Dominant synoptic patterns associated with the decay process of PM 2.5 pollution episodes around Beijing

Wang, Xiaoyan; Zhang, Renhe; Tan, Yanke; Yu, Wei

The variation in the concentrations of ambient inline-formulaPM2.5 (particles with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 inline-formulaµm) generally forms a continuous sawtooth cycle with a recurring smooth increase followed by a sharp decrease. The episode of abrupt decay of pollution is mostly meteorological in origin and is controlled by the passage of synoptic systems. One affordable and effective measure for quickly reducing inline-formulaPM2.5 concentrations in northern China is to wait for a strong wind to arrive. However, it is still unclear how strong the wind needs to be and exactly what kind of synoptic system most effectively results in the rapid decay of air pollution episodes. inline-formulaPM2.5 variations over the 28 pollution channel cities of the Beijing region are investigated to determine the mechanisms by which synoptic patterns affect the decay processes of pollution episodes. This work shows more obvious day-to-day variations in inline-formulaPM2.5 concentration in winter than in summer, which implies that wintertime inline-formulaPM2.5 variations are more sensitive to meteorological factors. There were 365 decay processes from January 2014 to March 2020, and 97 of them were related to the effective wet deposition. In total, inline-formula26 %inline-formula43 % of inline-formulaPM2.5 pollutant is removed by the wet deposition in different seasons. Two dominant circulation patterns are identified in summer. All the other three seasons have three circulation types (CTs), respectively. The three CTs in spring show the same patterns as those in autumn and winter. The circulation patterns beneficial to the decay processes all exhibit a higher-than-normal surface wind speed, a negative relative humidity anomaly and net outflow of inline-formulaPM2.5 from the domain. In addition, CT1 in spring, autumn and winter is controlled by northeasterly wind and features the most significant horizontal net outflow of air pollutants and effective upward spread of air pollutants to the free atmosphere. CT2 is the most frequent CT in autumn and winter, with the highest wind speed from the northwest, highest boundary layer height (BLH) and lowest relative humidity among the three CTs, all of which are favorable for the reduction of inline-formulaPM2.5 concentrations. In CT3, strong vertical wind shear within the boundary layer enhances the mixing of surface air pollutants, which is the extra cleaning mechanism besides dry and clean air mass inflow. inline-formulaPM2.5 concentrations show significant decreases of more than 37 %, 41 % and 27 % after the passage of CT1, CT2 and CT3, respectively. A dry airflow with a positive BLH anomaly and the effective horizontal outflow of air pollutants are the main reasons for the abrupt decay phase in summer. inline-formulaPM2.5 concentrations after the decay process show a significant decreasing trend from 2014 to 2020, reflecting successful emission mitigation. Emission reductions have led to a 4.3–5.7 inline-formula M16inlinescrollmathml unit normal µ normal g nobreak0.125em normal m - normal 3 0.125emnobreak normal yr - normal 1 56pt15ptsvg-formulamathimgcfeda80ea327d109f9a60e50f897425b acp-21-2491-2021-ie00001.svg56pt15ptacp-21-2491-2021-ie00001.png decrease in inline-formulaPM2.5 concentrations in the 28 pollution channel cities of the Beijing region.

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Wang, Xiaoyan / Zhang, Renhe / Tan, Yanke / et al: Dominant synoptic patterns associated with the decay process of PM2.5 pollution episodes around Beijing. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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