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Why Beijing Just Issued its Most Severe Pollution Alert Ever

Beijing Blanketed In Heavy SmogBeijing Blanketed In Heavy Smog

Beijing upped its smog alert level from orange to red for Tuesday, marking the first time ever for the capital city.

The move comes as a haze set in on the city. Authorities updated the pollution alert for 7 a.m. December 8 to noon on December 10, according to Bloomberg, citing the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.

As a result of the conditions, outdoor construction is being halted and schools are being told to stop classes.

But Bloomberg notes that the red alert announcement comes even as the air pollution is less than last week’s. By 6 p.m. in Beijing, there were 208 micrograms of PM2.5, the measurement of such pollution, compared to 666 micrograms last week.

Earlier in December, Beijing’s Ministry of Environmental Protection called auto emissions the main reason for the city’s pollution. Other reasons cited include factory discharges and weather.