Central eastern China was not too cloudy on the last day of 2002. Nevertheless, the ground was hidden from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) in many places by a dense
layer of grayish haze that probably was generated
by the burning of heating fuels such as coal.
North of the worst of the haze and south of
Beijing, snow covers much of the North China
Plain. The many dark smudges in the snow
cover (visible in the full-resolution version)
are local population centers.