Articles | Volume 17, issue 21
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 13457–13471, 2017

Special issue: Regional transport and transformation of air pollution in...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 13457–13471, 2017

Research article 13 Nov 2017

Research article | 13 Nov 2017

Impacts of emission reduction and meteorological conditions on air quality improvement during the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China

Qian Huang1,2, Tijian Wang1, Pulong Chen1, Xiaoxian Huang3, Jialei Zhu4, and Bingliang Zhuang1 Qian Huang et al.
  • 1School of Atmospheric Sciences, CMA-NJU Joint Laboratory for Climate Prediction Studies, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate Change, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023, China
  • 2Scientific Research Academy of Guangxi Environmental Protection, Nanning, 530022, China
  • 3College of Plant Science & Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China
  • 4Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 48109, USA

Abstract. As the holding city of the 2nd Youth Olympic Games (YOG), Nanjing is highly industrialized and urbanized, and faces several air pollution issues. In order to ensure better air quality during the event, the local government took great efforts to control the emissions from pollutant sources. However, air quality can still be affected by synoptic weather, not only emission. In this paper, the influences of meteorological factors and emission reductions were investigated using observational data and numerical simulations with WRF–CMAQ (Weather Research and Forecasting – Community Multiscale Air Quality). During the month in which the YOG were held (August 2014), the observed hourly mean concentrations of SO2, NO2, PM10, PM2.5, CO and O3 were 11.6 µg m−3, 34.0 µg m−3, 57.8 µg m−3, 39.4 µg m−3, 0.9 mg m−3 and 38.8 µg m−3, respectively, which were below China National Ambient Air Quality Standard (level 2). However, model simulation showed that the weather conditions, such as weaker winds during the YOG, were adverse for better air quality and could increase SO2, NO2, PM10, PM2.5 and CO by 17.5, 16.9, 18.5, 18.8, 7.8 and 0.8 %. Taking account of local emission abatement only, the simulated SO2, NO2, PM10, PM2.5 and CO decreased by 24.6, 12.1, 15.1, 8.1 and 7.2 %. Consequently, stringent emission control measures can reduce the concentrations of air pollutants in the short term, and emission reduction is very important for air quality improvement during the YOG. A good example has been set for air quality protection for important social events.

Short summary
This paper investigate the important factor contributing to the improvement of air quality of Nanjing, China, during the 2nd Youth Olympic Games, held in August, 2014. The interesting finding is that meteorological factors are not beneficial to air quality during the YOG. However, emission reduction plays a more important role, which suggest that emission reduction is an effective way to cut air pollution levels for social events.
Final-revised paper