A modeling analysis of a heavy air pollution episode occurred in Beijing
Abstract. The concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM) and ozone in Beijing often exceed healthful levels in recent years, therefore China is to taking steps to improve Beijing's air quality for the 2008 Olympic Games. In this paper, the Models-3 Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) Modeling System was used to investigate a heavy air pollution episode in Beijing during 3–7 April 2005 to obtain the basic information of how heavy air pollution formed and the contributions of local sources and surround emissions. The modeling domain covered from East Asia with four nested grids with 81 to 3 km horizontal resolution focusing on urban Beijing. This was coupled with a regional emissions inventory with a 10 km resolution and a local 1 km Beijing emissions database. The trend of predicted concentrations of various pollutants agreed reasonably well with the observations and captured the main features of this heavy pollution episode. The simulated column concentration distribution of PM was correlated well with the MODIS remote sensing products. Control runs with and without Beijing emissions were conducted to quantify the contributions of non-Beijing sources (NBS) to the Beijing local air pollution. The contributions of NBS to each species differed spatially and temporally with the order of PM2.5>PM10>SO2> soil for this episode. The percentage contribution of NBS to fine particle (PM2.5) in Beijing was averaged about 39%, up to 53% at the northwest of urban Beijing and only 15% at southwest. The spatial distribution of NBS contributions for PM10 was similar to that for PM2.5, with a slightly less average percentage of about 30%. The average NBS contributions for SO2 and soil (diameter between 2.5 μm and 10 μm) were 18% and 10%. In addition, the pollutant transport flux was calculated and compared at different levels to investigate transport pathway and magnitude. It was found that the NBS contribution correlated with the transport flux, contributing 60% of PM10 concentration in Beijing at the time of transport flux peak during a strong episode with a transport path from southwest to northeast.