Smog is Taking Over Beijing

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The Chinese city of Beijing has issued a red alert for smog for the first time, causing schools to get closed, restrictions on factories, and even limited traffic. The red alert is the most serious warning in the country’s system, and following three days of severe smog, Beijing is officially at a dangerous level of pollution.

Beijing Issues Red Alert to Protect Civilians from Air Pollution

This city sees very little clear days, and authorities have seen it so that the public stays away from streets today to attempt to clean up shop. There were 300 micrograms of PM2.5 particles reported per cubic meter. The safe level, according to the WHO, is 25 particles per cubic meter. Authorities are hoping conditions will improve with the cold front that will hit the city on Thursday.

Traffic and Civilian Activity Are Restricted

Cars will be restricted so that only a fraction can be on the road. This limited traffic will be made up through public transport, making more subway trains and buses available. This is the second time the city has confronted an alarming bout of smog. The highest rate of PM2.5 levels the city has faced is 976 micrograms per cubic meter.

This level is influenced by many things. While pollution is a huge part of it, some of the power demand is necessary for the stability of citizens. November was a surprisingly cold month for Beijing. Thus, a higher amount of power was needed to keep citizens, buildings and sites warm.

Beijing Had Good Smog Levels Throughout the First 10 Months of 2015

November and December have proven to be increasingly difficult. Schools have not been able to allow students proper outdoor activities and many highways have been closed off due to limited visibility. With three days reporting over 200 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter, the city was forced to issue a red alert.

More than 60% of China is powered by coal, and some scientists predict that China’s emissions will not peak until 2030. Only then will the city see a decline in gas emissions.

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