Variability of PM2.5 and O3 concentrations and their driving forces over Chinese megacities during 2018-2020

Qihou Hu , Tianyi Xu , Chengxin Zhang , Cheng Liu


Received July 30, 2021,Revised , Accepted October 11, 2021, Available online February 02, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 1-10

Recently, air pollution especially fine particulate matters (PM2.5) and ozone (O3) has become a severe issue in China. In this study, we first characterized the temporal trends of PM2.5 and O3 for Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Wuhan respectively during 2018-2020. The annual mean PM2.5 has decreased by 7.82%-33.92%, while O3 concentration showed insignificant variations by -6.77%-4.65% during 2018-2020. The generalized additive models (GAMs) were implemented to quantify the contribution of individual meteorological factors and their gas precursors on PM2.5 and O3. On a short-term perspective, GAMs modeling shows that the daily variability of PM2.5 concentration is largely related to the variation of precursor gases (R = 0.67-0.90), while meteorological conditions mainly affect the daily variability of O3 concentration (R = 0.65-0.80) during 2018-2020. The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on PM2.5 and O3 concentrations were also quantified by using GAMs. During the 2020 lockdown, PM2.5 decreased significantly for these megacities, yet the ozone concentration showed an increasing trend compared to 2019. The GAMs analysis indicated that the contribution of precursor gases to PM2.5 and O3 changes is 3-8 times higher than that of meteorological factors. In general, GAMs modeling on air quality is helpful to the understanding and control of PM2.5 and O3 pollution in China.

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