China's Toxic Sky

Since the beginning of this year, the levels of air pollution in Beijing have been dangerously high, with thick clouds of smog chasing people indoors, disrupting air travel, and affecting the health of millions. The past two weeks have been especially bad -- at one point the pollution level measured 40 times recommended safety levels. Authorities are taking short-term measures to combat the current crisis, shutting down some factories and limiting government auto usage. However, long-term solutions seem distant, as China's use of coal continues to rise, and the government remains slow to acknowledge and address the problems. * Starting with photo #2, a four-part set of these images is interactive, allowing you to click the photo and 'clear the air', viewing a difference over time.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • David Gray / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 9/26-10/02

    Pope Francis in Philadelphia, Supermoon eclipse, tidal bores in China, Taliban in Kunduz, Afghanistan, lightning over Rio de Janeiro, BASE jumping in Kuala Lumpur, Neil deGrasse Tyson hugging a robot, Wasteland Weekend in California, Putin and Obama share a toast, and much more.

  • Carlo Allegri / Reuters

    Albino Children in Tanzania Targeted by Body Part Hunters

    Children born with albinism in Tanzania live in constant danger of being attacked by people looking to profit from superstitious beliefs. Reuters photographer Carlo Allegri recently documented the lives of several Tanzanian children receiving care in New York after being brutalized in their home country.

  • Dan Walter / Boulder County Sheriff’s Office via AP

    Animals in the News

    It's time once again for a look at the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless species that share our planet. Today's photos include reindeer herders in far northern Russia, an orangutan taking a wheelbarrow ride in Indonesia, a wild horse roundup in Spain, flying foxes in India, orcas in Puget Sound, a leopard with its head stuck in a pot in India, and much more.

  • Al Sayyid Abd al Ghaffar / Library of Congress—Mohammed Al-Shaikh / AFP / Getty

    Mecca Then and Now, 128 Years of Growth

    A series of photographs on Mecca and its surrounding area taken sometime around 1887 by the photographer Al Sayyid Abd al Ghaffar, compared with images from similar locations taken in 2015.

Join the Discussion