Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China

On Monday, dense smog blanketed the city of Beijing, China. It was so bad that the hazardous air pollution exceeded measurable levels, forcing Chinese officials to urge residents to stay indoors. Official measurements indicated that the smog was "beyond index," plunging below the worst rating on the city's pollution scale.

In an interview with the AFP, an official at the Beijing Environmental Bureau who refused to release her identity stated, "Obviously elderly people and children should not go outside." Yikes.

The Beijing weather bureau reported that particulate pollution, rising temperatures and a lack of wind caused the thick smog to settle in, cutting visibility down to 200 meters. Air quality in Beijing is expected to remain poor until winds pick up today and blow the dense smog north of the city. Beijing's 4.8 million registered vehicles bear the brunt of the blame for the city's rising air pollution.

[Source: Yahoo News | Image: mckaysavage - C.C. License 2.0]

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