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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-759
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-759
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 04 Nov 2019

Submitted as: research article | 04 Nov 2019

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Investigating the regional contributions to air pollution in Beijing: A dispersion modelling study using CO as a tracer

Marios Panagi1,7, Zoë L. Fleming1,a, Paul S. Monks2, Matthew J. Ashfold3, Oliver Wild4, Michael Hollaway4,b, Qiang Zhang5, Freya A. Squires6, and Joshua D. Vande Hey7 Marios Panagi et al.
  • 1National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Department of Chemistry, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 2Department of Chemistry, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • 3School of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, University of Nottingham Malaysia, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 4Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK
  • 5Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
  • 6Department of Chemistry, University of York, UK
  • 7Department of Physics and Astronomy, Earth Observation Science Group, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
  • anow at: Centre for Climate and Resilience Research (CR2), Department of Geophysics, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • bnow at: Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster, UK

Abstract. The rapid urbanization and industrialization of Northern China in recent decades has resulted in poor air quality in major cities like Beijing. Transport of air pollution plays a key role in determining the relative influence of local emissions and regional contributions to observed air pollution. In this paper, dispersion modelling (Numerical Atmospheric Modelling Environment, NAME model) is used with emission inventories and in-situ ground measurement data to track the pathways of air masses arriving at Beijing. The percentage of time the air masses spent over specific regions on their travel to Beijing is used to assess the effects of regional meteorology on carbon monoxide (CO), a good tracer of anthropogenic emissions. The NAME model is used with the MEIC (Multi-resolution Emission Inventory for China) emission inventories to determine the amount of pollution that is transported to Beijing from the immediate surrounding areas and regions further away. This approach captures the magnitude and variability of CO over Beijing and reveals that CO is strongly driven by transport processes. This study provides a more detailed understanding of relative contributions to air pollution in Beijing under different regional airflow conditions. Approximately 45 % over a 4 year average (2013–2016) of the total CO pollution that affects Beijing is transported from other regions, and about half of this contribution comes from beyond the Hebei and Tianjin regions that immediately surround Beijing. The industrial sector is the dominant emission source from the surrounding regions and contributes over 20 % of the total CO in Beijing. Finally, using PM2.5 to determine high pollution days, three pollution classification types of pollution were identified and used to analyse the APHH winter campaign and the 4 year period. The results can inform targeted control measures to be implemented by Beijing and the surrounding provinces to tackle air quality problems that affect Beijing and China.

Marios Panagi et al.

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Interactive discussion

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Marios Panagi et al.

Marios Panagi et al.

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Short summary
In this paper, using dispersion modelling with emission inventories it was determined that on average 45 % of the total CO pollution that affects Beijing is transported from other areas. About half of the CO comes from beyond the immediate surrounding areas. Finally, three classification types of pollution were identified and used to analyse the APHH winter campaign. The results can inform targeted control measures to be implemented in Beijing and the other regions to tackle air quality problems.
In this paper, using dispersion modelling with emission inventories it was determined that on...
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