AP Photo/Manish Swarup

Delhi's winters are characterized by thick fog that gets dramatically worse every year.

Delhi's winter is on its way out, and the sky—usually blanketed by fog brought about by the capital's worrying levels of pollution—is regaining clarity.

Year after year, New Delhi grapples with dramatically worsening fog. Due to urbanization and consequent increases in the levels of air pollution, fog days in winters have gone up in the last century.

The level of PM2.5 in Delhi—tiny, toxic particles that cause severe respiratory diseases—is the highest in the world. In May 2014, a study by the World Health Organization ranked Delhi as the most polluted city on the planet.

The city's air has become so toxic that U.S. President Barack Obama's recent three-day visit to the capital reportedly shortened his expected lifespan by six hours.

The following pictures of Delhi, some taken at the city's iconic monuments, show how its 16 million inhabitants live with the world's worst air.

A woman prays in the river Yamuna on a cold foggy morning in New Delhi. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
Passengers crowd atop a train as they travel on a cold winter morning at a railway station in Ghaziabad on the outskirts of New Delhi. (Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee)
A commuter waits near a bus stop amidst morning fog in New Delhi. In December, fog enveloped most areas and affected transport services. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
Indian soldiers are silhouetted against a traffic signal light as they prepare to rehearse for the Republic Day parade on a foggy winter morning in New Delhi. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)
A man exercises as fog envelops a park in New Delhi. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
Commuters make their way amidst morning fog in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
Commuters walk along the road on a foggy winter morning in New Delhi. (Reuters/Ahmad Masood)
A person walks to his office amidst morning fog in New Delhi. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
A man exercises in a park on a cold foggy morning in New Delhi. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)
An Indian paramilitary force soldier watches army soldiers rehearse for the Republic Day parade amidst morning fog at India Gate, in New Delhi. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)
Indian soldiers walk before the start of their rehearsal for the Republic Day parade on a foggy winter morning in New Delhi. (Reuters/Ahmad Masood)
An India’s Border Security Force “Daredevils” motorcycle rider performs during a rehearsal for the Republic Day parade on a foggy winter morning in New Delhi. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)

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

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