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Beijing faces grim winter smog forecast

Humid weather in autumn and winter means smog has no reason not to stick around


Smog haters, beware: This coming winter is set to be an especially tough one, with a humid period expected to extend throughout autumn and winter. Despite much of the country, particularly the arid north, grappling with water shortages, the extra humidity is of no benefit. Instead, it tends to make smog linger and accompanies periods of low wind (also a factor in making smog linger).

Attempts at smog reduction have met with limited success earlier this year, despite recent streak of fairly blue-sky days in the capital—very high levels of smog in the Beijing-Hebei-Tianjin region were recorded in January and February, increasing the overall average for the year.

Unfortunately, these kinds of forecast conditions are likely to become a recurring theme for northern China. Climate change is predicted to reduce wind blowing into the region, meaning that when smog is produced (and the winter months are the smoggiest, on account of increased coal burning for heating), there’s no reason why it can’t stick around, ruining your day.

So it’s looking likely that Beijing’s smog cops will have their work cut out for them.


Cover image from Sohu

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