Articles | Volume 15, issue 21
Research article
13 Nov 2015
Research article |  | 13 Nov 2015

Impact of emission controls on air quality in Beijing during APEC 2014: lidar ceilometer observations

G. Tang, X. Zhu, B. Hu, J. Xin, L. Wang, C. Münkel, G. Mao, and Y. Wang

Abstract. The implementation of emission reductions during the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit provides a valuable opportunity to study air pollution in Beijing. From 15 October to 30 November 2014, the height of the atmospheric mixing layer and the vertical attenuated backscattering coefficient profiles were observed online using a~lidar ceilometer. Compared with fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and aerosol optical depth (AOD) data, the attenuated backscattering coefficients measured by the lidar ceilometer were strongly correlated with the PM2.5 concentration and AOD (correlation coefficients of 0.89 and 0.86, respectively). This result demonstrated the reliability of the vertical distribution of particles measured by the lidar ceilometer. By classifying different degrees of air pollution based on visibility, we found that during the transition period of air pollution, which was affected by transport of southerly flows in the mixing layer, the attenuated backscattering coefficient from 0 to 1500 m was enhanced by approximately 1.4 Mm−1 sr−1 (140 %). During the polluted period, the attenuated backscattering coefficient from 0 to 300 m suddenly increased, and the coefficient near the surface peaked (approximately 14 Mm−1 sr−1); however, the attenuated backscattering coefficient from 300 to 900 m decreased gradually, and the average value from 0 to 1500 m decreased by 0.5 Mm−1sr−1 (20 %). The height of the mixing layer gradually decreased, and the ratio of CO / SO2 gradually increased, which indicate that the polluted period was dominated by local contribution. Due to the emission reductions during APEC (DAPEC), the concentration of PM2.5 decreased by 59.2 and 58.9 % and visibility improved by 70.2 and 56.0 % compared to before (BAPEC) and after APEC (AAPEC), respectively. The contribution of regional transport in DAPEC decreased by approximately 36 and 25 %, and the local contribution decreased by approximately 48 and 54 % compared to BAPEC and AAPEC, respectively. The most effective method of controlling air pollution in the Beijing area is to reduce regional emissions during the transition period and reduce local emissions during the polluted period.

Short summary
The manuscript is the first paper to validate and discuss the high-resolution vertical profiles of aerosols using a ceilometer in Beijing, China. We introduce the contribution of aerosols during different air pollution episodes in Beijing. Also, we seize the opportunity of emission reduction during APEC to study the contribution of aerosols. The results are helpful to provide guidance in redefining coordinated emission control strategies to control the regional pollution over northern China.
Final-revised paper