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Here's Exactly How Bad Beijing's Smog Crisis Is, In One Photo

China World Trade Center Tower III is more than 1,000 feet tall and can't be seen today in Beijing.

Bill Bishop/Sinocism

On the left, a photo that Sinocism’s Bill Bishop snapped today in Beijing. On the right, the exact same vantage on a clearer day, revealing that the smog in Beijing right now is dense enough to obscure a thousand-foot-tall skyscraper.

The air quality index maintained by the US embassy in Beijing was off the charts today, Feb. 28. State-run media called it a “sand storm,” but high levels of pollutants in the air pointed to smog, instead.

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

  • Zachary M. Seward
    Zachary M. Seward is a senior editor at Quartz. He previously worked at The Wall Street Journal and Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab. He teaches digital journalism at NYU.