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Also look at 2013 Northeastern China smog

This isn’t the first time that smog has blanketed China. In recent years, poor air quality in Beijing
has closed schools and caused farmers in the region to panic over the lack of sunlight. Protective
face masks have become a common day-to-day sight, and grim poems salute the smog from
cancer's point of view, even as Mark Zuckerberg—seemingly oblivious—went for a run in the
yellow haze last year.

Why does smog keep blanketing Beijing? Smog in China has many causes, including pollution
from industries and traffic, but it tends to happen more often in the winter, when plummeting
temperatures cause electricity demand to soar. This pollution can come from many sources, but
burning coal has been linked to the largest number of air pollution deaths in China, causing 366,000
premature deaths in 2013.
In the winter, more families are turning on their heaters—and most of the energy used to run them
comes from coal-fired power plants that send tiny particles of charred dust into the air.
Those tiny particles, or particulate matter, are what turns clean air into smog. Particles in the air can
reduce visibility and contribute to acid rain, which can damage vegetation. The particles can also
discolor buildings, but the primary concern with particulate matter is what it can do to the human
body. Particles smaller than 10 micrometers are of particular concern to health experts, as particles
that small can damage the lungs, aggravate asthma, and even cause heart attacks. Inhaling
particulate matter can even prove fatal for people who have existing heart or lung conditions.
Beijing's smog woes are compounded by an accident of geography, according to AccuWeather.
Beijing is bordered by the Xishan and Yanshan mountains. When a high pressure weather system
moves in, air near the city’s surface doesn't move up and over the nearby mountain ranges. It just
sits there, getting more and more polluted, and residents keep breathing it in.
China is taking steps to address the issue. The government has restricted driving in an effort to
staunch air pollution from cars. But that measure is temporary. Chinese officials announced this
week that the country would spend $360 billion on renewable energy projects, amping up its
reliance on solar and wind. But it has a long way to go. China is still the world’s largest consumer
of coal by far, and plans to continue using the sooty source of power.
There is some cause for optimism. Like Beijing, Los Angeles also sits in a bowl-like depression,
hemmed in by hills and sea—and like Beijing, it once had a serious smog problem. But strict
regulations implemented over the past few decades have helped reduce the amount of smog in Los
Angeles, bringing back blue skies. There’s hope that they could return to China too, though
residents shouldn't expect to breathe easy any time soon.

It said the average PM2. Xinhua said.9 per cent to an average of 73 micrograms of particle pollution per cubic metres. . state news agency Xinhua said. but city officials said the air quality was improving overall. Cheap coal has powered China's economic miracle and still provides 70 per cent of the country's energy.000 obsolete high-emitting vehicles off the road last year. but still exceeded national air quality standards by 109 per cent. demanding the Government take action and protect the children of China. China's addiction to coal shows no signs of slowing. and has also vowed to punish local officials and enterprises that break rules. China is in the third year of a "war on pollution" aimed at reversing the damage done to its skies. China's rising middle class took to the Chinese social media website "wechat". now in its third year. And there is good reason to be concerned — studies suggest more than one million people die prematurely every year from the toxic air that has engulfed northern China. Despite a brief respite on Monday. It closed 335 polluting factories and ordered 424. up 12 from 2015. with PM2.5 measure — particle pollution 2. China produces and consumes more coal that the rest of the world combined.5 readings again at "hazardous" levels. It has created emergency response systems to curb traffic and shut down factories and construction sites during periods of heavy smog. Beijing also cut total coal consumption to below 10 million tonnes in 2016.The Chinese capital was on the second-highest orange smog alert in the depth of winter on Tuesday. Pollution prompts rare display of anger People are frustrated because air quality was improving in 2016 until coal production ramped up in September to service a mini stimulus package for heavy industries. The Government is reluctant to wean itself off coal. In a rare display of anger. down from 23 million in 2013. fearing unemployment and unrest. has not delivered results. They said the Government's "war on pollution". soil and water after decades of untrammelled economic growth. Smog is expected to persist in the region until a cold front arrives on Jan. smog returned to the Chinese capital on Tuesday.700 comments before it was shut down. The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau told state media the total number of "blue sky days" reached 198 last year. citing data from last year. 8. In 24 hours last week a petition asking the Government to install air filtration systems in schools gathered nearly half a million views and more than 2.5 micrometres in size or smaller — in the city dropped 9.

