Map Shows Worst Places in China for Air Pollution

By Ella Wong, August 14, 2015

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It’s not exactly news to learn that China has a serious air pollution problem, but according to a 2015 study, the nation’s air quality is even worse than previously thought.

For those living in China, the air we breathe is killing roughly 4,000 people every day, or 1.6 million a year, accounting for around 17 percent of all deaths in China.

Using four months’ worth of data from 1,500 Chinese monitoring stations across the country, scientists from the University of California’s Berkeley Earth mapped the extent and sources of air pollution.

Not surprisingly, they found that pollution is widespread, but is particularly intense in the heavily populated east, in a “corridor that extends from near Shanghai to north of Beijing.”

China's air pollution map
Image via Economist

If you live in Beijing, where just breathing like a regular human is the equivalent of smoking almost 40 cigarettes a day, according to Berkeley Earth scientific director Richard Muller, you might want to consider moving south to Fujian, Guangdong or Yunnan. At least during winter, when increased coal burning to heat the capital’s homes produces particularly smoggy skies, take a trip to sunny Hainan. You can always return to enjoy clean, crisp January air during the 2022 Winter Olympics.

[Top image via Pexels]

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