Observations of atmospheric pollutants at Lhasa during 2014–2015: Pollution status and the influence of meteorological factors

Bu Duo , Lulu Cui , Zhenzhen Wang , Rui Li , Liwu Zhang , Hongbo Fu , Jianmin Chen , Huifang Zhang , A. Qiong


Received November 19, 2016,Revised , Accepted March 08, 2017, Available online April 04, 2017

Volume 30,2018,Pages 28-42

Atmospheric pollutants including SO2, NO2, CO, O3 and inhalable particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) were monitored continuously from March 2014 to February 2015 to investigate characteristics of air pollution at Lhasa, Tibetan Plateau. Species exhibited similar seasonal variations except O3, with the peaks in winter but low valleys in summer. The maximum O3 concentration was observed in spring, followed by summer, autumn, and winter. The positive correlation between O3 and PM10 in spring indicated similar sources of them, and was assumed to be turbulent transport. Temperature was the dominant meteorological factor for most species in spring. High temperature accelerates O3 photochemistry, and favors air disturbance which is conductive to dust resuspension in spring. Relative humidity (RH) and atmospheric pressure were the main meteorological factors in summer. RH showed negative correlations with species, while atmospheric pressure posed opposite situation. Wind speed (WS) was the dominant meteorological factor in autumn, the negative correlations between WS and species indicated diffusion by wind. Most species showed non-significant correlations with meteorological factors in winter, indicating the dependence of pollution on source emission rather than restriction by meteorology. Pollution weather character indicated that emissions were from biomass burning and dust suspension, and meteorological factors also played an important role. Air stream injection from the stratosphere was observed during O3 pollution period. Air parcels from Southwest Asia were observed during air pollution period in winter. An enhancement in air pollutants such as O3 would be expected in the future, more attention should be given to countermeasures for prevention of air pollution in the future.

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