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Insights into particulate matter pollution in the North China Plain during wintertime: local contribution or regional transport?

Wu, Jiarui and Bei, Naifang and Wang, Yuan and Li, Xia and Liu, Suixin and Liu, Lang and Wang, Ruonan and Yu, Jiaoyang and Le, Tianhao and Zuo, Min and Shen, Zhenxing and Cao, Junji and Tie, Xuexi and Li, Guohui (2021) Insights into particulate matter pollution in the North China Plain during wintertime: local contribution or regional transport? Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 21 (3). pp. 2229-2249. ISSN 1680-7324. doi:10.5194/acp-21-2229-2021.

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Accurate identification and quantitative source apportionment of fine particulate matter (PM_(2.5)) provide an important prerequisite for design and implementation of emission control strategies to reduce PM pollution. Therefore, a source-oriented version of the WRF-Chem model is developed in the study to conduct source apportionment of PM_(2.5) in the North China Plain (NCP). A persistent and heavy haze event that occurred in the NCP from 5 December 2015 to 4 January 2016 is simulated using the model as a case study to quantify PM_(2.5) contributions of local emissions and regional transport. Results show that local and nonlocal emissions contribute 36.3 % and 63.7 % of the PM_(2.5) mass in Beijing during the haze event on average. When Beijing's air quality is excellent or good in terms of hourly PM_(2.5) concentrations, local emissions dominate the PM_(2.5) mass, with contributions exceeding 50 %. However, when the air quality is severely polluted, the PM2.5 contribution of nonlocal emissions is around 75 %. Nonlocal emissions also dominate Tianjin's air quality, with average PM_(2.5) contributions exceeding 65 %. The PM_(2.5) level in Hebei and Shandong is generally controlled by local emissions, but in Henan, local and nonlocal emissions play an almost equivalent role in the PM_(2.5) level, except when the air quality is severely polluted, with nonlocal PM_(2.5) contributions of over 60 %. Additionally, the primary aerosol species are generally dominated by local emissions, with the average contribution exceeding 50 %. However, the source apportionment of secondary aerosols shows more evident regional characteristics. Therefore, except for cooperation with neighboring provinces to carry out strict emission mitigation measures, reducing primary aerosols is a priority to alleviate PM pollution in the NCP, especially in Beijing and Tianjin.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription - real-time PM2.5, O3, NO2, SO2, and CO observations
http://www.aqistudy.cnRelated ItemData - historic profile of observed ambient pollutants
Wu, Jiarui0000-0001-8791-2325
Wang, Yuan0000-0001-6657-8401
Le, Tianhao0000-0002-6600-8270
Shen, Zhenxing0000-0002-1294-1751
Cao, Junji0000-0003-1000-7241
Tie, Xuexi0000-0002-2426-1577
Li, Guohui0000-0001-8868-7123
Additional Information:© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Received: 14 June 2020 – Discussion started: 14 July 2020; Revised: 17 November 2020 – Accepted: 2 January 2021 – Published: 15 February 2021. We are deeply grateful to the editor and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions that helped to improve our paper. Data availability: The real-time PM2.5, O3, NO2, SO2, and CO observations are publicly accessible at (last access: 24 November 2019) (China MEP, 2013a). One can also access the historic profile of observed ambient pollutants by visiting (last access: 24 November 2019) (China MEP, 2013b). Supplement: The supplement related to this article is available online at: Author contributions: GL, as the corresponding author, provided the ideas and financial support, developed the model code, verified the conclusions, and revised the paper. JW conducted research, designed the experiments, performed the simulation, processed the data, prepared the data visualization, and prepared the manuscript, with contributions from all authors. NB validated the model performance, analyzed the study data, and reviewed the manuscript. YW validated the model performance, verified the results, and provided the critical reviews. SL provided the data and primary data processing and reviewed the manuscript. XL, LL, RW, JY, TL, and MZ analyzed the initial simulation data, visualized the model results, and reviewed the paper. ZS, JC, and XT provided critical reviews in the pre-publication stage. Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. Financial support: This research has been supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant no. XDB40030203), the National Key R&D Plan (Quantitative Relationship and Regulation Principle between Regional Oxidation Capacity of Atmospheric and Air Quality) (grant no. 2017YFC0210000), and the National Research Program for Key Issues in Air Pollution Control (grant no. DQGG0105). Review statement: This paper was edited by Xiaohong Liu and reviewed by three anonymous referees.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Chinese Academy of SciencesXDB40030203
National Key Research and Development Program of China2017YFC0210000
National Research Program for Key Issues in Air Pollution ControlDQGG0105
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210401-101929114
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Wu, J., Bei, N., Wang, Y., Li, X., Liu, S., Liu, L., Wang, R., Yu, J., Le, T., Zuo, M., Shen, Z., Cao, J., Tie, X., and Li, G.: Insights into particulate matter pollution in the North China Plain during wintertime: local contribution or regional transport?, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 2229–2249,, 2021
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108606
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:08 Apr 2021 22:19
Last Modified:08 Apr 2021 22:19

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