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Why has the pollution been so bad during Golden Week?

This spate of pollution is the first 'amber warning' we've had all year

One of the best things about holidays in Beijing is the brief break we get from all the smog, thanks to a reduction in factory output and the eerily quiet roads. But somehow, the latter half of Golden Week this year has been more grey than golden – with PM2.5 levels hitting 300-plus pretty much solidly over the last few days.

According to the Beijing Meteorological Service's official Weibo page, the Government issued dual 'amber alert' pollution warnings for the first time this year on Monday, due to the heavy 'fog' and 'haze'.

In an attempt to try and control the thick grey blanket over the city, officials are supposed to order a temporary stop to demolition and construction work during amber warnings. If that has happened, it seems to have made little difference.

The 'fog' warning was lifted at 9am this morning (Wednesday 7 October) thanks to 'better visibility', but the amber warning for the 'haze' is still in place – and the air certainly doesn't look or taste any better.

So why is this happening during Golden Week? Local media reports state that thanks to the warm(ish) temperature, weak air pressure, humidity, lack of winds and other unfavourable weather conditions, the pollution particles haven't been able to disperse properly. Seriously, guys? We're going to lay the blame on 'weak air pressure'?

Anyways, enough of all the doom and gloom. Apparently things are on the up. According to Sohu News, the weather will be taking a turn for the better this evening thanks to some cold northerly winds, and it should gradually improve throughout the week.

Just in time for us all to be back at work. We're totally fine with that. Brilliant.


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