The smog is so bad in Mexico City that officials are telling people to stay indoors

Mexico City has declared a smog emergency, warning residents to avoid spending time outdoors.

From Mexico News Daily:

At least 23 fires were reported in Mexico City yesterday, affecting nearly all of the capital’s 16 boroughs and contributing to poor air quality.

To avoid possible respiratory ailments, the commission recommended that residents remain indoors with windows and doors shut, and avoid intense exercise or other outdoor recreational activities.

According to Wikipedia: "after loosening regulations in 2015 by the Mexico City government, air pollution has steadily increased in recent years in Greater Mexico City."

Image: Shutterstock/Javier Garcia Read the rest

Rather than fixing the cause, Bangkok tries to spray its smog away using water cannons

Bangkok, Thailand is now considered one of the top 10 polluted cities in the world, according to Global News. And to combat the problem, Bangkok is attacking the smog with water cannons.

Thai authorities used water cannons on Monday in an effort to combat Bangkok’s air pollution. Masks were also provided after hazardous dust particles reportedly reached an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 180.

Any level above 150 is considered unhealthy and Bangkok ranked in the top 10 of polluted cities worldwide on Monday.

The particles, known as PM 2.5, are a mixture of liquid droplets and solid particles that can include dust, soot and smoke.

Diesel fumes contributed up to 60 per cent of the pollution while burning rubbish and crops attributed about 35 per cent.

And it appears they've even begun to add sugar-infused water, hoping the added sugar will trap the more dangerous pollutants, even though the sweet water could end up causing mold.

Via Oddity Central:

Thai media reported that in a desperate attempt to bring down critical air pollution levels in Bangkok, local authorities started experimenting with sweetened water, instead of regular one. The idea behind the bizarre pollution-fighting strategy is that by increasing the viscosity of the water using sugar will allow it to trap more dangerous particles when sprayed into the air. However, some experts believe that the unconventional approach could do more harm than good.

Dr. Weerachai Putthawong, a professor of organic chemistry at Kasetsart University, told Workingpoint News that he has serious doubts that the sweetened water will yield better results than regular water.

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Here's what Chinese smog does to a high-speed train

Chinese social media has been blowing up this year with images of high speed trains that have passed through heavy smog on their routes. Here's the same train when it's clean: Read the rest

Timelapse of dangerous Beijing smog rolling in

On January 2, YouTuber Chas Pope captured a noxious cloud of Beijing smog rolling toward his building.

I made this earlier today - a bank of AQI400+ smog arriving in Beijing within the space of 20 minutes. It's already gone viral on the Chinese internet, let's see what happens internationally...

Luckily, Beijing subways have the answer: your own anti-smog rebreather!

Beijing Airpocalypse Arrival (YouTube / Chas Pope) Read the rest

This is how blue the skies were when Beijing banned 2.5 million cars for two weeks

In Beijing, China banned 2.5 million cars from driving for 2 weeks to get this beautiful blue sky for a World War II commemorative parade. As soon as the parade was over, the ban was lifted, and the blue vanished within 24 hours. Read the rest

Inside Beijing's airpocalypse – a city made "almost uninhabitable" by pollution

Image: Shutterstock

The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright reports on the miasmal atmosphere enveloping Beijing. Read the rest