As I write this, the sky outside is sunny but hazy and the air quality index is above 150 (amount of micrograms of PM2.5 fine particulate matter per cubic liter, with 25 being considered the healthy maximum!), a big jump from the past two days which were almost great, and it looks set to get worse, which is not surprising given how the past few weeks have unfolded.
October has been a terrible month for Beijing weatherwise. While I was in Taiwan at the beginning of the month, I heard from friends that the capital, and other parts of Northern China, had had some bad smog. When I came back, it was a fine day. But then the following weekend, bad smog occurred again, enveloping the capital in a sea of dense, gray haze. The Beijing marathon was scheduled for the Sunday and despite calls to postpone it, it took place but not without attracting worldwide attention. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the worst conditions a world-class marathon has ever taken place in. Anyhow things got back to normal during the following week, until last weekend when, you guessed it, horrible smog again besieged the capital.
As if three consecutive weekends/weekly bouts of bad smog weren’t enough, it seems the terrible smog will be back for another round soon.
Usually I don’t take photos outside during smog because it’s not a pretty sight, but it’s been so bad lately that I just had to.
This was the view from my building during the worst of the smog Saturday, when the air quality index was over 400.
On a nice day, the above view looks like this below, allowing for a fine view of the CCTV tower and Guomao buildings in the CBD. This was in September, by the way.
This is in the CBD on the weekend before last.