Those of us who choose to live in one of China’s big cities understand the deal. In exchange for opportunities for personal and professional growth, a front seat on the roller coaster that is China’s development, and all in all a pretty good life, we agree to put up with traffic woes, the occasional big-city headache, and pollution. All of us know better than to complain about these things in polite company.
We bring up our collective “China bargain” because writing about the weather is even worse than reading about it, but:
Beijing was hit by its worst smog in almost a year yesterday.
That’s via SCMP. The story immediately devolves into sensationalism, but look at that sentence above — a clear, concise reminder that we are all going to suffocate in a tar pit of PM2.5 particles.
Although the capital is often hit by smog in winter, the past two weeks have seen one of the longest stretches of smoggy days in Beijing in years.
If you’re worried: masks are here.
Pollution readings, including those for the smog-inducing fine particles known as PM2.5, from the local environmental watchdog and the US embassy were well in “severely polluted” or “hazardous” levels for most of Thursday night and yesterday morning.
The embassy’s hourly pollution data, published on Twitter, showed a reading of 488 micrograms per cubic metre of air at 11pm on Thursday and an air quality index of 492. The hazardous band of its air quality index readings begins at 300 and tops out at 500.
Oh by the way:
01-12-2013 14:00; PM2.5; 529.0; 519; Beyond Index
— BeijingAir (@BeijingAir) January 12, 2013