Freak weather: Beijing's blue skies

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Freak weather: Beijing's blue skies

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Beijing's smog has been particularly horrendous this year. Clear days like this one are photo-celebration worthy. Check out the contrast between the good days and the bad.


Even in Beijing, glorious days like this one come along once in a while. All photos in this gallery were taken August 29.


It's uncommon to be able to see buildings in the distance through the usual smog.


Travelers to Beijing this year will marvel at the clear skies in this photo.




Last July, China unveiled The Action Plan for Air Pollution Control (2013--2017), which calls for 1.7 trillion yuan ($230 billion) to be spent in air pollution controls over the next five years.


Cleaner air will mean the return of travelers who were put off by the city's bad air this year.


What the Great Wall should look like every day.


One of the main reasons for the city's pollution is the geography, as the city is surrounded by mountains like a horseshoe, which means pollution gets blown in, builds up and remains stagnant over the capital on windless days.


In addition to the government, the number of institutions and individuals looking for a solution is increasing.


On certain days in Beijing, people can barely see or breathe.




















Beijing's smog has been particularly bad this year
China's Action Plan for Air Pollution Control calls for $230B to be spent on pollution controls
The rare clear day provokes a frenzy of picture taking in the capital



(CNN) -- It is not uncommon to see tourists and residents in Beijing frequently check their smartphones and laptops to get the city's latest air quality readings, such is the problem with pollution.
This year has been particularly bad as the Chinese capital has been blanketed by smog on most days. The gritty, dangerous air has shrouded buildings and caused flights delays.
To be fair, it is not always doom and Beijing-style gloom -- the city does enjoy good days too, as the gallery above shows.
Read: Beijing pollution: Does it put you off traveling there?
But these better days seem few and far between. Recent data from measurements of particulates in the air, indicated levels fluctuating between "very unhealthy" and "hazardous," according to the US Embassy's Beijing Air, an air-quality monitoring apps.
On a few occasions the numbers were so bad they were deemed "beyond index."
Taking action
In July, China unveiled The Action Plan for Air Pollution Control (2013--2017), which calls for 1.7 trillion yuan ($230 billion) to be spent on air pollution controls over the next five years.
In a separate initative, to help reduce smog, Beijing will begin testing a new automobile pollution tax this year, the first Chinese city to do so.
The pollution tax will be collected at the city's gas stations and will be added on to the standard gas prices. Beijing is also adding more than 1,000 electric taxis this year.
These measures may not be nearly enough, but they're still music to the ears of Beijing's 17 million residents who have been spluttering in the city's bad air.
Read: Living with Beijing's 'air-pocalypse'




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