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Ozone source attribution during a severe photochemical smog episode in Beijing, China


Beijing, the capital of China, frequently suffers from the high levels of ozone in summer. A 3-D regional chemical transport model, the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with extensions (CAMx), has been used to simulate a heavy O3 pollution episode in Beijing during June 26–July 2, 2000. Ozone Source Apportionment Technology (OSAT) and Geographic Ozone Assessment Technology (GOAT) were applied to quantify the contributions of the precursor emissions from different regions to O3 concentrations in Beijing, to identify the relative importance of different ways by which regional sources affected the O3 levels in Beijing urban areas, and to investigate the sensitivity of O3 formation to the precursors during the episode. The O3 pollution in Beijing showed a significant spatial distribution with strong regional contribution. The results suggested that the plume originating from Beijing urban areas greatly affected the O3 concentrations at the Dingling site, accounting for 55% of elevated O3 there, while O3 pollution in the Beijing urban areas resulted from both local emissions and those from Tianjin and the south of Hebei Province. Transport of O3 was responsible for about 70% of the regional O3 contribution to Beijing urban areas, while transport of O3 precursors accounted for the remainder. The formation of O3 was limited by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the urban areas of Beijing, while being more sensitive to NO x levels in the suburban and more remote areas. Therefore, it is necessary to consider a large number of factors, including impacts of emissions from different regions, the two modes of regional contribution as well as the sensitivity of O3 formation to precursors, in the design of emissions control strategies for O3 reduction in Beijing.

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Correspondence to YuanHang Zhang.

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Supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2006AA06A306) and the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2005CB422204)

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Wang, X., Li, J., Zhang, Y. et al. Ozone source attribution during a severe photochemical smog episode in Beijing, China. Sci. China Ser. B-Chem. 52, 1270–1280 (2009).

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  • Beijing
  • ozone
  • source apportionment
  • emission