Smog delays flights in China A star is twinkling above a pedestrian wearing a mask silhouetted against the city skyline shrouded in heavy smog in Beijing Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. Beijing and other cities across northern and central China were shrouded in thick smog Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, prompting authorities to delay dozens of flights and close highways. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Smog delays flights in China
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Beijing and other cities across northern and central China have been shrouded in thick smog, prompting authorities to delay dozens of flights and close highways.
 
The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau extended an "orange alert" Jan. 2 for heavy air pollution for three more days. Beijing's smog had initially been forecast to lift by then.
 
The "orange alert" is the third level, preceding a "red alert," in China's four-tiered warning system. On Jan. 1, 25 cities in China issued "red alerts" for smog, which triggers orders to close factories, schools and construction sites.
 
Air pollution readings in northern Chinese cities were many times above the World Health Organization-designated safe level of 25 micrograms per cubic meter of PM 2.5, the tiny, toxic particles that damage lung tissue. The readings exceeded 400 on Jan. 2 in several cities in the northern province of Hebei.
 
Expressways in Shijiazhuang, Hebei's capital, and more than a half-dozen other cities there were temporarily closed, according to notices posted on the official microblog of the province's traffic police.
 
In the central city of Zhengzhou, authorities ordered students from kindergarten through high school to stay home Jan. 3 because of the smog.
 
More than 300 flights out of the northern city of Tianjin were canceled Jan. 1 due to poor visibility.
 
Authorities have deployed teams of inspectors to check on polluting factories, reports said.
 
China has long faced some of the worst air pollution in the world, blamed on its reliance of coal for energy and factory production, as well as a surplus of older, less efficient cars on its roads.
 
Researchers at Germany's Max Planck institute have estimated that smog has led to 1.4 million premature deaths per year in China, while the nonprofit group Berkeley Earth in California has had a higher figure, 1.6 million.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is smog a bigger issue in China than the U.S.?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (7)
  • kaileew-ste
    1/05/2017 - 09:13 p.m.

    Dozens of flights are being cancelled and highways being shut down due to smog in China. A red alert was sent out on January first. I'm glad we don't really have to deal with smog.

  • johannaw-cel
    1/06/2017 - 10:14 a.m.

    Beijing and other cities across northern and central China have been shrouded in thick smog, that is why dozens of flights were delayed and highways were closed. Smog is a big problem in China caused by coal for energy and factory production, as well as by older, less efficient cars on the roads. China has the worst air pollution. On January second the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau extended an "orange alert" for heavy air pollution for three days. n the central city of Zhengzhou, authorities ordered students from kindergarten through high school to stay home Jan. 3 because of the smog. More than 300 flights were canceled because of poor visibility students from kindergarten through high school had to stay home. Researchers at Germany's Max Planck institute found out that smog has led to 1.4 million premature deaths per year in China. In my opinion this is really shocking and I think China should do something to reduce antipollution.

  • daltons1-ste
    1/06/2017 - 01:31 p.m.

    Smog is a terrible thing for the earth and human health. Its sad that as a species we can just let our world rot beneath us and not give it a second thought. Smog is a terrible thing for the respiratory system.

  • monicas-ste
    1/09/2017 - 01:14 p.m.

    That's insane. If China didn't have so many factories then it wouldn't be like this but they produce so many things. It would be best if we used our own resources.

  • zakrym-ste
    1/10/2017 - 07:04 p.m.

    Having a flight delayed or cancelled would be my worst nightmare. I am not a very patient person so it would be hard for me. Feeling for the people in China. Keep the faith

  • noahr-ste
    1/13/2017 - 01:25 p.m.

    China has a lot of smog so flights get delayed there all he time. It would be seriously irritating to make plans and your plane get canceled.

  • beatricep1-pla
    1/23/2017 - 02:59 p.m.

    Cities in China have been plagued by smog for years, yet much of the world seems unaware of the disaster having "smog delays" poses. China functions on a four tier scale, where the red-alert is "high alert", causing students of all ages to stay home from school. This article specifically brings up the cancellation of flights due to poor seeing conditions, but merely glosses over the fact that entire cities were "temporarily closed". To have a situation where quality of life is altered to the point where business and learning cannot continue as normal proves that a change must occur.
    As for how this connects to civil engagement, I find it rather appalling that as an American I know so very little of this situation. We as a world need to gain an understanding that what happens to another country affects us all. The class book "Public Speaking and Civic Engagement" says "Americans are becoming spectators", and in this case, ignoring an issue of health surrounding one of our biggest traders, this problem may be linked back to the contributors: the consumers of products made in Chinese factories. To me, civil engagement means I have to educate myself on both situations of the world and situations of my home country. Looking at China allows me to recognize warning signs so American cities may avoid a "red-alert". If whole cities are forced to shut down and the air health is awful on the global scale, then obviously this is an issue that needs to be seen. Yes, the Chinese government needs to fix the literal mess they made, but as an American, Smog altering Chinese air-traffic means becoming aware of issues that are bigger than it may seem to an outsider such as myself.
    After reading this article, I did some background research on CNN, where Angela Dewan wrote an article titled "20,000 people stranded at Chengdu airport over smog". I found that a) this article was posted almost a month after the severe cancellations took place, b) over 20,000 people were stranded at an airport in Chengdu, where the air quality was posted at 280, in the "very unhealthy" category.

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