Beijing Air Quality: pm2.5


The embassy site has not published data for Beijing for a week so far, since January 4. There isn't much I can do when they are back online, but if they publish historical data for this time (usually twice a year) I'll see if they have data and add it to the database if they do. New! see recent site status at (thanks to UptimeRobot)

2018 summaries:
Beijing's average PM2.5 has continued to improve dramatically again

(partial year)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
150 166 166 159 151 162 158 141 132 118 109
After dramatic improvement in 2017 the pace continued in 2018. The top 4 months of 2018 all bettered the previous best of August 2017, with September the new record holder at 72.7. January, September, and October all had 40% green days. The worst month was March, which rated #75 of the 127 months in the database. See the monthly comparison chart

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New! Beijing smog forecast from
Next time with good air: ???
Next morning with clean air: ???
Last updated at 2023-09-27 18:00 UTC

More complete forecast information can be found at

Scale: US China What does this mean?

Data for previous years can be accessed in csv form from the summary pages

No data found from 2023-09-27 02:00 to 2023-09-28 02:00
Wired had an article about how the US Embassy AQI tweets helped speed up China's monitoring and addressing its pollution problem. I'd like to think my page also helped.
The original purpose of this site was to save historical data, which at the time the US Embassy did not supply. A while ago they started making it available too. The site is They have some explicit restrictions and limitations on use of their data.

More information on my site can be found here, or visit my main site. That page also has links where you can get history updates or link to a graphics label that can be put on web pages. And, for ubuntu users, there is an app that shows the current API in the top bar.

PM2.5 measurements are commonly given in 2 different units, ug/m3 and AQI. The difference between them is explained here, and here is a calculator that will let you convert one to the other. AQI only goes up to 500, what do those "crazy bad" readings mean?

Here is a story about a guy who has another, more qualitative way to show the data: every day he takes a picture of the same scene outside his window. His blog (in Chinese) is at

Daily 2014 images

Daily 2015 images

Does not work well with IE, but does with Chrome, Firefox, and Opera - and I don't care about IE.