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Spatiotemporal and probability variations of surface PM over China between 2013 and 2019 and the associated changes in health risks: An integrative observation and model analysis.

08:00 EDT 14th March 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Spatiotemporal and probability variations of surface PM over China between 2013 and 2019 and the associated changes in health risks: An integrative observation and model analysis."

We used statistical methods and the GEOS-Chem model to interpret the observed spatiotemporal and probability variations of surface PM concentrations in China from December 2013 to November 2019, as well as to assess the drivers for the variations and the implications for health risks associated with long-term and short-term exposure to PM. Annual and seasonal PM concentrations have decreased over most areas in China during the 6-year period. We decomposed the observed day-to-day variation of PM concentrations in eastern Chinese cities and found that it showed two distinct major spatial modes, which fluctuated in strength seasonally. The first mode, characterized by most of Eastern China being in the same phase, was mainly associated with the regional ventilation of pollutants. The second mode showed a dipolar pattern between the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area and the Yangtze River Delta area and was more prominent in summer. Using model simulations, we showed that this dipole mode was chemically driven by the secondary formation of sulfate in summer. We further used a gamma distribution to succinctly interpret the changes in the probability distributions of PM. We found that the nationwide decline in seasonal mean PM concentrations mainly reflected decreased occurrences of extremely high PM concentrations, which was strongly driven by the interannual variation of meteorology. These changes in the annual means and probability distributions of PM since December 2013 has led to significant decline of the estimated mortality risks associated with long-term and short-term PM-exposures. Regions that were less polluted saw the largest relative benefit per unit decrease in PM concentration, due to the steepness of the exposure-response curve at the low-concentration end. Our integrated methodology effectively diagnosed the drivers of PM variability and the associated health risks and can be used as part of the decision tool for PM pollution management over China.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: The Science of the total environment
ISSN: 1879-1026
Pages: 137896

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