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Beijing Geography and Climate

Geography of Beijing

Beijing is situated at the northern tip of the roughly triangular North China Plain, which opens to the south and east of the city. Mountains to the north, northwest and west shield the city and northern China's agricultural heartland from the encroaching desert steppes. The northwestern part of the municipality, especially Yanqing County and Huairou District, are dominated by the Jundu Mountains, while the western part of the municipality is framed by the Xishan Mountains. The Great Wall of China, which stretches across the northern part of Beijing Municipality, made use of this rugged topography to defend against nomadic incursions from the steppes. Mount Dongling in the Xishan ranges and on the border with Hebei is the municipality's highest point, with an altitude of 2303 m. Major rivers flowing through the municipality include the Yongding River and the Chaobai River, part of the Hai River system, and flow in a southerly direction. Beijing is also the northern terminus of the Grand Canal of China which was built across the North China Plain to Hangzhou. Miyun Reservoir, built on the upper reaches of the Chaobai River, is Beijing's largest reservoir, and crucial to its water supply.

The urban area of Beijing is situated in the south-central part of the municipality and occupies a small but expanding part of the municipality's area. It spreads out in bands of concentric ring roads, of which the fifth and outermost, the Sixth Ring Road (the numbering starts at 2), passes through several satellite towns. Tian'anmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) and Tian'anmen Square are at the centre of Beijing, and are directly to the south of the Forbidden City, former residence of the emperors of China. To the west of Tian'anmen is Zhongnanhai, residence of the paramount leaders of the People's Republic of China. Running through central Beijing from east to west is Chang'an Avenue, one of Beijing's main thoroughfares.

Climate of Beijing

Beijing's climate is a monsoon-influenced humid continental climate which is characterized by hot and humid summer as a result of East Asian Monsoon, and a generally cold, windy as well as dry winter. The spring and autumn is relatively short when compared with the duration of summer and winter. The annual temperature is around 11.8 degree Celsius, January can be considered as the coldest month in Beijing for average temperature at -4.6 degree Celsius, while July will be the hottest month in Beijing. The annual average of precipitation is about 644mm which the majority of rain occurs in summer.

Beijing Air Quality
Air pollution has been an important issue in Beijing city ever since before. Besides the source of pollution that comes from Beijing itself, pollutions from surrounding cities such as Shandong and Tianjin also results a great effect to the air quality of Beijing. In order to maintain within the levels of air pollution which is standardized by the World Health Organization, nearly US$ 17 billion was spent to clean the air. Furthermore, a number of air improvement schemes have been taken by Beijing government to ensure the air quality for the duration of Beijing Olympic 2008. For good news, the benefits of the actions are still remained until today.

First of all, the old coal energy supply structure has been replaced by natural gas which is more environmental friendly. Relocation of pollutants-generated enterprises is also taken place and new technology for reducing pollutants has been induced together with this process. Besides that, thousands of old taxis and buses have been replaced as well as the opening of new subway lines to encourage residents to use public transport. On top of that, plantation of trees in the city centre has also offering a better living environment to the public while adding some greenery scene within modern architectures. All of these actions have therefore ensured a better air quality in Beijing.

Beijing Dust Storm
The spring season in Beijing is the period where dust storm is most probably to attack. Dust storm occurs in Beijing is due to the erosion of desert in Northern and Northwestern part of China which brings large amount of dust to the city which is located along the direction of wind blow. Many actions have been taken by the authority in order to reduce the effect of dust storm. Large scale of tree plantation is carried out for long run benefits. While in short run, artificial rain falls are induced by Beijing Weather Modification Office sometimes, in order to fight such storms and mitigate their effects.

Global Warming impact on Beijing
Global warming produces a huge impact on World climate. Like other parts of the World, Beijing's climate changed rapid in the last 15 years. It made Summer hotter and longer, Winter warmer and shorter. Especially on July 23, 1999, Beijing's daytime temperature reached 42.6 degrees centigrade, the hottest day recorded in half a century. As the whole World is fighting against the Global warming now, hope it may gone in the near future!