China says smog blanketing cities may finally soon fade

December 21, 2016
A carpark attendant dressed as Santa Claus wears a mask during a hazy day in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Beijing and much of industrial northern China are in the midst of a "red alert," the highest level in China's four-tiered pollution warning system. The alert has affected 460 million people, according to Greenpeace East Asia, which calculated that about 200 million people were living in areas that had experienced levels of air pollution more than 10 times above the guideline set by the World Health Organization. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Chinese weather forecasters and state media say the dense, gray smog that has smothered much of China, closing schools and grounding planes, may finally soon give way.

The national weather authority said Wednesday that nighttime winds will push out much of the air pollution that has left Beijing and dozens of other cities under a five-day "red alert," the highest level in China's four-tiered warning system.

By the calculations of Greenpeace East Asia, the red alert affects 460 million people. Authorities have closed schools, grounded hundreds of flights and announced emergency shutdowns of factories and highways.

Still, Beijing's readings on Wednesday remained 15 times above the level considered safe by the World Health Organization. Readings in some cities outside the capital were even higher.

A man wearing a mask for protection against air pollution pushes his luggage at the Beijing Capital International Airport as the capital of China is shrouded by heavy smog on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Beijing and much of industrial northern China are in the midst of a "red alert," the highest level in China's four-tiered pollution warning system. The alert has affected 460 million people, according to Greenpeace East Asia, which calculated that about 200 million people were living in areas that had experienced levels of air pollution more than 10 times above the guideline set by the World Health Organization. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
An airport worker wearing a mask for protection against air pollution loads goods on to an Air China passenger plane at the Beijing Capital International Airport as the capital of China is shrouded by heavy smog on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Beijing and much of industrial northern China are in the midst of a "red alert," the highest level in China's four-tiered pollution warning system. The alert has affected 460 million people, according to Greenpeace East Asia, which calculated that about 200 million people were living in areas that had experienced levels of air pollution more than 10 times above the guideline set by the World Health Organization. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
People wearing masks for protection against air pollution push their luggage at the Beijing Capital International Airport as the capital of China is shrouded by heavy smog on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Beijing and much of industrial northern China are in the midst of a "red alert," the highest level in China's four-tiered pollution warning system. The alert has affected 460 million people, according to Greenpeace East Asia, which calculated that about 200 million people were living in areas that had experienced levels of air pollution more than 10 times above the guideline set by the World Health Organization. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
A passenger plane flies over a highway outside the Beijing Capital International Airport as the capital of China is shrouded by heavy smog on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Beijing and much of industrial northern China are in the midst of a "red alert," the highest level in China's four-tiered pollution warning system. The alert has affected 460 million people, according to Greenpeace East Asia, which calculated that about 200 million people were living in areas that had experienced levels of air pollution more than 10 times above the guideline set by the World Health Organization. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
A man is silhouetted in front of an Air China passenger plane preparing to take off at the Beijing Capital International Airport as the capital of China is shrouded by heavy smog on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Beijing and much of industrial northern China are in the midst of a "red alert," the highest level in China's four-tiered pollution warning system. The alert has affected 460 million people, according to Greenpeace East Asia, which calculated that about 200 million people were living in areas that had experienced levels of air pollution more than 10 times above the guideline set by the World Health Organization. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
A man wearing a mask for protection against air pollution looks at a flight information board at the Beijing Capital International Airport as the capital of China is shrouded by heavy smog on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Beijing and much of industrial northern China are in the midst of a "red alert," the highest level in China's four-tiered pollution warning system. The alert has affected 460 million people, according to Greenpeace East Asia, which calculated that about 200 million people were living in areas that had experienced levels of air pollution more than 10 times above the guideline set by the World Health Organization. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
An Air China passenger plane prepares to land at the Beijing Capital International Airport as the capital of China through heavy smog on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Beijing and much of industrial northern China are in the midst of a "red alert," the highest level in China's four-tiered pollution warning system. The alert has affected 460 million people, according to Greenpeace East Asia, which calculated that about 200 million people were living in areas that had experienced levels of air pollution more than 10 times above the guideline set by the World Health Organization. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
A passenger plane prepares to land at the Beijing Capital International Airport as the capital of China in heavy smog on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Beijing and much of industrial northern China are in the midst of a "red alert," the highest level in China's four-tiered pollution warning system. The alert has affected 460 million people, according to Greenpeace East Asia, which calculated that about 200 million people were living in areas that had experienced levels of air pollution more than 10 times above the guideline set by the World Health Organization. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Air China passenger planes preparing to take off at the Beijing Capital International Airport as the capital of China is shrouded by heavy smog on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Beijing and much of industrial northern China are in the midst of a "red alert," the highest level in China's four-tiered pollution warning system. The alert has affected 460 million people, according to Greenpeace East Asia, which calculated that about 200 million people were living in areas that had experienced levels of air pollution more than 10 times above the guideline set by the World Health Organization. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

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KelDude
5 / 5 (2) Dec 29, 2016
This is not just "China's" smog issue because when they say smog will "finally fade" only means it blows away to the rest of the planet. With a westerly jet stream it comes straight over to North America. We do our best to keep our air clean and what do we get but all the polluted exhaust from China's cars, factories and power plants. Nice! China's way of looking after their neighbours on their way to riches.
gkam
1 / 5 (3) Dec 29, 2016
We would be chocking on the same nasty stuff if we did not have the EPA and the eco-freaks.

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