Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 138, Issue 3–4, pp 2007–2020 | Cite as

Spatiotemporal distribution of anthropogenic aerosols in China around 2030

  • Shu LiEmail author
  • Tijian Wang
  • Bingliang Zhuang
  • Min Xie
  • Yong Han
Original Paper


In the context of global warming, the future spatiotemporal distribution of aerosols in China is a common concern of the government and the scientific community. In this study, the regional climate model RegCM4 is used to simulate the spatiotemporal distribution of anthropogenic aerosols including sulfate, black carbon, and organic carbon in China around 2030 under the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios and estimate the contributions of climate difference, emission difference, and extra-regional transport difference to the change of anthropogenic aerosol concentration in the study area. The results show that the annual average concentrations of anthropogenic aerosols around 2030 decreased significantly with respect to those around 2010, and the decrease amplitude of black carbon surface concentration is the smallest, especially in the RCP8.5 scenario. The annual averages for sulfate, black carbon, and organic carbon surface concentrations in the central and eastern parts of China will be 8.5, 1.7, and 3.7 μg m−3, respectively, under the RCP4.5 scenario, whereas 10.0, 2.2, and 4.4 μg m−3, respectively, under the RCP8.5 scenario. The surface concentration of sulfate is higher in summer and spring, while lower in winter and autumn. The surface concentrations of black carbon and organic carbon are higher in winter and lower in other seasons. The results of sensitivity experiments demonstrate that the future difference in local emissions between RCP8.5 and RCP4.5 scenarios has the greatest impact on the anthropogenic aerosol concentrations throughout China, while the effects of future climate difference and extra-regional transport difference are much smaller around 2030. For the aerosol column burdens, the effect of future local emission difference between the two scenarios is still dominant, and the effect of extra-regional transport difference becomes very significant during spring and winter for organic carbon and black carbon. The results of this paper suggest that the impacts of future climate difference and extra-regional transport difference between RCP8.5 and RCP4.5 scenarios on anthropogenic aerosols are non-negligible in certain regions and seasons besides the impact of future local emission difference in China around 2030.


Funding information

This study acquired support from the National Key Basic Research Development Program of China (2014CB441203), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (91544230, 41621005, 41575145), and the National Key Research and Development Plan of China (2016YFC0203303).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Atmospheric Sciences, CMA-NJU Joint Laboratory for Climate Prediction Studies, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center for Climate ChangeNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.School of Atmospheric SciencesSun Yat-sen UniversityZhuhaiChina

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