Meteorological mechanism for a large-scale persistent severe ozone pollution event over eastern China in 2017

Yuesi Wang , Jia Mao , Lili Wang , Chuhan Lu , Jingda Liu , Mingge Li , Guiqian Tang , Dongsheng Ji , Nan Zhang


Received October 14, 2019,Revised , Accepted February 15, 2020, Available online February 27, 2020

Volume 32,2020,Pages 187-199

An intensive and persistent regional ozone pollution event occurred over eastern China from 25 June to 5 July 2017. 73 out of 96 selected cities, most located in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and the surrounding area (BTHS), suffered severe ozone pollution. A north-south contrast ozone distribution, with higher ozone (199 ± 33 μg/m3) in the BTHS and lower ozone (118 ± 25 μg/m3) in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), was found to be dominated by the position of the West Pacific Subtropical High (WPSH) and mid-high latitude wave activities. In the BTHS, the positive anomalies of geopotential height at 500 hPa and temperature at the surface indicated favorable meteorological conditions for local ozone formation. Prevailing northwesterly winds in the mid-high troposphere and warm advection induced by weak southerly winds in the low troposphere resulted in low-moderate relative humidity (RH), less total cloud cover (TCC), strong solar radiation and high temperatures. Moreover, southerly winds prevailing over the BTHS aggravated the pollution due to regional transportation of O3 and its precursors. On one hand, the deep sinking motion and inversion layer suppressed the dispersion of pollutants. On the other hand, O3-rich air in the upper layer was maintained at night due to temperature inversion, which facilitated O3 vertical transport to the surface in the next-day morning due to elevated convection. Generally, temperature, UV radiation, and RH showed good correlations with O3 in the BTHS, with rates of 8.51 (μg/m3)/°C (within the temperature range of 20–38°C), 59.54 (μg/m3)/(MJ/m2) and −1.93 (μg/m3)/%, respectively.

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