An Air Stagnation Index to Qualify Extreme Haze Events in Northern China

Jin Feng Institute of Urban Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China, and National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Jiannong Quan Institute of Urban Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China

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Hong Liao Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

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Yanjie Li State Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

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Xiujuan Zhao Institute of Urban Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing, China

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Abstract

Stagnation weather affects atmospheric diffusion ability, and hence causes the occurrence of haze events, which have been happening frequently in northern China (NC). This work puts forward an air stagnation index (ASITS) to characterize the stagnation weather in NC, in which the processes of ventilation, vertical diffusion, and wet deposition potency are concerned. ASITS can be applied to analyze air stagnation conditions with daily to monthly time scale. It is shown that the ASITS and particulate matter smaller than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) concentrations own similar lognormal probability distribution functions on both daily and monthly time scales. And the correlation analyses between the ASITS and PM2.5 concentrations indicate that the ASITS can reflect the monthly and daily variations in PM2.5 concentrations in NC. In addition, ASITS could be used as a leading predictor of haze events since correlation coefficients of ASITS leading PM2.5 concentrations by 1 day were significant and were larger than simultaneous correlation coefficients in almost all areas in NC. The robust relationship between ASITS and PM2.5 concentrations exists possibly because the index can reflect the activities of synoptic systems. ASITS could be a useful statistical indicator for variations in PM2.5 concentrations and haze events, and a good tool in analyzing the relationship between climate change and long-term variations in haze in NC.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: https://doi.org/10.1175/JAS-D-17-0354.s1.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Jin Feng, jfeng@ium.cn

Abstract

Stagnation weather affects atmospheric diffusion ability, and hence causes the occurrence of haze events, which have been happening frequently in northern China (NC). This work puts forward an air stagnation index (ASITS) to characterize the stagnation weather in NC, in which the processes of ventilation, vertical diffusion, and wet deposition potency are concerned. ASITS can be applied to analyze air stagnation conditions with daily to monthly time scale. It is shown that the ASITS and particulate matter smaller than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) concentrations own similar lognormal probability distribution functions on both daily and monthly time scales. And the correlation analyses between the ASITS and PM2.5 concentrations indicate that the ASITS can reflect the monthly and daily variations in PM2.5 concentrations in NC. In addition, ASITS could be used as a leading predictor of haze events since correlation coefficients of ASITS leading PM2.5 concentrations by 1 day were significant and were larger than simultaneous correlation coefficients in almost all areas in NC. The robust relationship between ASITS and PM2.5 concentrations exists possibly because the index can reflect the activities of synoptic systems. ASITS could be a useful statistical indicator for variations in PM2.5 concentrations and haze events, and a good tool in analyzing the relationship between climate change and long-term variations in haze in NC.

Supplemental information related to this paper is available at the Journals Online website: https://doi.org/10.1175/JAS-D-17-0354.s1.

© 2018 American Meteorological Society. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Jin Feng, jfeng@ium.cn

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