Gawk at 290 days of lung-charring air pollution and a few clear skies.

For Beijing, 2015 was a year of smoggy milestones. The city issued its first-ever “red alert” for toxic air pollution. The fad of tracing buildings’ haze-obscured outlines hit social media. A man turned particulate matter into high art by shaping a brick out of smog.

With 2016 upon us, perhaps it’s time to celebrate Beijing residents surviving yet another lung-begrimed year. (Some of them, anyway.) And China’s meteorological agency has done just that with a photo mosaic of 290 days, showing both clear weather and sooty, slug-colored pollution. Take a gander:

CMA/CCTVNews

Writes CCTVNews:

On the third day of the New Year, the old problem of smog continues to linger in the Chinese capital.

Looking back on the air quality of Beijing in 2015, China Meteorological Administration (CMA) on Saturday unveiled mosaics of Beijing sky over the past year, using photos taken by a photographer who calls himself ‘Zang Hong’ online.

From the blue skies before the V-day Parade back to August when Beijing tightened environmental control efforts, to the grey days with heavy pollution, the photographer recorded almost every day in 2015.

Judging from current conditions, it’s likely a similar smoggy mosaic could be made at the end of 2016. Particulate matter hit “unhealthy” levels in Beijing on January 5 and 6, according to a U.S. outpost that tracks China's air quality, with potential health effects including an increasing “likelihood of respiratory symptoms in sensitive individuals, aggravation of heart or lung disease, and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly.”

Photos taken from late November to late December show the changes of air quality in Beijing. The Chinese capital issued...

Posted by CCTVNews on Sunday, January 3, 2016

H/t Shanghaiist

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    Berlin Builds an Arsenal of Ideas to Stage a Housing Revolution

    The proposals might seem radical—from banning huge corporate landlords to freezing rents for five years—but polls show the public is ready for something dramatic.

  2. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  3. Maps

    Mapping the Growing Gap Between Job Seekers and Employers

    Mapping job openings with available employees in major U.S. cities reveals a striking spatial mismatch, according to a new Urban Institute report.

  4. A photo of a design maquette for the Obama Presidential Center planned for Jackson Park and designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.
    Design

    Why the Case Against the Obama Presidential Center Is So Important

    A judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by Chicago preservationists can proceed, dealing a blow to Barack Obama's plans to build his library in Jackson Park.

  5. Multicolored maps of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Tampa, denoting neighborhood fragmentation
    Equity

    Urban Neighborhoods, Once Distinct by Race and Class, Are Blurring

    Yet in cities, affluent white neighborhoods and high-poverty black ones are outliers, resisting the fragmentation shown with other types of neighborhoods.