20 May 2021

20 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Measurement Report: A Multi-Year Study on the Impacts of Chinese New Year Celebrations on Air Quality in Beijing, China

Benjamin Foreback1,2, Lubna Dada2, Kaspar Dällenbach2, Chao Yan1,2, Lili Wang3, Biwu Chu2,4, Ying Zhou1, Tom V. Kokkonen2,6, Mona Kurppa7, Rosaria E. Pileci5, Yonghong Wang2, Tommy Chan2, Juha Kangasluoma1,2, Lin Zhuohui1, Yishou Guo1, Chang Li1, Rima Baalbaki2, Joni Kujansuu1,2, Xiaolong Fan1, Zemin Feng1, Pekka Rantala2, Shahzad Gani2, Federico Bianchi1,2, Veli-Matti Kerminen2, Tuukka Petäjä1,2,6, Markku Kulmala1,2,3, Yongchun Liu1, and Pauli Paasonen1,2 Benjamin Foreback et al.
  • 1Aerosol and Haze Laboratory, Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Soft Matter Science and Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing, China
  • 2Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research/Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 3Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 4State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • 5Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), 5232 Villigen, Switzerland
  • 6Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
  • 7Atmospheric Composition Research, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. We investigated the influence of the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations on local air quality in Beijing from 2013 through 2019, bringing together comprehensive observations at the newly-constructed Aerosol and Haze Laboratory at Beijing University of Chemical Technology – West Campus (BUCT-AHL) and data from Chinese government air quality measurement stations. In this study, these datasets are used together to provide a detailed analysis of air quality during the CNY over multiple years. Before CNY in 2018, the city of Beijing prohibited the use of fireworks and firecrackers in an effort to reduce air pollution. In 2018 air pollutant concentrations still showed a significant peak during the CNY night, even though not as strong as in previous years, but in 2019, the pollution levels were notably lower. During the studied 7-year study period, it appears that there has been a long-term decrease in CNY related emissions since 2016. Based on our analysis, the pollutants with the most notable spike during CNY were sulfur dioxide and particulate matter, including black carbon. Sulfuric acid concentration followed the sulfur dioxide concentration and showed elevated overnight concentration in CNY 2018, but not notably in 2019. Additionally, spectrometer data and analysis of aerosol particle number size distribution shows direct emissions of particles with diameters around 20 nm during CNY in 2018 and 2019. Meteorological conditions were comparable between the latest two years, indicating that air quality associated with the CNY may be improving, perhaps a positive effect of the restrictions. The longer observations in the future will provide confirmation for these trends.

Benjamin Foreback et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-192', Anonymous Referee #2, 19 Jun 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-192', Anonymous Referee #4, 06 Sep 2021

Benjamin Foreback et al.

Benjamin Foreback et al.


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Short summary
This study analysed air quality in Beijing during the Chinese New Year over seven years, including data from a new in-depth measurement station. This is one of few studies to look at long-term impacts, including the outcome of firework restrictions starting in 2018. Results show that firework pollution has gone down since 2016, indicating a positive result from the restrictions. Results of this study may be useful in making future decisions about the use of fireworks to improve air quality.