Air pollution in Beijing, 2013-2017

Understanding Beijing’s climate, problems and progress

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“When a thick smog gripped the country in January the following year, the air pollution was so bad it was called an “airpocalypse”. For nearly a month, record breaking levels of PM2.5 – the harmful, breathable particles which affect human health – swamped more than 800 million people.”


This is a paragraph of remarks coming from the Guardian about the terrible smogs that used to cover the whole of Beijing, China.


The loomy and dusty sky has been there far before the time when the general public knew about PM2.5, and its detrimental risk to public health. There was even an anecdote saying that people questioning about “weak Americans” wearing filtered masks to avoid being contaminted in the 2008 Olympics, but soon near 2011 everyone finds the problem being so prevalent and the story being so widespread that the U.S. Embassy is releasing AQI data everday for their colleagues on Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent.


Now it’s time to face it.


In nearly a decade, after numerous efforts including adding environmental-friendly facilities to those coal-reliant factories, limiting petrol cars on the street, and even causing damage to the heavy industry-reliant cities in Hebei Province that surrounds Beijing, It seems that there has been some progress on controling this terrible smog problem; at least the authorities say so, and Beijing residents mostly feel so. So How better it really is over the years? Is the weather, the windy, raining and snowy days more of a contributor than those large-scale environmental protection efforts?