China's Smog Emergency Can Be Seen From Space

China’s incredible smog problem has gotten out of hand in the last few weeks, with cold weather and rapid economic growth creating air pollution that is 40 times healthy levels in some parts of the country, and even the country’s state media is calling for reform.

Things apparently got so bad that the smog was obscuring the country from space, according to images released today from NASA.

NASA’s Earth Observatory describes the vision in a blog post:

A milky, grey pall entirely blocks the ground from view in the top image, taken in the early afternoon by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite. Patches of white fog or low cloud hang below the grey haze. Winds had already begun to push the haze out of Beijing in the north, but the rest of the North China Plain still suffered from poor air quality.

As the images show, by the next day most of the smog had gone, but it really shows just how dramatic the smog has been for those living in China:

China Smog NASAJanuary 10th

Photo: NASA

China Smog NASAJanuary 11th

Photo: NASA

This well labelled image, taken on January 13 by the NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP satellite and posted to the NOAA Environmental visualisation Laboratory, gives another view from space:

China Smog NASA

Photo: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP

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