Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Smoggy Day in Shenyang Town

Do you know that song, "A Foggy Day in London Town" with Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald? Those two are gold together. 

You've probably heard in the News that Beijing (or China in general) are experiencing a lot of pollution. I know that it is terrible in Beijing right now, as well as in cities with lots of factories and climates that don't allow for the wind to take the pollution away. In Shenyang, it's not as bad as other cities, but it's still not good. This is the first year we've been here where the pollution has been so severe for so many consecutive days. 

Usually, Shenyang has an epic amount of blue sky days. Compared to the time I spent in Chengdu, Shenyang's skies are much clearer. This winter, however, we celebrate if we see the sun or a patch of clear-ish sky. I think pollution counts should be under 50 to be considered normal and safe. We have many days that are in the range of 300-800! Those are the days when visibility is poor, the sky and sun have disappeared, and it's advised that you not do anything active outdoors. What are we breathing? I don't know! 

In the past, I remember reading weather reports that forecast "Smoke" for the day or week. I'm not sure if "Smoke" is a legitimate weather word. Simply put, it's a euphemism for "Pollution". Or perhaps dust storms that trickle down from Mongolia. I don't know! 

I stole these pictures (with permission!) from a teacher friend here. The first is of our famous Shenyang bridge that is down by our river park on a clear day. The second picture is of that same bridge. Except you can't see it through all the smog. 

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