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These Insane Photos Show The Difference A Day Makes For Beijing's Skyline

Whoa.

Posted on December 5, 2015, at 11:11 a.m. ET

Air pollution is a big problem in China, with smog from factories and cars routinely blanketing entire cities.

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

On Tuesday, while countries were meeting to discuss climate change in Paris, Beijing and other northern cities recorded some of the worst smog of the year.

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

Eventually a strong north wind arrived to blow away the smog, which was nearly 25 times the acceptable standard set by the World Health Organization. Here was the scene on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Forbidden City:

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
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Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

And this is what 24 hours did to Tiananmen Square:

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
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Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

The iconic square was bustling with tourists once the smog cleared.

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
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Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

After the smog cleared Wednesday, you could even see the skyline in the distance.

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
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Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

In September, China announced a version of the cap-and-trade system as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This month's Paris summit is intended to bring countries together in a global deal to curb emissions and limit temperature rises as a result of climate change.

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