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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-530
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-530
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  22 Jun 2020

22 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Enhancement of secondary aerosol formation by reduced anthropogenic emissions during Spring Festival 2019 and enlightenment for regional PM2.5 control in Beijing

Yuying Wang1, Zhanqing Li2, Qiuyan Wang1, Xiaoai Jin3, Peng Yan4, Maureen Cribb2, Yanan Li4, Cheng Yuan1, Hao Wu3, Tong Wu3, Rongmin Ren3, and Zhaoxin Cai3 Yuying Wang et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, School of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 2Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 4CMA Meteorological Observation Center, Centre for Atmosphere Watch and Services, Beijing 100081, China

Abstract. A comprehensive field experiment measuring aerosol chemical and physical properties at a suburban site in Beijing around the 2019 Spring Festival was carried out to investigate the impact of reduced anthropogenic emissions on aerosol formation. Sharply reduced sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations during the festival holiday resulted in an unexpected increase in the surface ozone (O3) concentration, leading to enhancement of the atmospheric oxidation capacity. Simultaneously, the reduced anthropogenic emissions resulted in massive decreases in particle number concentration at all sizes and the mass concentrations of organics and black carbon. However, the mass concentrations of inorganics (especially sulfate) decreased weakly. Detailed analyses of the sulfur oxidation ratio and the nitrogen oxidation ratio suggest that sulfate formation during the holiday could be promoted by enhanced nocturnal aqueous-phase chemical reactions between SO2 and O3 under moderate relative humidity (RH) conditions (40 % < RH < 80 %). Daytime photochemical reactions in winter in Beijing mainly controlled nitrate formation, which was enhanced a little during the holiday. A regional analysis of air pollution patterns shows that the enhanced formation of secondary aerosols occurred throughout the entire Beijing-Tian-Hebei (BTH) region during the holiday, partly offsetting the decrease in particle matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm. Our results highlight the necessary control of O3 formation to reduce secondary pollution in winter. The emission control of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may be more suitable than the emission control of NOx to reduce O3 because VOCs under current emission conditions likely control the formation of O3 in winter in the BTH region.

Yuying Wang et al.

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Yuying Wang et al.

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Short summary
The unexpected increase in the surface ozone concentration was found along with the reduced anthropogenic emissions during the 2019 Chinese Spring Festival in Beijing. The enhanced atmospheric oxidation capacity could promote the formation of secondary aerosols, especially sulfate, which offset the decrease in PM2.5 mass concentration. This phenomenon was likely to exist throughout the entire Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region to be a contributing factor to the haze during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The unexpected increase in the surface ozone concentration was found along with the reduced...
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