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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

China’s “Bad Fog”

Author: Guest Writer/Wednesday, January 16, 2013/Categories: Uncategorized

Northern China is experiencing an air-pocalypse and the conditions make air-quality alerts almost meaningless. It is one of the worst air pollution periods in China’s history.

At the beginning of the year, the US Embassy in Beijing measured the air quality index (AQI) at 341 where any measurements above 300 is considered hazardous. Readings below 50 is considered good. By mid-January, the Embassy measured the index at 775---off the EPA’s air quality scale that only goes up to 500. The cause of the massive air pollution can be traced to unregulated regional coal burning in China. NASA environmental monitoring satellites provide an impression of the “bad fog”, as the Chinese government is euphemistically calling the deadly air.

 china-typical   china-pollution

 Normal Air Quality in Northern China         “Bad Fog” from Coal Burning

(credit: NASA, January 3, 2013)                 (credit: NASA, January 14, 2013)

China’s “bad fog” is likely to continue as long as coal remains the primary source of generating electricity. It isn’t estimated how many people, birds, or animals will die from breathing in the poisonous air in the interim.



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