Image credit: Marty Halpern.
Beijing has remained draped in a smog of pollutants for a second day in a row this week, as independent air quality index readings reached “hazardous” levels, though still far short of the ‘beyond index’ readings earlier this month.
The SCMP reports:
The Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Centre says pollution across Beijing is severe and expected to persist because there is little wind to disperse pollutants. It advises city residents to stay indoors as much as possible.
Yesterday municipal weather authorities retained the “yellow” smog warning as visibility remained below 3,000 metres.
Air quality index readings in much of downtown Beijing, as measured by the local environmental watchdog and the US embassy, shot above 350 yesterday – a significant increase from Sunday.
The US embassy’s air quality readings, published hourly on its Twitter feed, showed the level of PM2.5 rose drastically throughout the day to 496 at 4pm- far above the “hazardous” level of 300 micrograms per cubic metre.
The Beijing Municipal Environmental Centre, which is under the city’s Environmental Protection Bureau, rated air quality in most of the city as being seriously polluted, as PM2.5 readings fluctuated between 340 and 360.
Environmental campaigners and academics again called for the government to take a firmer lead on reducing emissions and controlling pollution in the nation’s capital.
— William Farris (@wafarris) January 29, 2013