Recent Published Articles

Contrasting compositions of PM2.5 in Northern Thailand during La Niña (2017) and El Niño (2019) years

Somporn Chantara , Pavidarin Kraisitnitikul , Duangduean Thepnuan , Sarana Chansuebsri , Nuttipon Yabueng , Wan Wiriya , Supattarachai Saksakulkrai , Zongbo Shi


Received June 10, 2022,Revised , Accepted September 17, 2022, Available online September 27, 2022

Volume 36,2024,Pages 585-599

There have been a very limited number of systematic studies on PM2.5 compositions and their source contribution in Southeast Asia. This study aims to explore the characteristics of PM2.5 composition collected in Chiang Mai (Thailand) during La Niña and El Niño years and to apportion their sources during smoke haze and non-haze periods. The average PM2.5 concentration of smoke haze episode in 2019 (El Niño) was much higher than in 2017 (La Niña). The ratios of organic carbon (OC) to elemental carbon (EC), as well as K (biomass burning (BB) tracer) to PM2.5, were higher during smoke haze episodes in 2019 than in 2017 indicating a significant influence from BB. The ratios of secondary organic carbon (SOC) levels to primary organic carbon (POC) levels during smoke haze episodes were higher than those in non-haze period, which indicated greater SOC contributions or more photo-oxidation of precursors in haze episodes with high ambient temperatures. However, the ratios of soil markers (Ca and Mg) during non-haze period were high implying that soil source contributed more to PM2.5 concentrations when there less BB occurred. The positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) model revealed that the source of BB, characterized by high K fractions, was the largest contributor during smoke haze episodes accounting for 50% (2017) and 79% (2019). Climate conditions influence meteorological patterns, particularly during incidences of extreme weather such as droughts, which affect the scale and frequency of open burning and thus air pollution levels.

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