Thick haze blanketed eastern China when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on December 7, 2015. The haze extended southwest from Beijing for hundreds of kilometers and appeared to be particularly dense in low-lying areas in the Guanzhong Plain near Xi’an. Authorities in Beijing have issued a first-ever “red alert” for air pollution. They have closed schools, placed limits on car usage, and ordered some factories to stop operations, according to news reports.
NASA image by Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response. Caption and image cropping by Adam Voiland.