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In recent years, summer O3 pollution over eastern China has become more serious, and it is even the case that surface O3 and PM2.5 pollution can co-occur. However, the synoptic circulation pattern (SWP) related to this compound pollution remains unclear. Regional PM2.5 and O3 compound pollutions are characterized by various SWPs with different dominant factors. Our findings provide insights into the regional co-occurring high PM2.5 and O3 levels via the effects of certain meteorological factors.
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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-596
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-596

  06 Aug 2020

06 Aug 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Synoptic drivers of co-occurring summertime ozone and PM2.5 pollution in eastern China

Lian Zong1, Yuanjian Yang1, Meng Gao2, Hong Wang1, Peng Wang3, Hongliang Zhang4, Linlin Wang5, Guicai Ning6, Chao Liu1, Yubin Li1, and Zhiqiu Gao1,5 Lian Zong et al.
  • 1School of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, China
  • 2Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR, China
  • 3Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy, Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People's Republic of China, Beijing, China
  • 4Department of environmental science and engineering, Fudan University, China
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry (LAPC), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 6Institute of Environment, Energy and Sustainability, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N. T., Hong Kong, China

Abstract. In recent years, surface ozone (O3) pollution during summertime (June–August) over eastern China has become more serious, and it is even the case that surface O3 and PM2.5 (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm in the air) pollution can co-occur. However, the synoptic circulation pattern related to this compound pollution remains unclear. In this study, the T-mode principal component analysis method is used to objectively classify four synoptic weather patterns (SWPs) that occur over eastern China, based on the geopotential heights at 500 hPa during summertime from 2015 to 2018. Four SWPs of eastern China are closely related to the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH), exhibiting, significant intraseasonal and interannual variations. Note that remarkable spatial and temporal disparities of surface O3 and PM2.5 pollution are given under these four different SWPs according to the ground-level air quality and meteorological observations. In areas controlled by the WPSH or the prevailing westerlies, O3 pollution is mainly caused by photochemical reactions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds under weather conditions of high temperature, moderate humidity and slight precipitation. In particular, the warm moist flow brought by the WPSH can promote hygroscopic growth of fine particulate matter in some local areas, resulting in the increase of PM2.5 concentrations, which may form co-occurring surface O3 and PM2.5 pollution. In addition, the low boundary layer height and frequency of light-wind days are closely related to the transmission and diffusion of pollutants under the different SWPs, modulating the levels of O3–PM2.5 compound pollution. Overall, our findings demonstrate the different roles played by synoptic weather patterns in driving regional surface O3–PM2.5 compound pollution, in addition to the large quantities of emissions, and may also provide insights into the regional co-occurring high PM2.5 and high O3 level via the effects of certain meteorological factors.

Lian Zong et al.

 
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Lian Zong et al.

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Short summary
In recent years, summer O3 pollution over eastern China has become more serious, and it is even the case that surface O3 and PM2.5 pollution can co-occur. However, the synoptic circulation pattern (SWP) related to this compound pollution remains unclear. Regional PM2.5 and O3 compound pollutions are characterized by various SWPs with different dominant factors. Our findings provide insights into the regional co-occurring high PM2.5 and O3 levels via the effects of certain meteorological factors.
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