Air pollution jumped to alarming levels last month
Recent spells of severe smog engulfing northeastern and northern regions of China contributed to November’s alarming rise in pollution levels, according to the nation’s top environmental watchdog.
Beijing saw its readings of PM2.5 hazardous particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns in diameter soar to 118 micrograms per cubic meter on average in November, a year-on-year increase of 39 percent, according to the monthly report released by the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
The city saw four more days with heavy pollution in November compared with the same period last year, it said.
The ministry said soaring coal consumption from heating plants was the major reason for the severe smog. Vehicle exhaust fumes also played a major role in worsening the pollution on smoggy days, said Wang Yuesi, a researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.