentrations of dust, smoke and/or pollutants in the air are high. Since it contains substances harmful to the respiratory tract and lungs, last year Chinese authorities set tougher rules to combat air pollution by ordering all big cities to monitor tiny particles that do serious damage to health. Stricter air pollution monitoring standards were ordered for Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Tianjin, 27 provincial capitals and three industrial belts: the Yangtze and Pearl river deltas and Beijing’s hinterland. Another 113 cities must adopt new standards next year and all but the smallest cities by 2015.


Thick Fog and Haze Shrouding Central and Northern China

38.0N 114.4E

January 16th, 2013 Category: Clouds

China – January 6th, 2013

Thick fog and haze shrouded central and northern parts of China in early January. Hebei and Henan provinces (visible here west and southwest of the Bohai Gulf, respectively) were listed among the most polluted areas, monitoring data showed. An air quality report from the Ministry of Environmental Protection ranked Handan, Baoding and Shijiazhuang in Hebei and Zhengzhou in Henan as the top four most-polluted cities among 120 monitored nationwide.

Around the time this image was captured, the Air Pollution Index in the four cities reached 500, the maximum on the index. An API reading below 50 indicates excellent air quality, 50 to 100 indicates healthy air, and readings above 100 mean polluted air. Experts and residents in the worst-hit areas are becoming increasingly worried about the air pollution brought by frequent winter haze. Greenpeace warned that wsall particles in the air can cause heart disease, stroke, respiratory illness, birth defects and cancer.

Thick Haze Over Northeastern China

39.9N 116.4E

January 10th, 2013 Category: Climate Change

China – January 7th, 2013

A thick, greyish-yellow haze hangs over northeastern China, covering Beijing and hanging over much of the Bohai Sea. The haze is likely smog from to air pollution. Joint research between American and Chinese researchers in 2006 concluded that much of the city’s pollution comes from surrounding cities and provinces. On average 35–60% of the ozone can be traced to sources outside the city.

The government regularly uses cloud-seeding measures to increase the likelihood of rain showers in the region to clear the air prior to large events as well as to combat drought conditions in the area.

In preparation for the 2008 Summer Olympics and to fulfill promises to clean up the city’s air, nearly 17 billion USD was spent. Beijing also implemented a number of air improvement schemes for the duration of the Games, including stopping work on all construction sites, closing many factories in and around Beijing, closing some gas stations, and cutting motor traffic by half by limiting drivers to odd or even days. Since the games, there has been a lighter restriction on daily car use, and the government has banned the use of cars that do not meet certain emission levels.


Haze Over Hebei Near Bohai Sea, China

39.9N 116.4E

November 4th, 2011 Category: Clouds

China - October 30th, 2011

Clouds and a thick grey haze hang over eastern China, near the Bohai Sea (upper right). Most of the haze is concentrated over the province of Hebei and the Beijing and Tianjin Municipalities.

Most of central and southern Hebei lies within the North China Plain. The western part of Hebei rises into the Taihang Mountains (Taihang Shan), while the Yan Mountains (Yan Shan) run through northern Hebei, beyond which lie the grasslands of Inner Mongolia.

Hebei borders Bohai Sea on the east. The Hai He watershed covers most of the province’s central and southern parts, and the Luan He watershed covers the northeast. Hebei has a continental monsoon climate, with cold, dry winters, and hot, humid summers.