• Thu
  • Oct 2, 2014
  • Updated: 11:05am

Beijing air pollution

The Chinese capital has for many years suffered from serious air pollution. Primary sources of pollutants include exhaust emission from Beijing's more than five million motor vehicles, coal burning in neighbouring regions, dust storms from the north and local construction dust. A particularly severe smog engulfed the city for weeks in early 2013, elevating public awareness to unprecedented levels and prompting the government to roll out emergency measures. 

NewsChina
POLLUTION

Worst smog in a year blankets Beijing

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2013, 2:33pm

Beijing was hit by its worst smog in almost a year yesterday.

Exacerbated by heavy fog, the dense, choking smog that had blanketed the capital for the better part of the past fortnight plunged to a new low yesterday morning.

Although the capital is often hit by smog in winter, the past two weeks have seen one of the longest stretches of smoggy days in Beijing in years.

Pollution readings, including those for the smog-inducing fine particles known as PM2.5, from the local environmental watchdog and the US embassy were well in "severely polluted" or "hazardous" levels for most of Thursday night and yesterday morning.

The embassy's hourly pollution data, published on Twitter, showed a reading of 488 micrograms per cubic metre of air at 11pm on Thursday and an air quality index of 492. The hazardous band of its air quality index readings begins at 300 and tops out at 500.

The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre's air pollution index surged to well over 400 in the city centre.

The thick shroud of fog enveloped the capital from early Thursday afternoon, reducing visibility in the city centre to less than 500 metres and leading to severe traffic jams yesterday.

Air quality ratings for most of the municipal monitoring centre's 35 stations across the capital showed severe pollution levels yesterday.

As of 11am yesterday, the embassy data showed a PM2.5 reading of 377 micrograms per cubic metre of air and an index reading of 419.

By comparison, the PM2.5 reading in Hong Kong's Central and Western district, among the most polluted on the island, was 60.7 micrograms per cubic metre of air at 9am, according to the website of Hong Kong's Environmental Protection Department.

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

This article is now closed to comments

malras
Well, that's nothing compared to today's index reading 728 in Beijing. Never experienced a worst day during the last 5 years at least... Of course those in Shijiazhuang had 1030 on the scale... Hope China starts to realize that air quality and the health of everybody is of great concern and demands strong action immediately . Why is clean air less important than some small inhabitant rocky islands in the far east, one starts to wonder.
 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or