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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Haze Daze


The hazy days are back again with a vengeance.

Every year around this time, illegal land clearing activities in Indonesia lead to raging forest fires that utterly fuck up the air for neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Singapore.

I don't know how many bilateral agreements have been signed regarding this, but the fact remains - we still get burnt, crappy air yearly.

This time though, the air is especially bad. Just check out this morning's pollution index at the National Environment Agency (NEA):


That is well into the "unhealthy" category. I think it hasn't been this bad since 1997.

Visibility has dropped to only a few kilometres. Everywhere you go there is a strong smell of burnt ash.

Just contrast that photo with this one that I took in April. Bukit Timah (the hill in the middle) is completely obscured by haze.

Thick haze is supposed to produce spectacularly red sunsets, but this haze is so bad that for most of the day I can't even find the sun. Shortly after I took this photo, the sun disappeared behind the haze again.