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(added on 2016/12/23)

Smog the silent killer 「霾」 葬健康

%copy; 2016
Data source: CMA, NBS, PRC government
Map created by CUHK SpatioEpi Group

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Every year when winter comes, cities in northern China often have to face serious smog weather. In 2016, the adverse weather began from Chengdu in late November, followed by worsened situations in December in the capital city Beijing and nearby provinces. Up to 17th December, a total of 23 cities had issued the "red alert", the highest level of the four-tier smog warning system. Bad weather led to school suspension and air traffic cancellation. Apart from impacting daily life, citizens' health was also seriously threatened. In Beijing, there were reports of children admitted to hospital due to respiratory diseases.

The map shows the 23 cities that had issued red smog alert, their respective population size and the atmospheric concentration of PM2.5 reported by China Meteorological Administration on 16th December. The accumulation of environmental pollutants was particularly serious around the capital. This is the combined effect of (1) intensive pollutant emission from the industrialized and developed North China plain and (2) failure of air pollutants to disperse in the mountainous region in the west.

This map was created with data collected from China Meteorological Administration and National Bureau of Statistics of the People’s Republic of China.