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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1085
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1085
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 19 Nov 2018

Research article | 19 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Evaluating the Recent 2+26 Regional Strategy for Air Quality Improvement During Two Orange Air Pollution Alerts in Beijing: variations of PM2.5 concentrations, source apportionment, and the relative contribution of local emission and regional transport

Ziyue Chen1,2, Danlu Chen1, Nianliang Cheng3,4, Yan Zhuang1, Mei-Po Kwan5,6, Bin Chen7, Bo Zhao8, Lin Yang9, Bingbo Gao10, Ruiyuan Li1, and Bing Xu11 Ziyue Chen et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, College of Global and Earth System Sciences, Beijing Normal University,19 Xinjiekou Street, Haidian, Beijing 100875, China
  • 2Joint Center for Global Change Studies, Beijing 100875, China
  • 3Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
  • 4Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center, Beijing 100048, China
  • 5Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
  • 6Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Utrecht University, 3584 CB Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • 7Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
  • 8College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Oregon, USA
  • 9School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, 210023, China
  • 10National Engineering Research Center for Information Technology in Agricultre, 11 Shuguang Hua yuan Middle Road, Beijing 100097, China
  • 11Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Abstract. To comprehensively evaluate the effects of the recent 2+26 regional strategy for air quality improvement, we compared the variations in PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing during four pollution episodes with different emission-reduction strategies. The 2+26 strategy implemented in March 2018 led to a mean PM2.5 concentrations of 16.43 % lower than that during the pollution episode in March 2013, when no specific emission-reduction measures were in place. The same 2+26 strategy implemented in November 2017 led to a mean PM2.5 concentrations of 32.70 % lower than that during the pollution episode in November 2016, when local emission-reduction measures were implemented. The results suggested that the effects of the 2+26 regional emission-reduction measures on PM2.5 reductions were influenced by a diversity of factors and could differ significantly during specific pollution episodes. Furthermore, we found the proportions of sulfate ions decreased significantly and nitrate ions were the dominant PM2.5 components during the two 2+26 orange alert periods. Meanwhile, the relative contributions of coal combustion to PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing during the pollution episodes in March 2013, November 2016, November 2017 and March 2018 was 40 %, 34 %, 28 % and 11 % respectively, indicating that the recent Coal to Gas project and the contingent 2+26 strategy led to a dramatic decrease in coal combustion in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region. On the other hand, the relative contribution of vehicle exhaust during the 2+26 orange alert periods in November 2017 and March 2018 reached 40 % and 54 % respectively. The relative contribution of local emission to PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing also varied significantly and ranged from 49.46 % to 89.35 % during the four pollution episodes. These results suggested that the 2+26 regional emission-reduction strategy should be implemented with red air pollution alerts during heavy pollution episodes to intendedly reduce the dominant contribution of vehicle exhausts to PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing, while specific emission-reduction measures should be implemented accordingly for different cities within the 2+26 framework.

Ziyue Chen et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Ziyue Chen et al.
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Short summary
This research is the first attempt to comprehensively evaluate the recent 2+26 strategy for air quality improvement in Beijing. We additionally considered two corresponding pollution episodes with different emission-reduction strategies to comprehensively understand the effects of 2+26 strategy. The findings suggested that red alerts be employed in heavy pollution episodes to intendedly reduce vehicle exhaust, which has become the dominant sources for high PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing.
This research is the first attempt to comprehensively evaluate the recent 2+26 strategy for air...
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