The Slatest

Stunning Beijing Photos Show City Darkened by Smog at Midday

Cars navigate heavy pollution in Beijing in a photo taken on Dec. 1, 2015. (This photo, unlike two shown below, was not timestamped and was not necessarily taken at midday.)

Photo by Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

As if to underline the relevance of a crucial climate change summit that just got underway in Paris, surreal photos out of Beijing show the Chinese city in a dusklike state of near-darkness due to smog. Here’s one posted by the editor of the New York Times’ website in China:

And another from a Wall Street Journal reporter:

Pedestrians wore masks to protect themselves. (This photo was actually taken at night.)

Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

Per the BBC, “a reading at the US embassy in Beijing on Tuesday put levels of harmful microscopic particles at 634 micrograms per cubic metre, compared with the World Health Organisation’s maximum recommended limit of 25 micrograms per cubic metre.”