Cool winter weather probably contributed to the build-up of haze over Eastern China on December 15, 2004. Much of China relies on burning coal for winter heating and energy, and that produces the black aerosols that form the haze seen here. Fog has also moved over parts of the country, and the two events may be related. Sulfate particles emitted during burning provides hygroscopic sites for fog droplets to coalesce, making it easier for thick fogs to form over the region. In this image, acquired by the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view (SeaWiFS) Sensor flying on the OrbView-2 satellite on December 15, thick fog blankets the North China Plain, top, and parts of the Yangtze River Valley. The thinner, grayish haze casts a brown tint on the fog as the haze sails over the low clouds. In the top of the image, fog and haze fill the mountain valleys to the west of the North China Plain.
NASA image courtesy the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE. NOTE: All SeaWiFS images and data are for research and educational use only. All commercial use of SeaWiFS data must be coordinated with ORBIMAGE.
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.