Li Yuan said he had no choice but to burn coal to keep warm. But the reality is China has big plans for coal. inefficient vehicles. but even by 2020 coal capacity is estimated to increase by 20 per cent. . caused chiefly by thousands of coal-burning factories and a surplus of older. China's environmental ministry acknowledged last week that its inspection teams found companies resuming production despite a government ban.In the winter its citizens use the most. grey haze.5 trillion yuan ($489 billion) on renewable energy to ease the pollution crisis. garbage incineration and the burning of wood and other biomass. restricting vehicles. working overtime to service the increase in production of steel and cement and also to provide additional electricity to the cities and homes in northern China during the winter months. Officials in Beijing are creating a new environmental police squad in the latest effort to fight China's persistent problems with heavy smog. or ordering factories to curtail production. and last week announced it would spend 2. Like many in northern China. Beijing's acting mayor said the new police force would focus on open-air barbecues. Beijing and dozens of cities in China spend many winter days under a thick. enforcement remains an issue. There are about 22 major plants. The Chinese Government is telling the world it will dramatically slash its coal production. Some of the older plants will be decommissioned. Government-issued "red alerts" on the worst days come with emergency measures that can include shutting down highways. However. Two hundred coal-fired power plants will be built in the coming decade. But the biggest air polluters are the coal-fired powered stations that ring Beijing. According to state media. He cannot afford electricity or gas — coal is a quarter of the price.

Shanghai and Anhui visited Maharashtra in May to study the drought patterns in the state. guns and rockets.” Xinhua.China. Like New Delhi.As Delhi considers using cloud seeding to tackle the unprecedented smog choking it. the technology was apparently used to keep the skies over Beijing blue during the 2008 August Olympics. Most famously. it isn’t clear how often authorities in Beijing use the technology to clear smog or whether it is effective at times of chart-busting pollution. salts and dry ice. The tradition is to burst crackers to drive away evil spirits much like during Diwali. “Weather modification usually refers to cloud-seeding practices that involve shooting various substance into clouds. caution must be exercised before emulating China’s approach. as well as clear smog and clouds. whose pollution problem was exacerbated by Diwali crackers. However. The Chinese government has used cloud seeding technology in the past not only to create artificial rain but also to clear air pollution using induced precipitation. said in a report. there must be a cloud there to begin with so that enough moisture could be generated for rain. The measures seemed to have been effective. The Chinese government believes the technology works. Cloud seeding is an artificial way to create rainfall.8 million) to support weather modification operations by local authorities. the ministry of finance allocated 199 million yuan ($ 29. bring about artificial rain and prevent hailstones by using aircraft. First. China even offered its cloud seeding technology to India to artificially induce rain in regions affected by drought when a team of top meteorological scientists from Beijing. the official news agency. such as silver iodide. to bring on the formation of larger raindrops and trigger downpours. And third. It is done either by using artillery to fire shells containing rain-inducing chemicals such as silver iodide into the cloud cover or by dropping chemicals from aircraft. China has dealt with this by spreading anti-pollution awareness among people and acknowledging the harm that crackers cause. the report added. will be used to relieve drought. Read: Lessons for Delhi? Beijing plans to build ventilation corridors as smog returns Earlier this year. Second. the technique is only successful if the conditions are conducive to rain. Beijing has to tackle a similar problem during week-long Chinese New Year celebrations that take place at the beginning of every year. experts warn of secondary air and water pollution as an outcome of the chemicals used in the process – the chemicals used in creating rain and clearing the air could in turn leave behind residues of pollution. it could be useful to look at another country that used the method --. . The money.

