Air pollution in Beijing, 2013-2017

Understanding Beijing’s climate, problems and progress

Understanding Air Quality Index

A Grade: AQI < 50

Air Quality Good. No health implications.

B Grade: AQI < 100

Air Quality Moderate. Some pollutants may slightly affect very few hypersensitive individuals.

C Grade: AQI < 150

Lightly Polluted. Healthy people may experience slight irritations and sensitive individuals will be slightly affected to a larger extent.

D Grade: AQI < 200

Moderately Polluted. Sensitive individuals will experience more serious conditions. The hearts and respiratory systems of healthy people may be affected.


E Grade: AQI < 200

Heavily Polluted. Healthy people will commonly show symptoms. People with respiratory or heart diseases will be significantly affected and will experience reduced endurance in activities.


F Grade: AQI > 300

Severely Polluted. Healthy people will experience reduced endurance in activities and may also show noticeably strong symptoms. Other illnesses may be triggered in healthy people. Elders and the sick should remain indoors and avoid exercise. Healthy individuals should avoid outdoor activities.

The Progress

The Chinese capital is set to record its biggest improvement in air quality in at least nine years, with a nearly 20 percent change for the better this year, based on average concentration levels of hazardous breathable particles known as PM2.5.

The dramatic change, which has occurred across North China, is partly because of favorable weather conditions in the past three months but it also shows that the government’s strong-arm tactics have had an impact.

The Reuters’ estimates show that average levels of the pollutants in the capital have fallen by about 35 percent from 2012 numbers, with nearly half the improvement this year.

Beijing may be starting to win its battle against smog – Reuters

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Time Factor


Contributors (in name order)


Tony Chen

Front end, Server management


Zijing Gu

Visualization, Video editing


Yiming Wen

Visualization, Narrator

屏幕快照 2019-12-06 下午2.29.12

Jiahao Wu

Data cleaning, Prediction, Narrator