All Schools to Shut & Outdoor Construction to Cease

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Beijing issues its first ever RED ALERT for SMOG.

The red alert is the most serious warning on a four-tier system adopted about two years ago.  Forecasters have predicted more than three consecutive days of severe smog.

There’s even restrictions on factories and traffic as half of all vehicles will be kept off the roads in China’s capital.  Officials say extra subway trains and buses will handle the extra strain on transportation.

Some are wearing a mask at all times outdoors.

This is the second time this month that Beijing has experienced a prolonged period of smog.  There was also a lot of smog for most of November, and this was because of power demand due to unusually cold weather.

Experts say pollution in Beijing actually improved in the first 10 months of 2015, but heavy smog can now be seen from outer space.

Polluted air can cause severe health problems.  One study published in Nature magazine estimates that 1.4 million people each year die prematurely because of pollution in China.  Most of this pollution is blamed on coal-fired power plants, along with vehicle emissions and construction and factory work.

China is also the world’s biggest carbon emitter.

(sources:  CNN, BBC News)

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