The French artist Claude Monet recorded how dirty air obscured the light in London at the start of the 20th century – and the problem has not gone away

While Hurricane Ophelia battered Ireland, to the east the sun turned red and a dense brown cloud rendered central and southern England in sepia. Street lamps switched on, cars needed headlights and lights were needed indoors. Social media and news reporters likened the effect to scenes from Blade Runner.

Related: Monet’s obsession with London fog

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