More haze filled the skies of eastern China on September 20, 2006. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite took this picture the same day. Unlike the smog in the region on September 17, however, this haze did not hug the coastal plain east of the Taihang Shan range. Instead, it blended with clouds over the mountains while leaving the coast near the Yellow Sea relatively clear.
In this image, the haze appears as a pale, dingy gray mass with ill-defined borders, in contrast to the bright white clouds. Weather patterns, including the presence of Typhoon Shanshan in the region, may have caused this haze to accumulate in eastern China. Because China’s Beijing region is one of the world’s most densely populated and is urbanizing rapidly, it produces urban and industrial smog, along with smoke from agricultural fires. Where the skies are clear, cities appear as tan dots surrounded by a green landscape.
A thick band of haze hung intermittently over eastern China in the fall of 2006. The haze likely resulted from urban and industrial pollution, agricultural fires, and weather patterns that trapped the pollutants in the region.