Giant on the move
With only five days to go before the opening of the Olympic Games, the iconic Bird’s Nest national stadium in Beijing was visible under clear blue skies on Sunday (August 3).
Despite last-ditch attempts to turn the smokey and dusty Chinese capital into the promised pollution-free Olympic venue, the Olympic Green is frequently barely visible through the haze.
The Beijing Ministry for Environmental Protection was still showing the Chinese Air Pollution Index (API) from Saturday (August 2), which was API 34. This figure is valid from 1200 local the day before until 1200 local (0300 GMT) the next day. This is grade one, “excellent”, and counts as a “blue sky day”.
The temperature was forecast to be around 33 degrees celsius with only 50 percent humidity.
The authorities have ordered many cars off roads and halted much construction and factory production in an effort to cut smog before the Games open on August 8.
Pollution has been one of the biggest worries for Games organisers who have said they may reschedule endurance events to prevent health risks to athletes.