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Atmospheric circulation and dynamic mechanism for persistent haze events in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region

Abstract

In this study, regional persistent haze events (RPHEs) in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei (BTH) region were identified based on the Objective Identification Technique for Regional Extreme Events for the period 1980–2013. The formation mechanisms of the severe RPHEs were investigated with focus on the atmospheric circulation and dynamic mechanisms. Results indicated that: (1) 49 RPHEs occurred during the past 34 years. (2) The severe RPHEs could be categorized into two types according to the large-scale circulation, i.e. the zonal westerly airflow (ZWA) type and the high-pressure ridge (HPR) type. When the ZWA-type RPHEs occurred, the BTH region was controlled by near zonal westerly airflow in the mid–upper troposphere. Southwesterly winds prevailed in the lower troposphere, and near-surface wind speeds were only 1–2 m s−1. Warm and humid air originating from the northwestern Pacific was transported into the region, where the relative humidity was 70% to 80%, creating favorable moisture conditions. When the HPR-type RPHEs appeared, northwesterly airflow in the mid–upper troposphere controlled the region. Westerly winds prevailed in the lower troposphere and the moisture conditions were relatively weak. (3) Descending motion in the mid-lower troposphere caused by the above two circulation types provided a crucial dynamic mechanism for the formation of the two types of RPHEs. The descending motion contributed to a reduction in the height of the planetary boundary layer (PBL), which generated an inversion in the lower troposphere. This inversion trapped the abundant pollution and moisture in the lower PBL, leading to high concentrations of pollutants.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to Yingxian ZHANG from the National Climate Center, CMA, and Zhaobin SUN from the Environment Meteorology Forecast Center of Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei, CMA, for their helpful advice. We would also like to thank Dr. Thomas FISCHER from the Department of Geosciences, Eberhard Karls University, T¨ubingen, for his work polishing the language. Many thanks to the anonymous reviewers, who provided useful suggestions to improve the quality of the manuscript. This work was jointly sponsored by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (Grant No. 2013CB430202), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41401056), the China Meteorological Administration Special Public Welfare Research Fund (Grant No. GYHY201406001), and the Research Innovation Program for College Graduates of Jiangsu Province (Grant No. KYLX15 0858).

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Correspondence to Yanju Liu.

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Wu, P., Ding, Y. & Liu, Y. Atmospheric circulation and dynamic mechanism for persistent haze events in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 34, 429–440 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-016-6158-z

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00376-016-6158-z

Key words

  • Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region
  • regional persistent haze events
  • atmospheric circulation
  • dynamic mechanism