Haze Over Northern China

Haze Over Northern China

A heavy layer of haze hung over northern China on May 10, 2012, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image. Haze is common in this region, where people rely on coal for electricity and heat, and dust often blows in from the east, as well.

Numerous fires burning west of Lake Baikal in recent weeks have likely exacerbated the poor air quality in China. MODIS observed plumes of smoke billowing into the air from wildfires on May 7 and May 8, 2012 (above). According to the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS, more than 72 fires were still burning roughly 23,000 hectares of forests in Siberia as of May 14.

Images & Animations


File Dimensions

  • 294x196
  • JPEG
  • 4400x5400
  • JPEG 2 MB
  • 720x480
  • JPEG
  • 4400x5600
  • JPEG 3 MB

Note: Often times, due to the size, browsers have a difficult time opening and displaying images. If you experiece an error when clicking on an image link, please try directly downloading the image (using a right click, save as method) to view it locally.


  • Data Date:

    May 10, 2012
  • Visualization Date:

    May 14, 2012
  • Sensor(s):

    Aqua - MODIS
    Terra - MODIS
NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration