china's raging sands

Discover the giant sand storms that are wreaking havoc in China with Beijing frequently grinding to a halt, blanketed in airborne sand and what solutions can be found to stop the sands.

programme information


1 x 60'

Production Company

Discovery Communications Inc./MDA Singapore/Right Angle Media/CCTV





Episode Information

Giant sand storms are wreaking havoc in China. Beijing frequently grinds to a halt as it is blanketed in airborne sand. The sand originates in the northern and the western deserts, but once airborne the sands do not respect national boundaries. They fall on Korea and Japan, and even cross the Pacific Ocean to fall on the United States. The sandstorms are awesome. Walls of sand stretch a kilometre high, and from horizon to horizon. They have the force of a mid-sized earthquake, but last for days. Visibility drops to less than a metre, and temperatures have dropped as low as -55C. The storms can move at the speed of a freight train, and when it’s over, they deposit a layer of sand that suffocates the countryside. China is now engaged in a desperate race to stop the sands. Scientific research and government policy are converging to address the problem. But for herdsmen who have seen their entire flocks wiped out or for farmers who have seen two-thirds of their village disappear, a solution cannot be found soon enough…

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