NASA’s Earth Observatory has released startling before-and-after photos of northeastern China, where residents in Beijing and other cities have been suffering from suffocating levels of smog and air pollution. The satellite images were taken from the same position in space, 11 days apart; the left photo was captured on January 14th, the right on January 3rd. As the images make clear, Beijing has seen increased haze, cloud, and fog coverage over this period, NASA notes that the region’s clouds and fog “have a tinge of gray or yellow from the air pollution,” and that even cloudless areas captured on January 14th were blanketed in brown and gray smog. The Chinese government has been always reluctant to acknowledge its air pollution problem. We hope the Earth Observatory site won’t be banned in China because of releasing these data which is considered ‘endangering national security’.
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