Saturday, February 12, 2005

Air Quality in Beijing

The air quality has gotten much worse, even though the weather is still clear. The first picture is the view from our hotel the first morning. You can see the mountains in the distance as clear as anything.

The second picture is the same view yesterday evening--you would never know there were mountains. I'm not sure if this is just the normal progression of the air quality when a high pressure system moves in or if it also reflects the fact that people have started returning from their holidays and thus are doing more burning. We are all starting to feel the combined effects of the increased polution and the very dry air. However, I must say that this polution is not as bad as it was in Delhi, where the polution came as much from the burning of cow dung as from vehicle exhaust. Here the polution is mostly vehicle exhaust and (relatively) cleaner burning of coal.


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