Quantitative impacts of meteorology and precursor emission changes on the long-term trend of ambient ozone over the Pearl River Delta, China, and implications for ozone control strategy

Yang, Leifeng; Luo, Huihong; Yuan, Zibing; Zheng, Junyu; Huang, Zhijiong; Li, Cheng; Lin, Xiaohua; Louie, Peter K. K.; Chen, Duohong; Bian, Yahui

China is experiencing increasingly serious ambient ozone pollution, including the economically developed Pearl River Delta (PRD) region. However, the underlying reasons for the ozone increase remain largely unclear, leading to perplexity regarding formulating effective ozone control strategies. In this study, we quantitatively examine the impacts of meteorology and precursor emissions from within and outside of the PRD on the evolution of ozone during the past decade by developing a statistical analysis framework combining meteorological adjustment and source apportionment. We found that meteorological conditions mitigated ozone increase, and that their variation can account for a maximum of 15 % of the annual ozone concentration in the PRD. Precursor emissions from outside the PRD (“nonlocal”) have the largest contribution to ambient ozone in the region and show a consistently increasing trend, whereas emissions from within the PRD (“local”) show a significant spatial heterogeneity and play a more important role during ozone episodes over the southwest of the region. Under general conditions, the impact on the northeastern PRD is positive but decreasing, and in the southwest it is negative but increasing. During ozone episodes, the impact on the northeastern PRD is negative and decreasing, whereas in the southwestern PRD it is positive but decreasing. The central and western PRD are the only areas with an increasing local ozone contribution. The spatial heterogeneity in both the local ozone contribution and its trend under general conditions and during ozone episodes is well interpreted by a conceptual diagram that collectively takes ozone precursor emissions and their changing trends, ozone formation regimes, and the monsoonal and microscale synoptic conditions over different subregions of the PRD into consideration. In particular, we conclude that an inappropriate NOx∕VOC control ratio within the PRD over the past few years is most likely responsible for the ozone increase over southwest of this region, both under general conditions and during ozone episodes. By investigating the ozone evolution influenced by emission changes within and outside of the PRD during the past decade, this study highlights the importance of establishing a dichotomous ozone control strategy to tackle general conditions and pollution events separately. NOx emission control should be further strengthened to alleviate the peak ozone level during episodes. Detailed investigation is needed to retrieve appropriate NOx∕VOC ratios for different emission and meteorological conditions, so as to maximize the ozone reduction efficiency in the PRD.

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Zitierform:

Yang, Leifeng / Luo, Huihong / Yuan, Zibing / et al: Quantitative impacts of meteorology and precursor emission changes on the long-term trend of ambient ozone over the Pearl River Delta, China, and implications for ozone control strategy. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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