Last month we reported that a thick haze of pollution was blanketing the coastal plain of eastern China. A month later, as you can see, the smog is still there. The above natural-colour satellite image was taken by a NASA satellite on November 10, 2011.
NASA reports that thick pollution has intermittently choked the skies over eastern China for at least a month. The large city of Beijing, with a population of just under 20 million, has apparently suffered from serious air pollution for weeks.
The blanket of smog reaches south from Beijing along the coastal plain bordering Bo Hai and the Yellow Sea.
There have been some discrepancies reported in air-quality assessments in Beijing. The air-monitoring center in Beijing has recorded particles much larger than the U.S. Embassy in Beijing has measured. This has meant the the U.S. has been classifying pollution levels as hazardous to health on particular days when the local government has assessed the same days as having moderate or slight air pollution.
A senior environmental official, Zhang Lijun, has reportedly admitted that China’s air pollution standards are too lax, and that they don’t evaluate enough elements. The Chinese government is hoping to lower fine-particle air pollution by about 10 percent by 2015. Looks like China needs to go further than that!
NASA image courtesy LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.