Increases in surface ozone pollution in China from 2013 to 2019: anthropogenic and meteorological influences

Li, Ke; Jacob, Daniel J.; Shen, Lu; Lu, Xiao; De Smedt, Isabelle; Liao, Hong

Surface ozone data from the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) network show sustained increases across the country over the 2013–2019 period. Despite Phase 2 of the Clean Air Action Plan targeting ozone pollution, ozone was higher in 2018–2019 than in previous years. The mean summer 2013–2019 trend in maximum 8 h average (MDA8) ozone was 1.9 ppb ainline-formula−1 (inline-formulap<0.01) across China and 3.3 ppb ainline-formula−1 (inline-formulap<0.01) over the North China Plain (NCP). Fitting ozone to meteorological variables with a multiple linear regression model shows that meteorology played a significant but not dominant role in the 2013–2019 ozone trend, contributing 0.70 ppb ainline-formula−1 (inline-formulap<0.01) across China and 1.4 ppb ainline-formula−1 (inline-formulap=0.02) over the NCP. Rising June–July temperatures over the NCP were the main meteorological driver, particularly in recent years (2017–2019), and were associated with increased foehn winds. NCP data for 2017–2019 show a 15 % decrease in fine particulate matter (PMinline-formula2.5) that may be driving the continued anthropogenic increase in ozone, as well as unmitigated emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOC emission reductions, as targeted by Phase 2 of the Chinese Clean Air Action Plan, are needed to reverse the increase in ozone.

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Li, Ke / Jacob, Daniel J. / Shen, Lu / et al: Increases in surface ozone pollution in China from 2013 to 2019: anthropogenic and meteorological influences. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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