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China Lost in Winter Fog

Published: Dec. 02, 2015

Heavy fog and haze has shrouded most cities in northern and central China in recent days, with Beijing, Jinan, and Shijiazhuang among the most stricken areas. It’s forecasted that the notorious haze will last for a few more days before winds blow it away, bringing a series of problems.

Daily Average Concentration of PM 2.5 on Dec. 2, 2015

Unfavorable weather conditions directly cause the fog and haze

According to Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, unfavorable meteorological factors, such as high humidity, strong temperature inversion, and weak wind resulted in the bad weather. However, this is a normal phenomenon in winter. Tourists do not need to get panicked.

Pollution related to heat supplying exacerbates air quality

It’s believed that a great amount of coal and gas consumption in winter has something to do with the hazy weather. Meanwhile, the exhaust from vehicles is another prime factor. The emission of smoke may lead to more floating particles in the air, which are important matters to form mists.

Impacts on traffic

 Due to the degraded visibility, road accidents happened more than usual. Some vehicles collided in tailgating. What’s more, drivers are stuck in traffic jams very often. Fortunately, no casualties have been reported so far.

 It’s reported that several expressways have already been blocked or under traffic control to avoid accidents, including many highways running through or around Beijing and Hebei Province.

 A lot of flights have been canceled, causing a large number of passengers to be stranded at the airport.

Impacts on people’s health condition

Small particles floating in the air can cause stroke and respiratory illness. Therefore, there has been an increase in children and senior patients.

Tips on hazy or snowy winter days

Considering the weather conditions, please notice the following advice:

 1. If you have booked a flight, call the airline before going to the airport to ensure that your flight is not canceled.

 2. Keep an eye on weather forecasts while making your travel plan.

 3. Set aside more time for journey on the way when heading for a destination.

 4. Be careful of moving vehicles when you go out in foggy days.

 5. Wear a gauze mask dedicated to protect yourself against PM 2.5 (particulate matters with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometers) when you are exposed to the polluted air.

 6. Eat some food good for your lung, such as pear, radish, white fungus, lily bulb and lotus root.

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