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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1173
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1173
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 14 Jan 2019

Research article | 14 Jan 2019

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

Effectiveness of short term air quality emission controls: A high-resolution model study of Beijing during the APEC period

Tabish Umar Ansari1, Oliver Wild1, Jie Li2, Ting Yang2, Weiqi Xu2,3, Yele Sun2,3,4, and Zifa Wang2 Tabish Umar Ansari et al.
  • 1Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 3College of Earth Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 4Center for Excellence in Regional Atmospheric Environment, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen, China

Abstract. We explore the impacts of emission controls on haze events in Beijing in October–November 2014 using high resolution WRF-Chem simulations. The model reproduces surface temperature and relative humidity profiles over the period well and captures the observed variations in key atmospheric pollutants. We highlight the sensitivity of simulated pollutant levels to meteorological variables and model resolution, and in particular to treatment of turbulent mixing in the planetary boundary layer. We note that simulating particle composition in the region remains a challenge, and we overpredict NH4 and NO3 at the expense of SO4. We find that the emission controls implemented for the APEC Summit period made a relatively small contribution to improved air quality (20–26 %), highlighting the important role played by favourable meteorological conditions over this period. We demonstrate that the same controls applied under less favourable meteorological conditions would have been insufficient to reduce pollutant levels to meet the required standards. Continued application of these controls over the 6-week period considered would only have reduced the number of haze days where daily-mean fine particulate matter exceeds 75 μg m−3 from 15 to 13 days. Our study highlights the limitations of current emission controls and the need for more stringent measures over a wider region during meteorologically stagnant weather.

Tabish Umar Ansari et al.
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Tabish Umar Ansari et al.
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Short summary
We explore the effectiveness of short-term emission controls on haze events in Beijing in October-November 2014 with high-resolution model studies. The model captures observed hourly variation in key pollutants well, but representation of boundary layer processes remain a key constraint. The controls contributed to improved air quality in early November, but would not have been sufficient had the meteorology been less favourable. We quantify the much more stringent controls needed in that case.
We explore the effectiveness of short-term emission controls on haze events in Beijing in...
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