Oscillation of Surface PM2.5 Concentration Resulting from an Alternation of Easterly and Southerly Winds in Beijing: Mechanisms and Implications
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We used simultaneous measurements of surface PM2.5 concentration and vertical profiles of aerosol concentration, temperature, and humidity, together with regional air quality model simulations, to study an episode of aerosol pollution in Beijing from 15 to 19 November 2016. The potential effects of easterly and southerly winds on the surface concentrations and vertical profiles of the PM2.5 pollution were investigated. Favorable easterly winds produced strong upward motion and were able to transport the PM2.5 pollution at the surface to the upper levels of the atmosphere. The amount of surface PM2.5 pollution transported by the easterly winds was determined by the strength and height of the upward motion produced by the easterly winds and the initial height of the upward wind. A greater amount of PM2.5 pollution was transported to upper levels of the atmosphere by upward winds with a lower initial height. The pollutants were diluted by easterly winds from clean ocean air masses. The inversion layer was destroyed by the easterly winds and the surface pollutants and warm air masses were then lifted to the upper levels of the atmosphere, where they re-established a multi-layer inversion. This region of inversion was strengthened by the southerly winds, increasing the severity of pollution. A vortex was produced by southerly winds that led to the convergence of air along the Taihang Mountains. Pollutants were transported from southern–central Hebei Province to Beijing in the boundary layer. Warm advection associated with the southerly winds intensified the inversion produced by the easterly winds and a more stable boundary layer was formed. The layer with high PM2.5 concentration became dee-per with persistent southerly winds of a certain depth. The polluted air masses then rose over the northern Taihang Mountains to the northern mountainous regions of Hebei Province.
Key wordseasterly winds southerly winds thermodynamic structure PM2.5 model simulations Beijing
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