Move over, Great Wall: China’s smog is also visible from space

Image: NASA

NASA satellites have captured images of China blanketed in pollution.

This image was taken early this month when a band of smog collected around Beijing and 11 eastern provinces following the onset of a high-pressure weather system. The milky white and grey band throughout the centre of the image is smog and fog. Brighter white clouds are visible at either side.

By October 9, pollution in the capital had grown so poor the nation’s National Environmental Monitoring Centre declared it “hazardous”. China’s air quality is notoriously poor, with many major cities — particularly those around Beijing and the industrial hub of Shenzhen, in the south — frequently swimming in a dense mist of smog.

Weather experts say the event was likely caused by a number of emissions from agricultural burning, factories and car fumes as well as a lack of air-moving weather features such as wind and rain cells.


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