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Progress in Climate Change Affecting Siberian High and Wintertime Air Pollution in Boreal China during Past Two Decades
author: source: Time:2018-05-10 font< big medium small >

Winter severe air pollution in Boreal China was caused by changes in the emission and meteorological conditions in recent years. If the emission was considered to be an internal factor that causes air pollution, the weather condition must be an external factor for air pollution. However, the variability of meteorological conditions was very complex, making it difficult to figure out the influence of meteorology on air pollution. Especially under the background of climate change, changes in climate system at different spatial and temporal scale would make it more complicated.

One recent study, published in Earth’s Future, had investigated the influence of Arctic and Eurasian climate change on wintertime air pollution in China during the past two decades.Using ECMWF ERA-interim reanalysis data and ambient PM2.5 mass concentrations monitored by the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection, TIE Xuexi and his colleagues of the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, examined the inter-annual variability and trends of Arctic air temperature, sea ice cover and the intensity of the Siberian High (SiH) since 1998. In the past two decades, the Arctic was warming, accompanied by a cooling Eurasia where the Siberian High (SiH) enhanced. The strengthened SiH induced strong northerly winds, in favor of the north-to-south air advection, which easing wintertime air pollution in China. Compared to the influence of emission control on air pollution, the study assessed that the influence of the variability of the SiH on PM2.5 mass concentrations is comparable to emission reduction by 50% since 2013.

This research provided substantial evidence to illustrate how wintertime air pollution in boreal China responds to climate change in the past two decades, motivating the policymakers to rethink the current measures for air pollution control because the impact of climate variability should also be an important factor to be considered.

 

Inter-annual variations (grey bars) and 5-year smooth mean curves (dark lines) of (a) the maximum SLP, (b) 2-m temperature, and (c) Arctic sea ice cover during wintertime in the past twenty years (1996-2015). Same as (a)-(c), except that the period is Jan(d)-(f). The 2-m temperature is averaged in the Arctic region (66.5-90° N) of Asia (60-150°E in Northern Hemisphere).(Image by ZHAO, et al.)

 

The decreased PM2.5 mass concentration (μg m-3) and enhanced surface northerly winds (m s-1) from Jan. 2016 (a strong SiH) to Jan. 2013 (a weak SiH). The contour and shading represent PM2.5 mass concentration, and the arrows represent horizontal winds.(Image by ZHAO, et al.)

Contact: TIE Xuexi, Key Laboratory of Aerosol Chemistry and Physics, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi'an, China. Email:tiexx@ieecas.cn

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