Articles | Volume 16, issue 16
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 10333–10350, 2016
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 10333–10350, 2016

Research article 16 Aug 2016

Research article | 16 Aug 2016

One-year simulation of ozone and particulate matter in China using WRF/CMAQ modeling system

Jianlin Hu1, Jianjun Chen2,1, Qi Ying3,1, and Hongliang Zhang4,1 Jianlin Hu et al.
  • 1Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, Jiangsu Engineering Technology Research Center of Environmental Cleaning Materials, Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, 219 Ningliu Road, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 2Air Quality Planning and Science Division, California Air Resources Board, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, USA
  • 3Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
  • 4Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

Abstract. China has been experiencing severe air pollution in recent decades. Although an ambient air quality monitoring network for criteria pollutants has been constructed in over 100 cities since 2013 in China, the temporal and spatial characteristics of some important pollutants, such as particulate matter (PM) components, remain unknown, limiting further studies investigating potential air pollution control strategies to improve air quality and associating human health outcomes with air pollution exposure. In this study, a yearlong (2013) air quality simulation using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and the Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) model was conducted to provide detailed temporal and spatial information of ozone (O3), total PM2.5, and chemical components. Multi-resolution Emission Inventory for China (MEIC) was used for anthropogenic emissions and observation data obtained from the national air quality monitoring network were collected to validate model performance. The model successfully reproduces the O3 and PM2.5 concentrations at most cities for most months, with model performance statistics meeting the performance criteria. However, overprediction of O3 generally occurs at low concentration range while underprediction of PM2.5 happens at low concentration range in summer. Spatially, the model has better performance in southern China than in northern China, central China, and Sichuan Basin. Strong seasonal variations of PM2.5 exist and wind speed and direction play important roles in high PM2.5 events. Secondary components have more boarder distribution than primary components. Sulfate (SO42−), nitrate (NO3), ammonium (NH4+), and primary organic aerosol (POA) are the most important PM2.5 components. All components have the highest concentrations in winter except secondary organic aerosol (SOA). This study proves the ability of the CMAQ model to reproduce severe air pollution in China, identifies the directions where improvements are needed, and provides information for human exposure to multiple pollutants for assessing health effects.

Short summary
A yearlong (2013) air-quality simulation was conducted to provide detailed temporal and spatial information of ozone, PM2.5 total and chemical components. The paper firstly compared the simulated air pollutants in China with country-wide public available observations for a whole year. It proves the ability of CMAQ in reproducing severe air pollution in China, shows directions that need to be improved, and benefits future source apportionment and human exposure studies.
Final-revised paper