Articles | Volume 14, issue 1
Research article
09 Jan 2014
Research article |  | 09 Jan 2014

Airborne measurements of gas and particle pollutants during CAREBeijing-2008

W. Zhang, T. Zhu, W. Yang, Z. Bai, Y. L. Sun, Y. Xu, B. Yin, and X. Zhao

Abstract. Measurements of gaseous pollutants – including ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX = NO + NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), particle number concentrations (5.6–560 nm and 0.47–30 μm) – and meteorological parameters (T, RH, P) were conducted during the Campaigns of Air Quality Research in Beijing and Surrounding Regions in 2008 (CAREBeijing-2008), from 27 August through 13 October 2008. The data from a total 18 flights (70 h flight time) from near the surface to 2100 m altitude were obtained with a Yun-12 aircraft in the southern surrounding areas of Beijing (38–40° N, 114–118° E). The objectives of these measurements were to characterize the regional variation of air pollution during and after the Olympics of 2008, determine the importance of air mass trajectories and to evaluate of other factors that influence the pollution characteristics. The results suggest that there are primarily four distinct sources that influenced the magnitude and properties of the pollutants in the measured region based on back-trajectory analysis: (1) southerly transport of air masses from regions with high pollutant emissions, (2) northerly and northeasterly transport of less pollutant air from further away, (3) easterly transport from maritime sources where emissions of gaseous pollutant are less than from the south but still high in particle concentrations, and (4) the transport of air that is a mixture from different regions; that is, the air at all altitudes measured by the aircraft was not all from the same sources. The relatively long-lived CO concentration is shown to be a possible transport tracer of long-range transport from the northwesterly direction, especially at the higher altitudes. Three factors that influenced the size distribution of particles – i.e., air mass transport direction, ground source emissions and meteorological influences – are also discussed.

Final-revised paper