Birds fly across the sky on a polluted day in Wuhan, Hubei province, on February 16, 2015.

Birds fly across the sky on a polluted day in Wuhan, Hubei province, on February 16, 2015.

Credit:

Reuters

Seeing The News: There was a spark of optimism when the US and China decided to strike a deal on carbon emissions. Every time one of these pictures of pollution in China surfaces, it's a reminder that for some countries, action on climate change can't come soon enough.

Ocean trash

The skies are one thing, but what about the oceans? You might remember the New York Times/Spot.us story about the plastic island floating in the Pacific Ocean, described by this incredible sentence: "(The) detritus of human life is collecting in a swirling current so large that it defies precise measurement." Well, The Wall Street Journal's Renée Rigdon has pulled together this graphic to help visualize the story in a new way.

Golden Weeks

It's the second of China's Golden Weeks, this time for the Lunar New Year celebrations. And that means one thing: Lots and lots of folks are traveling. The Washington Post created a heat map of that travel using location data from Baidu, a popular Chinese mobile app. They got data from about 350 million users, but that's still just a small snapshot of the estimated three billion passenger trips being made right now in China. Remember that the next time you're complaining about Thanksgiving traffic.

Traveling in style

One perk of being president of the United States is Air Force One, the president's personal aircraft. Not wanting to be outdone, North Korea's Central News Agency released photos on Monday of Kim Jong-un on his private plane. It seems the young leader remains more interested in showing off an image of power than addressing more serious issues in his country.

Eye witness of a barrel bomb

ISIS is grabbing headlines lately, but Seeing The News has also been trying to highlight the ongoing violence committed by Bashar al-Assad's forces. A few months ago, Storyful published a feature comprised of user-generated videos that show just how devastating Assad's barrel bombing has been. It's just a small reminder of the importance of this story. (Note: The video contains some graphic content.)

Seeing The News is a periodic selection of arresting visual topics around the world. What have we missed? Let us know in the comments, or tweet @sdavy with your tips.

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