Special Issue: Progress & prospects of atmospheric environmental science

An air quality forecasting system in Beijing - Application to the study of dust storm events in China in May 2008

Qijie Zhang , Benoit Laurent , Fanny Velay-Lasry , Richard Ngo , Claude Derognat , B¢éatrice Marticorena , Armand Albergel


Received ,Revised , Accepted , Available online January 07, 2012

Volume 24,2012,Pages 102-111

An air pollution forecast system, ARIA Regional, was implemented in 2007-2008 at the Beijing Municipality Environmental Monitoring Center, providing daily forecast of main pollutant concentrations. The chemistry-transport model CHIMERE was coupled with the dust emission model MB95 for restituting dust storm events in springtime so as to improve forecast results. Dust storm events were sporadic but could be extremely intense and then control air quality indexes close to the source areas but also far in the Beijing area. A dust episode having occurred at the end of May 2008 was analyzed in this article, and its impact of particulate matter on the Chinese air pollution index (API) was evaluated. Following our estimation, about 23 Tg of dust were emitted from source areas in Mongolia and in the Inner Mongolia of China, transporting towards southeast. This episode of dust storm influenced a large part of North China and East China, and also South Korea. The model result was then evaluated using satellite observations and in situ data. The simulated daily concentrations of total suspended particulate at 6:00 UTC had a similar spatial pattern with respect to OMI satellite aerosol index. Temporal evolution of dust plume was evaluated by comparing dust aerosol optical depth (AOD) calculated from the simulations with AOD derived from MODIS satellite products. Finally, the comparison of reported Chinese API in Beijing with API calculated from the simulation including dust emissions had showed the significant improvement of the model results taking into account mineral dust correctly.

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