Nav: Home

Where is heavy air pollution in Beijing from?

January 09, 2017

Beijing's latest smog alert has dragged on into the first week of 2017. In fact, the joint prevention and control policy for atmospheric pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region was announced after the heavy haze event occurred on 1 January 2013. But it is still uncertain about what or where to control and prevent in detail.

The research group led by WANG Yuesi from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) has monitored the evolution of regional atmospheric mixing layer height (MLH) and attenuated backscattering coefficient in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region for years. Combined with the particle's chemical component online analysis, some highlighted results about the regional heavy haze formation mechanism are obtained. "Beijing is located to the north of the North China Plain. During the initial polluted period, it is affected by southerly transport at the latitude of 500-1000 m." WANG find, "Once the pollution is formed, the MLH will decrease quickly to 500m even lower and increase the pollutant concentration rapidly with compression mechanism. Meanwhile, the hygroscopic growth and heterogeneous chemical processes enhancement under the circumstance of high relative humidity will facilitate the explosive growth of secondary particulate matters."

The co-existence of those factors can further exacerbate the pollution degree. At this time, although the impact of regional transport is less important, the local emitted (such as motor vehicles) pollutants are unable to diffuse, thus will result in a consistent increase of the pollutant concentrations in the MLH.

The heavy haze formation in Beijing is therefore depicted as "initiate by the regional transport mainly from the coal burning in surrounding areas, and intensified by the local secondary formation originated from the motor vehicles". This conclusion is presented in papers written by TANG Guiqian, LIU Zirui, WANG Lili, HU Bo, XIN Jinyuan and ZHU Xiaowan and is confirmed consistently by some new experimental researches.

According to these researches, suggestions are proposed to the environmental protection administration: Pre-warning should be implemented two or three days ahead of the heavy haze coming, and the regional stationary emissions especially the elevated sources should be controlled and reduced in advance. Once the pollution formed, the local emissions should be controlled, thus the peak values of contaminant can be efficiently restrained.
-end-


Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Related Pollution Articles:

Aspirin may prevent air pollution harms
A new study is the first to report evidence that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin may lessen the adverse effects of air pollution exposure on lung function.
Environmental pollution in China begins decreasing
For decades pollution in China has paralleled economic growth. But this connection has been weakened in recent years, according to a new international research study published in the Science Advances journal.
Is pollution linked to psychiatric disorders?
Researchers are increasingly studying the effects of environmental insults on psychiatric and neurological conditions, motivated by emerging evidence from environmental events like the record-breaking smog that choked New Delhi two years ago.
Researchers uncover indoor pollution hazards
A team of WSU researchers has found surprisingly high levels of pollutants, including formaldehyde and possibly mercury, in carefully monitored homes, and that these pollutants vary through the day and increase as temperatures rise.
New polymer tackles PFAS pollution
toxic polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) pollution -- commonly used in non-stick and protective coatings, lubricants and aviation fire-fighting foams -- can now be removed from the environment thanks to a new low-cost, safe and environmentally friendly polymer.
A new view of wintertime air pollution
The team's unexpected finding suggests that in the US West and elsewhere, certain efforts to reduce harmful wintertime air pollution could backfire.
Tracking the sources of plastic pollution
Plastic pollution in the world's oceans is now widely recognized as a major global challenge -- but we still know very little about how these plastics are actually reaching the sea.
Delhi's complicated air pollution problem
According to the World Health Organization, Delhi is the world's most polluted large city.
A warming world increases air pollution
The UC Riverside-led study shows that the contrast in warming between the continents and sea, called the land-sea warming contrast, drives an increased concentration of aerosols in the atmosphere that cause air pollution.
China's war on particulate air pollution is causing more severe ozone pollution
In China, the rapid reduction of the pollutant PM 2.5 dramatically altered the chemistry of the atmosphere, leading to an increase in harmful ground-level ozone pollution, especially in large cities.
More Pollution News and Pollution Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.