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Veil of Smoke Over China South of Beijing – October 11th, 2010

38.6N 116.1E

October 11th, 2010 Category: Fires, Image of the day

Fires in China - October 8th, 2010

Below some cloud cover, a thick veil of grey smoke continues to hover in the air over eastern China. The smoke is being released by fires burning across the North China Plain that are most likely agricultural in origin.

Upon opening the full image, the cities of Beijing and Tianjin can be seen at the top, near the Bohai Sea. Tianjin is situated near the coast, while Beijing is located further inland, to the northwest. The smoke has not yet blown northwards over these cities.

Dust Storm Shrouds Eastern China

39.9N 116.4E

March 23rd, 2010 Category: Dust Storms

Dust Storm in China - March 22nd, 2010

Dust Storm in China - March 22nd, 2010

Beijing has been shrouded in orange dust as a strong sandstorm blew hundreds of miles from drought-struck northern China to the nation’s capital. Authorities have issued a level-five pollution warning and urged people to stay indoors.

Here, the dust can be seen veiling mainland China, while offshore thick sediments are released into the Bohai Sea (above) and the Yellow Sea (below).

The storm has already caused havoc in Xinjiang, Shanxi, Shaanxi and Hebei regions and is heading to South Korea (visible to the right upon opening the full image). Residents of the South Korean capital, Seoul, as well as those in central and western regions, have been advised to stay indoors.

By Saturday, the storm had spread over an area of 810,000 sq km (313,000 sq miles) with a population of 250 million, state news agency Xinhua reported. It was expected to last until Monday, the meteorological agency said in a statement on its website.

The head of Beijing’s meteorological agency said the storm came from the deserts of Inner Mongolia. Beijing has long-suffered from sandstorms – experts say the storms are, in part, caused by deforestation and the rapid expansion of urban areas in recent decades.

Beijing, Between Yongding and Chaobai Rivers, China

39.9N 116.4E

October 21st, 2009 Category: Lakes, Rivers

Beijing, China - September 24th, 2009

Beijing, China - September 24th, 2009

Beijing, a metropolis in northern China and the capital of the People’s Republic of China, appears as a glittering white expanse in this orthorectified image. The city is situated at the northern tip of the roughly triangular North China Plain, which opens to the south and east of the city.

Mountains to the north, northwest and west shield the city and northern China’s agricultural heartland from the encroaching desert steppes. The northwestern part of the municipality, especially Yanqing County and Huairou District, are dominated by the Jundu Mountains, while the western part of the municipality is framed by the Xishan Mountains.

Major rivers flowing through the municipality include the Yongding River (west of the city) and the Chaobai River (east of the city), part of the Hai River system, which flow in a southerly direction. Miyun Reservoir, built on the upper reaches of the Chaobai River, is Beijing’s largest reservoir, and crucial to its water supply.

Immense Dust Storm Now North of Beijing

April 24th, 2009 Category: Dust Storms

Dust Storm over Mongolia and China - April 24th, 2009

Dust Storm over Mongolia and China - April 24th, 2009



The huge dust storm, observed yesterday blowing in a spiralled shape over Mongolia and central China, north of Yichuan, is moving eastward. It has now cleared eastern Mongolia and is located north of Beijing.

The close-up focuses on wavelike patterns in the sand and clouds near a dense part of the storm.

In the main image, clouds associated with the storm can be seen reaching up into Russia, east of Lake Baikal.

Beijing Enjoys Artificially-Induced Snow

February 26th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Snow over Beijing, China - February 26th, 2009

Snow over Beijing, China - February 26th, 2009

Clouds continue to cover parts of northern China, near the city of Beijing.

This region had been experiencing its longest drought in 38 years, until snow fell a few days ago.

This snowfall was brought on artificially, as officials seeded clouds with iodide sticks in order to stimulate precipitation.

The drought had caused Chinese officials to declare an emergency in eight northern and central regions, where nearly four million people have been suffering water shortages.