Role of atmospheric circulations in haze pollution in December 2016
Abstract. In the east of China, recent haze pollution has been severe and damaging. In addition to anthropogenic emissions, atmospheric circulations and local meteorological conditions were conducive factors. The number of December haze days over North China and the Huanghuai area has increased sharply since 2010 and was greatest in 2016. During 2016, the most aggressive control measures for anthropogenic emissions were implemented from 16 to 21 December, but the most severe haze pollution still occurred, covering approximately 25 % of the land area of China and lasting for 6 days. The atmospheric circulations must play critical roles in the sub-seasonal haze events. Actually, the positive phase of the East Atlantic–West Russia pattern in the middle troposphere strengthened the anomalous anti-cyclone over the NH area that confined vertical motion below. The associated southerly anomalies made the cold air and surface wind speed weaker, but enhanced the humid flow. Thus, the horizontal and vertical dispersion of atmospheric particulates was suppressed and the pollutants gathered within a narrow space. In December 2016, these key indices were strongly beneficial for haze occurrence and combined to result in the severest haze pollution. The influences of the preceding autumn sea surface temperature near the Gulf of Alaska and the subtropical eastern Pacific, October–November snow cover in western Siberia, and associated physical processes on haze pollution are also discussed.