Hazardous levels of air pollution are expected to persist in the coming days.

Wrap your mouth around the tailpipe of a diesel-powered dump truck and you can experience what Beijing felt yesterday, as the city issued a historic red alert for toxic air pollution.

The smog was so dense that locals (the ones who weren’t suffering asthma attacks) amused themselves by drawing outlines of buildings in photos of hazy skylines. And now NOAA’s done the same thing but on a grander scale, pinpointing Beijing as a red dot adrift in a vast sea of gray, choking pollution. This is what China looked like when the Suomi NPP satellite flew above on Monday:

NOAA

Another view of the sinus-searing conditions comes from NASA’s OMPS Blog, which highlights the dense aerosols floating above Beijing. The city is represented as a small triangle inside a mucous green/yellow blob of foul air. This was at a time when airborne particulates were reportedly 10 times above the safe level; the smog is expected to remain the same or even worsen in the coming few days.

NASA

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A woman wheels a suitcase on a platform toward a train.
    Transportation

    In Denmark's Train Dream, the Next Big City Is Only an Hour Away

    A newly revived rail plan could see Denmark’s trains catch up with its reputation for other types of green transit.

  2. A crowded street outside in Boston
    Life

    Surveillance Cameras Debunk the Bystander Effect

    A new study uses camera footage to track the frequency of bystander intervention in heated incidents in Amsterdam; Cape Town; and Lancaster, England.                            

  3. A photo of anti-gentrification graffiti in Washington, D.C.
    Equity

    The Hidden Winners in Neighborhood Gentrification

    A new study claims the effects of neighborhood change on original lower-income residents are largely positive, despite fears of spiking rents and displacement.

  4. A polar-bear cub sits on a rock outcropping as a crowd looks on in the background.
    Design

    What Zoo Design Reveals About Human Attitudes to Nature

    Author Natascha Meuser describes zoo architecture as a “masquerade” that borrows from museums, prisons, and theaters.

  5. Life

    Are These the Last Vape Shops in San Francisco?

    The city wants to stop the rise of teen vaping by banning the sale of Juul and other e-cigarettes. It could also mean the end of a particular kind of store.

×