Is this massive smog caused by factors beyond our control?
2023-04-04   CHESTER HUANG

As I look out the window, all I see is a yellow haze. I can barely see my hand in front of my face. The Beijing Meteorological Observatory upgraded its sand and dust storm yellow warning signal. Due to the influence of upstream sand and dust transport, Beijing has experienced obvious sand and dust weather, and the air quality has fallen to a severe pollution level. The main sources of this sand and dust in the Beijing area are the deserts and Gobi of Mongolia. During the process of the Mongolian cyclone and its rear cold air moving eastward, strong winds pick up the sand and dust, transport it through the upper atmosphere, and then deposit it as sand and dust weather in downstream areas such as Beijing.

The formation of sand and dust weather is mainly determined by the climate and surface conditions of the sand source area, as well as the meteorological systems that transport the sand and dust. The high temperature, low precipitation, sparse vegetation, and loose soil in the sand source area are all conducive to the wind picking up sand and dust. The meteorological systems that transport the sand and dust are mainly the East Asian trough and the Mongolian cyclone. They are active in spring, guiding cold air from Siberia to move southward and forming strong northwest winds.

It's disheartening to witness such extreme pollution levels, and it's easy to feel like there's nothing we can do to prevent it. But the truth is, while the weather conditions that lead to sand and dust storms are beyond our control, there are steps we can take to reduce their impact on our health and the environment. For instance, wearing masks, reducing outdoor activities, and using air purifiers can all help to minimize the impact of sand and dust weather on our health.

Ironically, just a few years ago, our company was exporting a large number of medical masks to North America and Europe due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it seems that we may have to consider selling dust mask

As we face yet another environmental crisis, it's important to remember that we are all responsible for doing our part to protect the planet and ourselves.