Harbin’s Air Is A National Disaster That’s Uniting The Country

Harbin smog 5
By now you surely know: Harbin in northeast China's Heilongjiang province, a city of 11 million, is blanketed in cancer-gray, toxic-smelling, blindingly thick smog. The AQI is over 500 and the PM2.5 measurement hit one thousand -- higher than it ever was during the worst of times in Beijing. Everything has closed down, from highways to airports to schools. Sinosphere and the Atlantic both have pictures and anecdotes. And AFP has this bit of funny:

Forget Pollution: It’s The Wind In Beijing Yesterday That Wreaked Havoc

Wind wrecking havoc in Beijing featured image
While many spent yesterday morning squalling over Beijing's pollution (caused in part by this season's first sandstorm), an actual squall of sorts blew through this region, causing more damage. (Incidentally, it was this very wind that cleared out the pollution, so that in a matter of one hour, from 10 am to 11 am, the AQI dropped from 506 to 279, and by 4 pm, it was under 100, according to @BeijingAir.)

Take A Look At Different Cities Under Beijing’s Smog

Paris pollution
Soon to be an iPad app, surely. Via Marketplace: We wondered what other cities around the globe might look like under these pollution conditions, so we built a simple simulator to illustrate. Using side-by-side photos of Beijing to calibrate our not-so-scientific “obscurity filter,” we applied the tool to photos of some major cities around the globe. Let’s... Read more »