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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-325
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-325
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 23 May 2019

Submitted as: research article | 23 May 2019

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

China's Clean Air Action has suppressed unfavorable influences of climate on wintertime PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing since 2002

Meng Gao1,2, Zirui Liu3, Bo Zheng4,5, Dongsheng Ji3, Peter Sherman6, Shaojie Song2, Jinyuan Xin3, Cheng Liu7, Yuesi Wang3, Qiang Zhang4, Zifa Wang3, Gregory Carmichael8, and Michael McElroy2,6 Meng Gao et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR, China
  • 2John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 4Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • 5Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, UMR8212, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • 6Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA
  • 7University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, China
  • 8Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA

Abstract. Severe wintertime PM2.5 pollution in Beijing has been receiving increasing worldwide attention, yet the decadal variations remain relatively unexplored. Combining field measurements and model simulations, we quantified the relative influences of anthropogenic emissions and meteorological conditions on PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing over winters of 2002–2016. Between the winters of 2011 and 2016, stringent emission control measures resulted in a 21 % decrease in mean mass concentrations of PM2.5 in Beijing, with 7 fewer haze days per winter on average. With fixed emissions, meteorological conditions over the study period would have led to an increase of haze in Beijing, but the strict emission control measures have suppressed the unfavorable influences of recent climate. The unfavorable meteorological conditions are attributed to the weakening of the East Asia Winter Monsoon associated particularly with an increase in pressure associated with the Aleutian low.

Meng Gao et al.
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Short summary
We quantified the relative influences of anthropogenic emissions and meteorological conditions on PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing over winters of 2002–2016. Meteorological conditions over the study period would have led to an increase of haze in Beijing, but the strict emission control measures have suppressed the unfavorable influences of recent climate.
We quantified the relative influences of anthropogenic emissions and meteorological conditions...
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