03 Jul 2023
 | 03 Jul 2023

Meteorological characteristics of severe ozone pollution events in China and their future predictions

Yang Yang, Yang Zhou, Hailong Wang, Mengyun Li, Huimin Li, Pinya Wang, Xu Yue, Ke Li, Jia Zhu, and Hong Liao

Abstract. Ozone (O3) has become one of the most concerning air pollutants in China in recent decades. In this study, based on surface observations, reanalysis data and global atmospheric chemistry model simulations, meteorological characteristics conducive to severe O3 pollution in various regions of China are investigated, and their historical changes and future trends are analyzed. During the most severe O3 pollution months over the North China Plain (NCP) and Yangtze River Delta (YRD), the chemical production of O3 is enhanced under the hot and dry conditions, while the regional transport is the main reason causing the severe O3 pollution over Sichuan Basin (SCB) and Pearl River Delta (PRD) during the severe polluted months. Over the last four decades, the frequencies of high temperature and low relative humidity conditions increased in 2000–2019 relative to 1980–1999, indicating that O3 pollution in both NCP and YRD became more frequent under the historical climate change. In SCB and PRD, the occurrence of atmospheric circulation patterns similar to those during the polluted months increased, together with the more frequent hot and dry conditions, contributing to the increases in severe O3 pollution in SCB and PRD during 1980–2019. In the future (by 2100), the frequencies of months with anomalous high temperature show stronger increasing trends in the high forcing scenario (SSP5-8.5) compared to the sustainable scenario (SSP1-2.6) in China. It suggests that high anthropogenic forcing will not only lead to slow economic growth and climate warming, but also likely result in environmental pollution issues.

Yang Yang et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1410', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 Jul 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1410', Anonymous Referee #2, 01 Sep 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-1410', Anonymous Referee #3, 05 Sep 2023

Yang Yang et al.

Yang Yang et al.


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Short summary
This study reveals that severe ozone pollution over the North China Plain and Yangtze River Delta are due to the chemical production related to hot and dry conditions and the regional transport explains the ozone pollution over Sichuan Basin and Pearl River Delta. The frequency of meteorological conditions of severe ozone pollution increases from the past to the future. The sustainable scenario is the optimal path to retaining clean air in China in the future.