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Still Waters

Worst sandstorm in a decade hits Beijing

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Still Waters

The Chinese capital of Beijing was covered in thick dust on Monday as it experienced what its weather bureau has called the worst sandstorm in a decade.

The storm caused an unprecedented spike in air pollution measurements - with pollution levels in some districts at 160 times the recommended limit.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled or grounded as the sky was covered by an apocalyptic-looking orange haze.

The sand is being brought in by strong winds from Inner Mongolia.

In Mongolia the severe sandstorms have reportedly caused six deaths and left dozens missing.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-56399267

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Still Waters

Beijing’s ‘sandstorm’ was actually a dust storm – and that’s much worse

The skies in Beijing turned orange recently, thanks to what was widely-reported as a massive sandstorm.

The problem, at least in terms of public health, is that it was not actually a sandstorm. It was a dust storm.

This might sound like an act of geological pedantry, but it represents a crucial difference, and it comes down to a question of size. Sand grains are mineral particles greater than 0.06mm in diameter – the sort that scratches your ankles on a windy day at the beach and ends up spoiling the picnic by feeling crunchy in your sandwiches. Dust is potentially a far more serious issue than blowing sand.

https://theconversation.com/beijings-sandstorm-was-actually-a-dust-storm-and-thats-much-worse-157367

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Eldorado

 

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and then

I'll never forget just how bad the air quality was when I was there in December of 2000.  It's the only time I've ever been in a place where the air made my eyes burn.  The smog was awful.  The only time I didn't notice it was when we ventured out to walk on a part of the Great Wall, near the city.  

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Still Waters

Beijing hit by third sandstorm in five weeks

The third major sandstorm in five weeks turned Beijing’s skies sepia on Thursday, and sent air quality plummeting in the Chinese capital.

The storms, caused by winds from drought-hit Mongolia and north-western China, sent levels of the pollutant PM10, which can penetrate the lung, to 999 micrograms per cubic metre – a level almost double the “hazardous” stage indicated by the Beijing air pollution real time quality index.

The World Health Organization recommends that levels not exceed 20 micrograms per cubic metre in a 24 hour period, and states: “There is a close, quantitative relationship between exposure to high concentrations of small particulates (PM10 and PM2.5) and increased mortality or morbidity, both daily and over time.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/16/beijing-hit-by-third-sandstorm-in-just-over-a-month

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