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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1145
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 09 Nov 2018

Research article | 09 Nov 2018

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

Dominant role of emission reduction in PM2.5 air quality improvement in Beijing during 2013–2017: a model-based decomposition analysis

Jing Cheng1, Jingping Su2, Tong Cui2, Xiang Li3, Xin Dong2, Feng Sun2, Yanyan Yang2, Dan Tong1, Yixuan Zheng1, Jinxiang Li2, Qiang Zhang1, and Kebin He1,4 Jing Cheng et al.
  • 1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, 100084, China
  • 2Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center, Beijing, 100048, China
  • 3Beijing Municipal Bureau of Ecology and Environment, Beijing, 100048, China
  • 4State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

Abstract. In 2013, China's government published the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan (APPCAP) with a specific target for Beijing, which aims to reduce annual mean PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing to 60m−3 in 2017. During 2013–2017, the air quality in Beijing was significantly improved following the implementation of various emission control measures locally and regionally, with the annual mean PM2.5 concentration decreasing from 89.5m−3 in 2013 to 58m−3 in 2017. As meteorological conditions were more favourable to the reduction of air pollution in 2017 than in 2013 and 2016, the real effectiveness of emission control measures on the improvement of air quality in Beijing has frequently been questioned.

In this work, by combining a detailed bottom-up emission inventory over Beijing, the MEIC regional emission inventory, and the WRF-CMAQ model, we attribute the improvement in Beijing's PM2.5 air quality in 2017 (compared to 2013 and 2016) to the following factors: changes in meteorological conditions, reduction of emissions from surrounding regions, and seven specific categories of local emission control measures in Beijing. We collect and summarize data related to 32 detailed control measures implemented during 2013–2017, quantify the emission reductions associated with each measure using the bottom-up local emission inventory in 2013, aggregate the measures into seven categories, and conduct a series of CMAQ simulations to quantify the contribution of different factors to the PM2.5 changes.

We found that, although changes in meteorological conditions partly explain the improved PM2.5 air quality in Beijing in 2017 compared to 2013 (3.8m−3, 12.1% of total), the rapid decrease in PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing during 2013–2017 was dominated by local (20.6m−3, 65.4%) and regional (7.1m−3, 22.5%) emission reductions. The seven categories of emission control measures, i.e., Coal-fired boiler control, Clean fuels in the residential sector, Optimized industrial structure, Fugitive dust control, Vehicle emission control, Improved end-of-pipe control, and Integrated treatment of VOCs, reduced the PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing by 5.9, 5.3, 3.2, 2.3, 1.9, 1.8, and 0.2m−3, respectively, during 2013–2017. We also found that if the meteorological conditions in 2017 had remained the same as those in 2016, the annual mean PM2.5 concentrations would have increased from 58m−3 to 63m−3, exceeding the target established in the APPCAP. Despite the remarkable impacts from meteorological condition changes, local and regional emission reductions still played dominant roles in the PM2.5 decrease in Beijing during 2016–2017, and Clean fuels in the residential sector, Coal-fired boiler control, and Optimized industrial structure were the three most effective local measures (contributing reductions of 2.1, 1.9 and 1.5m−3, respectively). Our study confirms the effectiveness of clean air actions in Beijing and its surrounding regions and reveals that a new generation of control measures and strengthened regional joint emission control measures should be implemented for continued air quality improvement in Beijing because the major emitting sources have changed since the implementation of the clean air actions.

Jing Cheng et al.
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Short summary
We attribute Beijing's PM2.5 abatement in 2017 (compared to 2013) to the following factors: meteorology changes (3.8 μg m−3, 12.1 % of total), regional emission reduction (7.1 μg m−3, 22.5 %) and seven specific categories of control measures in Beijing (20.6 μg m−3, 65.4 %). Our study confirms the effectiveness of clean air actions in Beijing and its surrounding regions, and reveals a new generation of control measures and strengthened regional joint protections measures should be implemented.
We attribute Beijing's PM2.5 abatement in 2017 (compared to 2013) to the following factors:...
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