29 Eerie Photos That Show Just How Polluted China’s Air Has Become
Although no one knows the exact amount of carbon that China emits each year, it’s a well-known fact that the country has some of the most polluted air in the world. This Wednesday, Beijing went under a “red alert” for smog — the highest of four tiers — and a “yellow alert” for fog.
In December, pollution so bad that some called it the “airpocalypse” caused a halt of everyday life in Beijing. Cars couldn’t be driven, planes were grounded, and schools had to be temporarily closed.
But Beijing isn’t the only city affected. The cold winter months often cause air pollution levels to rise throughout much of China, as more homes are burning coal for heat.
Below, see 29 photos that show China among the smog.
An aerial photo taken during a polluted day in Shenyang, Liaoning province.
Two people ride during heavy smog in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province.
A tree sits between two buildings that tower through the thick smog in Jinan, Shandong province.
A view from the Jin Mao Tower in the Puxi district of Shanghai amid heavy smog.
A man cooks in open air during a “red alert” day in Hebei province.
Smog looms over the city of Tianjin, in northeastern China.
Bike riders wear masks to help filter the air they breath.
This woman and a young boy also choose to wear masks while in Jillin.
Masks can help filter out a particulate matter called PM 2.5, which can get stuck in the lungs and lead to conditions like asthma and chronic lung disease.
Some take more drastic measures to guard themselves from the pollution, such as this man wearing a full-on respirator in Beijing.