Between late November 2012 and early January 2013, China recorded its lowest temperatures in 28 years. In northeastern China, air temperatures dipped to -15.3°Celsius (4.5°Fahrenheit), according to the state news agency Xinhua. Frigid temperatures and blizzards stranded air and rail passengers, killed roughly 180,000 cattle, and forced authorities to open hundreds of shelters. Read more
Residents of Beijing and many other cities in China were warned to stay inside in mid-January 2013 as the nation faced one of the worst periods of air quality in recent history. The Chinese government ordered factories to scale back emissions, while hospitals saw spikes of more than 20 to 30 percent in patients complaining of respiratory issues, according to news reports. Read more.
In January 2013, intense bushfires blazed in Tasmania, an island south of Australia. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image showing numbers fires burning across the island on January 7, 2013. Red outlines indicate hot spots where MODIS detected unusually warm surface temperatures associated with fires. Read more.
NASA and university scientists have made the first measurement-based estimate of the amount and composition of tiny airborne particles that arrive in the air over North America each year. With a 3-D view of the atmosphere now possible from satellites, the scientists calculated that dust, not pollution, is the main ingredient of these imports.Read more.