We already knew Beijing's air pollution problem had gotten worse this year, but new data shows that the trend is continuing.
The air quality in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei has officially declined during the first 10 months of the year. According to a recent report, the region saw 22 fewer “blue-sky days” from January to October compared to the same time period last year, Caixin reports.
A “blue-sky day” is one where the Air Quality Index (AQI) is less than 100.
Beijing, Tianjin and 11 cities in Hebei saw 165 “blue-sky days” during the first 10 months of the year. In Beijing, this number was a little higher.
PM2.5 levels in the region rose by 8.5 percent to 64 micrograms per cubic meter. PM10 levels increased by 7.7 percent to 112 micrograms per cubic meter
Because of the latest report, it's seeming less and less likely that the capital will be able to meet its lofty goal to reduce PM2.5 levels to below 60 micrograms per cubic meter by the end of this year. The winter months are some of the most polluted in Beijing and its surrounding areas. According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, "unfavorable weather conditions" will likely cause this winter smog season to be worse than usual.
This is definitely not welcome news for those living in the region who are currently under smog alerts.