Effects of trans-eurasian transport of air pollutants on surface ozone concentrations over Western China

Xiaoyuan Li, Junfeng Liu, Denise L. Mauzerall, Louisa K. Emmons, Stacy Walters, Larry W. Horowitz, Shu Tao

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Due to a lack of industrialization in Western China, surface air there was, until recently, believed to be relatively unpolluted. However, recent measurements and modeling studies have found high levels of ozone (O3) there. Based on the state-of-the-science global chemical transport model MOZART-4, we identify the origin, pathway, and mechanism of trans-Eurasian transport of air pollutants to Western China in 2000. MOZART-4 generally simulates well the observed surface O3 over inland areas of China. Simulations find surface ozone concentrations over Western China on average to be about 10 ppbv higher than Eastern China. Using sensitivity studies, we find that anthropogenic emissions from all Eurasian regions except China contribute 10–15 ppbv surface O3 over Western China, superimposed upon a 35–40 ppbv natural background. Transport from European anthropogenic sources to Northwestern China results in 2–6 ppbv O3 enhancements in spring and summer. Indian anthropogenic sources strongly influence O3 over the Tibetan Plateau during the summer monsoon. Transport of O3 originating from emissions in the Middle East occasionally reach Western China and increase surface ozone there by about 1–4 ppbv. These influences are of similar magnitude as trans-Pacific and transatlantic transport of O3 and its precursors, indicating the significance of trans-Eurasian ozone transport in hemispheric transport of air pollution. Our study further indicates that mitigation of anthropogenic emissions from Europe, the Indian subcontinent, and the Middle East could benefit public health and agricultural productivity in Western China.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12,338-12,354
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 16 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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