Nanjing skies turn pink due to smog

Climate Change

Photo: Weibo user @深夜红莲

People in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing were alarmed on Tuesday evening to find that the skies had turned pink amid an ongoing spell of smog.
To quell public concerns of the culprit being a rare pollutant in the air, meteorologists explained the strange color was a product of the evening sunlight meeting the haze.

“There are only three colors of smog, namely, grey, white and brown,” the Nanjing-based Modern Express quoted Liu Hongnian, an aerography professor at Nanjing University, as saying.

The readings of PM 2.5, the smallest and deadliest smog particles, in Nanjing reached over 220 on Tuesday afternoon—more than 10 times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization, indicating heavy pollution.

Chinese weather authorities say over 14 provinces and cities — including Beijing, Shanghai, Hebei Province, and Jiangsu Province — have recently faced the most severe smog in the second half of year, and the current bout of smog is likely to be dispersed by a cold front that will gradually hit the regions starting Dec. 26.