People, Environment

Beijing Air Quality Plummets

Beijing Air Quality PlummetsBeijing Air Quality Plummets

Beijing’s crystal blue skies did not last long. The blue skies that embraced the city gracefully for nearly two weeks suddenly vanished on Friday morning. In their place, the familiar looking and smoggy smelling gray clouds were visibly back.

This temporary pause to the city’s air pollution was due to Chinese authorities’ orders for the country’s 70th anniversary celebration of the end of World War II, that also included the biggest parade in Beijing ever held, The Market Business reported.

Hundreds of factories were shut during the short span, while 50% of Beijing’s five million registered cars were restricted from the streets, according to CNN, an American basic popular cable and satellite television channel.

The air quality index on Friday was 160 on a scale from 0-100, in Beijing, that signified unhealthy air, a day after an immaculate reading of 17.

Air pollution has long been a problem in China. Choking smoke quite often displays gray skies to the capital that on several days highly exceeds the levels advocated by the World Health Organization.

To host the Olympics in August 2008, China shut down factories and kept cars out of roads for a short period, though.

Awareness of air pollution, however, has risen in the years since, but the nation’s air quality index has not improved though, mainly because of economic goals that consistently trumped environmental targets that officials fear could slow down growth.

In 2013, only three cities, or 4.1%, of the 74 major cities of China subjected to air quality standards and met the national standards for clean air quality, the Chinese government accepted in 2014.