Dominant patterns of summer ozone pollution in eastern China and associated atmospheric circulations
Surface ozone has been severe during summers in the eastern parts of China, damaging human health and flora and fauna. During 2015–2018, ground-level ozone pollution increased and intensified from south to north. In North China and the Huanghuai region, the O3 concentrations were highest. Two dominant patterns of summer ozone pollution were determined, i.e., a south–north covariant pattern and a south–north differential pattern. The anomalous atmospheric circulations composited for the first pattern manifested as a zonally enhanced East Asian deep trough and as a western Pacific subtropical high, whose western ridge point shifted northward. The local hot, dry air and intense solar radiation enhanced the photochemical reactions to elevate the O3 pollution levels in North China and the Huanghuai region; however, the removal of pollutants was decreased. For the second pattern, the broad positive geopotential height anomalies at high latitudes significantly weakened cold air advection from the north, and those extending to North China resulted in locally high temperatures near the surface. In a different manner, the western Pacific subtropical high transported sufficient water vapor to the Yangtze River Delta and resulted in a locally adverse environment for the formation of surface ozone. In addition, the most dominant pattern in 2017 and 2018 was different from that in previous years, which is investigated as a new feature.