the capital city has witnessed a big fall of firework ." Beijing’s air-quality issues have been a major health hazard for many years. Read more: https://sputniknews. “However." Read more: https://sputniknews. to the point of some schools installing airlocks at entryways to dome-covered sports areas so that children can play without breathing in harmful particulates.“The municipal environment monitoring centre monitored a firework spree on the eve of Spring Festival (China's Lunar New Year) on Sunday night that drove up the PM2. From Sunday to Monday morning. While these reports are promising. calling the structures "smog warning The effort to build the towers first began when Roosegaarde representatives visited Beijing three years ago.” Xinhua said in a report in February this year. but contend that that they are unstable and only cover a limited area. sanitation workers swept away 413 tonnes of firework clastic on the streets. "To introduce the tower to China is to live in a future without need for it. noting that 80 percent of the city-dwelling population were "exposed to air-quality levels that exceed World Health Organization limits." according to the design company’s website.5 particles have been filtered out of the air by the billions. repurposing the collected waste to make 300 commemorative rings. is claiming that PM2. Roosegaarde reports that the 7 meter-tall "cleaning temples" have cleansed 30 million cubic meters of air in the past 41 days. other agencies have come forward challenging the findings. Environmental experts told state-owned China News that "the weight of the machine’s captured particulate matter per hour is less than that of a spoonful of salt. down by 33. each with its own tiny collection of smog particles." The CFEJ acknowledges that the towers do help to filter the air.8% from the same period of last year. Studio Roosegaarde.5 reading to as high as 700 mg ((micrograms) per cubic metres. The Chinese Forum of Environmental Justice (CFEJ) has claimed that the towers do not meet World Health Organization standards. Forum Secretary General Liu Guozheng told the Global Times that. The company that designed the towers.” Xinhua reported. China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection has announced that air pollution is down 55 percent thanks to Dutch-made smog-sucking vacuum towers installed in Beijing. with a rising awareness of air protection.

000 deaths in 2013 that could be linked to pollution. . It does not appear that the situation has markedly improved in the years since. and hundreds of flights grounded. making everyday life about as deadly as smoking cigarettes in some parts of the country. Last Friday. and found that 31. toxic gloom. Shijiazhuang and Handan. Beijing issued a “red alert” warning because of a blanket of thick smog shrouding the capital city and a large swath of northern China. found that the air was most toxic in the cities of Baoding. The study. huddled over desks to take a test in gray. According to the South China Morning Post. Shocking images spread across the Internet showing schoolchildren seated outside wearing jackets and face masks.03 million deaths recorded in 2013.5 particles per cubic meter — the WHO ranks safe levels as under 25 — the so- called airpocalypse.8% of them could be linked to smog. Hospitals have been crowded with patients suffering respiratory problems. where the air is cleaner. carried out by researchers at China’s Nanjing University. Classes were also cancelled — although in one case exams were not. new academic research suggests. whole highways have been shut down. a recent study of 74 cities analyzed some 3. has sent tens of thousands fleeing to southern parts of the country.Air pollution could be the cause of 1 in 3 deaths in China. affecting nearly half a billion people. With pollution levels reaching about 500 PM2. each reporting more than 30.

