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A severe sandstorm has swept across Beijing and several northern provinces in China, blanketing the region in thick clouds of orange dust and sending air Pollution soaring to hazardous levels. This latest sandstorm is the most severe this year and has caused authorities to issue warnings to the public. The air quality index of PM10, particles of Pollution less than 10 micrometers in diameter that can enter through the nose and travel to the lungs, exceeded monitoring charts. Concentrations of PM10 particles hit 1,667 micrograms per cubic meter, more than 37 times the average daily guideline of 45 micrograms per cubic meter set by the World Health Organization.

Source: Reuters/Youtube

Beijing is regularly hit with sandstorms in the spring, with the smog made worse by rising industrial activities and rapid deforestation throughout northern China. The current sandstorm originated from Mongolia and gradually moved towards central and eastern China. A lack of rainfall and low-pressure winds also meant sandy particles drifted into the country. Nearly a dozen provinces issued yellow warning signals from Wednesday to early Thursday morning, including Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Shandong, Henan, Jiangsu, Anhui, and Hubei, according to China’s Meteorological Administration.

The sandstorm has not only caused hazardous air Pollution but has also affected the daily activities of people. Weather authorities in Beijing warned people not to go outdoors for exercise and other activities and have asked drivers to stay vigilant and reduce speed because of low visibility. Sandstorms have also affected agriculture, destroying crops with wind and dust.

The sandstorm in China is a clear reminder of the impact of Climate change and human activities on our environment. Rapid deforestation and industrial activities have contributed to the worsening air Pollution and Climate change. However, we can take steps to reduce our carbon footprint and positively impact the environment. Simple actions such as reducing plastic use, conserving energy, and supporting sustainable practices can make a difference.

Governments and businesses are also responsible for addressing Climate change and implementing sustainable practices. This includes investing in renewable energy, reducing waste, and promoting sustainable agriculture. We must work together to protect our planet and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

The sandstorm in Beijing and northern China is a wake-up call for us to take action and address Climate change. While individuals can reduce their carbon footprint, governments and businesses are also responsible for implementing sustainable practices. We must work together to protect our planet and ensure a sustainable future. Let us take action now to create a better future for ourselves and the earth.

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