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Climate & Environment in Beijing
 
 
 

Beijing has a rather dry, monsoon-influenced humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwa), characterised by hot, humid summers due to the East Asian monsoon, and generally cold, windy, dry winters that reflect the influence of the vast Siberian anticyclone. Spring can bear witness to sandstorms blowing in from the Mongolian steppe, accompanied by rapidly warming, but generally dry, conditions. Autumn, like spring, sees little rain, but is crisp and short. The monthly daily average temperature in January is -3.7°C (25.3°F), while in July it is 26.2°C (79.2°F). Precipitation averages around 570 mm (22.4 in) annually, with close to three-fourths of that total falling from June to August. Extremes have ranged from -27.4°C (-17°F) to 42.6°C (109°F).

Joint research between American and Chinese researchers in 2006 concluded that much of the city's pollution comes from surrounding cities and provinces. On average 35-60% of the ozone can be traced to sources outside the city. Shandong Province and Tianjin Municipality have a significant influence on Beijing's air quality, partly due to the prevailing south/southeasterly flow during the summer and the mountains to the north and northwest.

One year after the 2008 Olympics, Beijing's officials reported that the city was enjoying the best air quality this decade because of the measures taken during the Games. Nonetheless, Beijing still faces air pollution problems. The US Embassy recorded levels of pollution beyond measurable levels on 21 February 2011, and advised people to stay indoors as a thick smog was covering the city. Measurements in January 2013 showed levels of air pollution, as measured by the density of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometres in size – higher than the maximum 755 mcg the US Embassy's equipment can measure.

Dust from the erosion of deserts in northern and northwestern China results in seasonal dust storms that plague the city; the Beijing Weather Modification Office sometimes artificially induces rainfall to fight such storms and mitigate their effects. In the first four months of 2006 alone, there were no fewer than eight such storms. In April 2002, one dust storm alone dumped nearly 50,000 tons of dust onto the city before moving on to Japan and Korea.

 

 
 

 



 


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