yellow. and schools are also required to close. resulting in media attention both home and abroad. Blue alerts are to be regarded as a warning of heavy air pollution to come if there is no response from authorities. Outdoor activities such as physical education classes are required to shut down when a blue alert is announced. . During a yellow alert. The air is not considered suitable for any outdoor activities. In order to ease the heavy air pollution. When a red alert is announced. all outdoor competitions and large-scale activities must be stopped.What do the heavy air pollution alert signals mean? Announced by the Emergency Office. heavily-polluting vehicles are banned from certain areas and letting off of fireworks within city limits is forbidden. Beijing also implemented a staggered vehicle ban that only allowed even-numbered registration plates to operate one day before switching to odd the next. Outdoor barbecues are also required to shut down. First-level Red Alert The first and only red alert for heavy air pollution was called in December 2015 in Beijing. which mainly tests levels of sulphur dioxide. all construction sites that don’t reach certain standards of dust control will be closed to ease air pollution. nitrogen dioxide. Third-level Yellow Alert A yellow alert is announced when the AQI exceeds 300 and lasts for at least 24 hours. This warning system has been amended many times. published by the state’s Ministry of Environment Protection. First published on October 22. 2013. During an orange alert alert. in which the AQI reaches over 200 and is expected to affect the air for less than 24 hours. Beijing announced its first red alert for heavy air pollution in December 2015. orange and red to mark each. In addition. The system is divided into four levels: blue. but the four colours remain unchanged. carbon monoxide and ozone. this alert system mainly uses the Air Quality Index (AQI). Fourth-level Blue Alert The blue alert is the least serious air pollution alert. Second-level Orange Alert Orange alerts mean that the AQI has already gone beyond 400. the four-level warning system for heavy air pollution is the other warning system frequently seen in smog news. it means the AQI has rocketed to over 450. and remained at orange alert until the end of the year. although people are often reluctant to follow this rule.

the heavily industrialized province that surrounds the capital. A customer service staff member at the Beijing Capital International Airport said flights were returning to normal on Monday after smog on Sunday caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled. the Beijing government maintained its orange alert for heavy pollution and a ban on heavy-duty construction trucks from using the roads. especially during winter when energy demand. China's educated middle-class is increasingly intolerant of the bad air. An orange alert is the second-highest level in a four-tier pollution warning system adopted by Beijing when China. orange or red alerts. Smog above WHO recommended levels A pollution index that measures the average concentration of small breathable particles. much of it met by coal. to end it. There is also pressure on China to move generation away from coal to meet its climate change commitments Late on Sunday. Pressure to tackle pollution Despite that declaration. declared a "war on pollution" in 2014. Authorities have been issuing smog alerts across the north since mid-December. Electrical generating plants burn coal and much of the heavy industry. Weather forecasts on Monday showed the smog would return to Beijing and nearby Tianjin city on Tuesday. dropped to just over 100 micrograms per cubic metre in Beijing early on Monday from more than 500 on Sunday night. That anger has occasionally spilled over into protests. soars. with flights in Beijing back to normal. But 20 highways remained closed in Shandon province. including steel-making. state television reported later on Monday. public anger is mounting about pollution and what many Chinese see as government talk. worried that its heavy industrial past was tarnishing its global reputation and holding back development. The safe recommended level of PM2. Some highways to Beijing and Tianjin were re-opened as motorists headed home at the end of the long weekend. as the region battles freezing temperatures. Severe pollution is forecast to persist in the region for three to seven days. On Monday. according to the World Health Organization. which some blame on lack of enforcement by government. the official Xinhua news agency reported. State television also reported that some factories in Hebei province's heavy industry hub of . but it was likely only to be a brief respite with more choking smog expected to return to the wintry north within 24 hours.5 is 10 micrograms per cubic metre. as heavy smog persisted. Pollution alerts are common in northern China. and Henan and Shandong provinces. the Ministry of Environmental Protection said 62 northern cities had issued yellow. but little action.Heavy smog that blanketed parts of China over the weekend cleared somewhat on Monday. known as PM2. It was expected to persist until Thursday in Hebei.5. is concentrated in northern provinces. prompting orders for hundreds of factories to scale back production or close outright and for restrictions on motorists to cut emissions.

Tangshan. The latest bout of air pollution began on Friday. including a coal-fired power plant of Datang Power International. much of it based on heavy industry and the coal-fired power sector. . and several steel mills. were found to be violating the curb on operations. China has struggled to tackle the problem effectively after decades of breakneck economic growth.