Simulation of the impact of the emergency control measures on the reduction of air pollutants: a case study of APEC blue


Serious air pollution motivates governments to take control measures. However, specific emission reduction effects of various temporary emission reduction policies are difficult to evaluate. During the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing in 2014, the Chinese government implemented a number of emergency emission control measures in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area to maintain the air quality in this region. This gave us an opportunity to quantify the effectiveness of the emission reduction measures separately and identify the efficient policy combinations for the reduction of major pollutants. In this study, we evaluated the impacts of specific emission reduction measures on the concentrations of two major air pollutants (PM2.5 and O3) under eight policy scenarios using the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem). Comparing these scenarios, we found that the control policies against the primary PM2.5 emission achieved the most significant results. Meanwhile, all the emission control measures raised the ozone concentrations in different degrees, which might be partly attributed to the changes of PM2.5 concentration and the ratio of NOx and VOCs caused by the emission control measures. Our results suggest that, in VOC-sensitive areas like Beijing, emergency control measures focusing on primary PM2.5 emission could lead to significant PM2.5 reduction and relatively small ozone increase, and should be considered as a priority policy. Joint emission control at the regional scale is also important especially under unfavorable meteorological conditions.

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This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41571130010, 41821005, 41630748, 41571484, and 41671492). It was also funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2018YFC1902701), and supported by the High-performance Computing Platform of Peking University. Funding for this study was also provided by the undergraduate student research training program of the Ministry of Education.

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Correspondence to Xuejun Wang.

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•We attempt to quantify the effectiveness of individual emission reduction measures.

•Measures on primary sources provide significant emergency PM2.5 reduction results.

•O3 level rose due to the changes of PM2.5 and NOx/VOCs caused by the measures.

•Less PM2.5 reduction was achieved under more unfavorable weather conditions.

•Regional joint application of control measures could achieve better results.

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Tong, P., Zhang, Q., Lin, H. et al. Simulation of the impact of the emergency control measures on the reduction of air pollutants: a case study of APEC blue. Environ Monit Assess 192, 116 (2020).

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  • APEC blue
  • Emission reduction policy
  • WRF-Chem
  • PM2.5
  • Ozone
  • North China Plain