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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.

Haze Over China by Taihang Mountains and Loess Plateau

37.4N 112.3E

November 3rd, 2011 Category: Clouds, Mountains

China - October 29th, 2011

Haze or smoke over eastern China rests near the foot of the Taihang Mountains, a range running down the eastern edge of the Loess Plateau in Henan, Shanxi and Hebei provinces.

The range extends over 400 km from north to south and has an average elevation of 1,500 to 2,000 meters. The principal peak is Xiao Wutaishan (2,882 metres). Cangyan Shan in Hebei forms the eastern tip of the Taihang range.

Northern China Receives Some Relief from Drought

February 23rd, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Rain and snow over Northern China - February 23rd, 2009

Rain and snow over Northern China - February 23rd, 2009

Northern China has been experiencing the worst drought in about fifty years. However, rain and snow over much of the region during the past week has brought some relief.

Since the occurence of the rain and snow, China’s Ministry of Agriculture has reduced the top-level drought emergency warning to a second-class level in a few provinces, reports the BBC.

Other provinces, such as Henan, have not yet received enough precipitation to alleviate the drought.

Beijing received up to 7cm (3in) of snow over much of the city last week, its first winter snowfall. Such a large amount is unusual for Beijing, which, although it experiences cold winters, usually experiences only a light dusting.

On the bottom right, part of the Bohai Gulf of the Yellow Sea is visible. Many sediments, from rivers such as the Hai, have spilled out into the bay.

Beijing, west of the bay, is covered by clouds. Clouds and snow are also visible at the top of the image.

Some of the precipitation may be due in part to cloud-seeding by the government (releasing molecules that produce rain into clouds, in order to articificially create or increase precipitation).