Understanding the recent trend of haze pollution in eastern China: roles of climate change
Abstract. In this paper, the variation and trend of haze pollution in eastern China for winter of 1960–2012 were analyzed. With the overall increasing number of winter haze days in this period, the 5 decades were divided into three sub-periods based on the changes of winter haze days (WHD) in central North China (30–40° N) and eastern South China (south of 30° N) for east of 109° E mainland China. Results show that WHD kept gradually increasing during 1960–1979, remained stable overall during 1980–1999, and increased fast during 2000–2012. The author identified the major climate forcing factors besides total energy consumption. Among all the possible climate factors, variability of the autumn Arctic sea ice extent, local precipitation and surface wind during winter is most influential to the haze pollution change. The joint effect of fast increase of total energy consumption, rapid decline of Arctic sea ice extent and reduced precipitation and surface winds intensified the haze pollution in central North China after 2000. There is a similar conclusion for haze pollution in eastern South China after 2000, with the precipitation effect being smaller and spatially inconsistent.