Temporal and spatial variations of air pollution across China from 2015 to 2018

Tim Evans , Xiaoteng Zhou , Vladimir Strezov , Yijiao Jiang , Tao Kan


Received June 27, 2020,Revised , Accepted April 23, 2021, Available online June 05, 2021

Volume 34,2022,Pages 161-169

This study investigated concentrations of PM2.5, PM10, SO2, NO2, CO and O3, and air quality index (AQI) values across 368 cities in mainland China during 2015–2018. The study further examined relationships of air pollution status with local industrial capacities and vehicle possessions. Strong correlations were found between industrial capacities (coal, pig iron, crude steel and rolled steel) and air pollution levels. Although statistical and significant reductions of PM2.5, PM10, SO2, NO2, CO and AQI values were observed in response to various laws and regulations in industrial sectors, both particle and gaseous pollutants still had annual average concentrations above recommended limits. In order to further reduce air pollution, more efforts can be done to control traffic emissions caused by minicars and heavy trucks, which was revealed after investigating 16 vehicle types. This was also consistent with the apparent air quality improvement during the COVID-19 lockdown period in China in 2020, despite industrial operations being still active at full capacities.

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