Dust had been blowing through China for several days by the time MODIS captured this image. Arising along the border between China and southwestern Mongolia, the dust extended as far south as the Sichuan Basin.
On March 10, China Daily reported that winds had blown haze out of the Beijing area but brought in dust to replace it. As a result, the major air pollutant in the capital city changed from PM2.5 to PM10. Both PM2.5 and PM10 particles can pose health hazards, although PM2.5 particles are generally considered more dangerous because their smaller size allows them to be inhaled more deeply into the lungs. Within a few days, PM2.5 levels had risen again; the Twitter feed from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing reported PM2.5 readings of unhealthy and very unhealthy as of March 14.
High winds in eastern China downed power lines, blew the roof off a factory, and fanned the flames of a wildfire at Mount Taishan, a World Heritage site, according to China Daily. The mid-March dust was the second dust event to affect Beijing in 2013.
- AirNow.gov (2010, August 30) Particle Pollution (PM10) and (PM2.5). Accessed March 14, 2013.
- China Daily (2013, March 10) Strong winds bring dust to Beijing. Accessed March 14, 2013.
- U.S. Embassy in Beijing BeijingAir. Accessed March 14, 2013.
- Aqua - MODIS
- NASA: China - Mongolia - Dust in Eastern China - 15.03.13