Thick haze streamed out of Eastern China over the Korean Peninsula and Japan on November 9, 2004. Cool winter weather often means poor air quality in eastern China, which relies heavily on coal-fired power plants and coal for heating and cooking. Haze blanketed much of eastern China during the first week of November, but a storm moving in on November 8 and 9 seemed to push much of the haze east over the Yellow Sea and Korea. The edge of the clouds are visible on the right side of the image. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image on November 9, 2004.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data obtained from the MODIS Rapid Response team.
Incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels like coal and wood leads to a build-up of haze in eastern China, where mountains and weather patterns can trap it for days at a time. This Terra MODIS image is a comparison of a hazy day and a relatively clear day in February 2005.
A nearly opaque plume of haze snaked through eastern China on October 20, 2007. The haze likely results from industrial and vehicular emissions as China struggles to balance economic growth with a healthy environment.