A sandstorm swept through much of northern China left Beijing in an orange fog, helping to raise air quality in the capital to its worst level since 2017.
The Beijing government has given a yellow signal for the first warning of a sandstorm this year. The air quality index rose to 500, which is much higher than the level of health emergencies, խ the dense orange fog reduced visibility to և less than 3280 feet (1000 meters) on Monday morning. Chinese social media was flooded with pictures of the city’s iconic buildings shrouded in dust, with many users saying it was the worst sandstorm in years.
The level of ultrasonic particles in the air in Beijing has risen to 680 micrograms / cubic meter, which is the highest concentration since May 2017, according to data conducted by the US Embassy there. At some monitoring stations, the concentration of slightly larger particles, more often associated with sand, increased to more than 2,000 cubic meters.
Even before the storm, Beijing’s air quality was deteriorating as the country’s economy was pushed back from the epidemic by heavy industry recovery, which saw an increase in steel and cement production and a jump in fossil fuel consumption.
The storm, which will continue for a day in Beijing, originated in Mongolia and spread to the northern provinces of Shanxi, Shanxi and Hebei. The city of Baotu in Inner Mongolia has canceled school due to ventilated dust. 9 o’clock in the morning. As of 30 a.m., more than 400 flights had been canceled at Beijing airport, Jiemian reported, citing the Flight Master flight information program.
Deforestation and drought are at least partly to blame for the sandstorms that often hit northern China. The government has embarked on massive tree planting programs to try to contain the storms since the 1970s. The three northern shelter forest program, which protects sandstorm areas from the Gobi Desert, aims to grow new trees in 87 million hectares (35 million hectares) by 2050.
Seem ankles seem to have achieved some success. According to Xinhua, the annual number of sandy days in Beijing has fallen from the 26s of the 1950s to about three days since 2010.
Sandstorms usually occur in spring and early summer, when the wind blows from the north. Last year, northern China experienced seven of them, conditions that averaged less than three days, according to the China Climate Bulletin published by the National Climate Center. It’s less of a hurricane than usual, it says