Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 23141-23185, 2009
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Latitudinal gradient and interannual variation of PM10 concentration over eighty-six Chinese cities
W. J. Qu1,2, R. Arimoto3, X. Y. Zhang2, Y. Q. Wang2, L. F. Sheng1, and G. Fu1
1Key Laboratory of Physical Oceanography, Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction and Climate Laboratory, Department of Marine Meteorology, College of Physical and Environmental Oceanography, Ocean University of China, 238 Songling Rd., Qingdao 266100, China
2Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Centre for Atmosphere Watch and Services (CAWAS), Chinese Academy of Metrological Sciences, China Meteorological Administration, 46 Zhong-Guan-Cun S. Ave., Beijing 100081, China
3Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center, New Mexico State University, Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA

Abstract. The spatial distribution of the aerosols over 86 major Chinese cities was constructed from 137 845 daily averaged PM10 (particles with diameter ≤10 μm) concentrations calculated from air pollution index (API) records spanning from summer 2000 to winter 2006. This dataset was based on days when PM10 was categorized as the principal pollutant, accounting for 91.6% of the total recorded days. The 83 cities in mid-eastern China (longitude 100° E to 130° E) were separated into three latitudinal zones with the Qinlin Mountain – the Huaihe River and the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau – the Jiangnan Hill – the Wuyi Mountain as the boundaries. The spatial distribution of PM10 was complicated; the high-value spots in northern China (concentration ranged from 127.1 to 192.1 μg m−3) included Urumchi, Lanzhou-Xining, Weinan-Xi'an, Taiyuan-Datong-Yangquan-Changzhi, Pingdingshan-Kaifeng, Beijing-Tianjin-Shijiazhuang, Jinan, and Shenyang-Anshan-Fushun; in the middle zone, the high PM10 spots (concentration within 119.1–146.6 μg m−3) were Chongqing-Chengdu-Luzhou, Changsha-Wuhan, and Nanjing-Hangzhou; while in the southern zone, four cities (Qujing, Guiyang, Guangzhou and Shaoguan) showed higher PM10 concentration (>80 μg m−3). An overall latitudinal gradient was distinct; the median PM10 concentrations decreased from 108 μg m−3 for the 38 northern cities to 95 μg m−3 and 55 μg m−3 for the middle (26 cities) and southern (19 cities) zones, respectively. Linear regression between PM10 concentration and latitude of the cities also confirmed this gradient. PM10 concentration and the APIs exhibited similar seasonality with wintertime maxima and summertime minima, and the second highest values in spring. PM10 level showed a decreasing trend (−23.2 μg m−3) for the northern cities during 2000 to 2006. For the other two zones, the PM10 levels fluctuated, but showed unobvious change (−1.7 μg m−3) for the middle zone and increased slightly (+6.2 μg m−3) for the southern zone during the course.

Citation: Qu, W. J., Arimoto, R., Zhang, X. Y., Wang, Y. Q., Sheng, L. F., and Fu, G.: Latitudinal gradient and interannual variation of PM10 concentration over eighty-six Chinese cities, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 23141-23185, doi:10.5194/acpd-9-23141-2009, 2009.
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