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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-957
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-957
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  12 Oct 2020

12 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Future changes in Beijing haze events under different anthropogenic aerosol emission scenarios

Lixia Zhang1,2, Laura J. Wilcox3, Nick J. Dunstone4, David J. Paynter5, Shuai Hu1,6, Massimo Bollasina7, Donghuan Li8, Jonathan K. P. Shonk3,a, and Liwei Zou1 Lixia Zhang et al.
  • 1LASG, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 2Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, 210044, China
  • 3National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK
  • 4Met Office Hadley Centre, FitzRoy Road, Exeter EX1 3PB, UK
  • 5NOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey
  • 6University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • 7School of Geosciences, Grant Institute, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  • 8Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • anow at: MetOffice@Reading, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK

Abstract. Air pollution is a major issue in China and one of the largest threats to public health. We investigated future changes in atmospheric circulation patterns associated with haze events in the Beijing region, and the severity of haze events during these circulation conditions, from 2016 to 2049 under two different aerosol scenarios: a maximum technically feasible aerosol reduction (MTFR) and a current legislation aerosol scenario (CLE). In both cases greenhouse gas emissions follow the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5. Under RCP4.5 with CLE aerosol the frequency of circulation patterns associated with haze events increases due to a weakening of the East Asian winter monsoon via increased sea level pressure over the North Pacific. The rapid reduction in anthropogenic aerosol and precursor emissions in MTFR further increases the frequency of circulation patterns associated with haze events, due to further increases of the sea level pressure over the North Pacific and a reduction in the intensity of the Siberian high. Even with the aggressive aerosol reductions in MTFR periods of poor visibility, represented by above normal aerosol optical depth (AOD), still occur in conjunction with atmospheric circulation patterns currently associated with haze in the current climate. However, the intensity of poor visibility decreases in MTFR, so that haze events are less dangerous in this scenario by 2050 compared to CLE, and relative to the current baseline. This study reveals the competing effects of aerosol emission reductions on future haze events through their direct contribution to haze and their influence on the atmospheric circulation patterns. A compound consideration of these two impacts should be taken in future policy making.

Lixia Zhang et al.

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Short summary
The projected frequency of circulation patterns associated with haze events under RCP4.5 increases due to a weakening of East Asian winter monsoon. Rapid reduction in anthropogenic aerosol further increases the frequency of circulation patterns, but haze events are less dangerous. This study reveals competing effects of aerosol emission reductions on future haze events through their direct contribution to haze intensity and their influence on the atmospheric circulation patterns.
The projected frequency of circulation patterns associated with haze events under RCP4.5...
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