Article

Air Pollution and Weather Interaction in East Asia

Aijun Ding, Xin Huang and Congbin Fu

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science


Published online May 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780199389414 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.013.536

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  • Environmental Science
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Air pollution is one of the grand environmental challenges in developing countries, especially those with high population density like China. High concentrations of primary and secondary trace gases and particulate matter (PM) are frequently observed in the industrialized and urbanized regions, causing negative effects on the health of humans, plants, and the ecosystem.

Meteorological conditions are among the most important factors influencing day-to-day air quality. Synoptic weather and boundary layer dynamics control the dispersion capacity and transport of air pollutants, while the main meteorological parameters, such as air temperature, radiation, and relative humidity, influence the chemical transformation of secondary air pollutants at the same time. Intense air pollution, especially high concentration of radiatively important aerosols, can substantially influence meteorological parameters, boundary layer dynamics, synoptic weather, and even regional climate through their strong radiative effects.

As one of the main monsoon regions, with the most intense human activities in the world, East Asia is a region experiencing complex air pollution, with sources from anthropogenic fossil fuel combustion, biomass burning, dust storms, and biogenic emissions. A mixture of these different plumes can cause substantial two-way interactions and feedbacks in the formation of air pollutants under various weather conditions. Improving the understanding of such interactions needs more field measurements using integrated multiprocess measurement platforms, as well as more efforts in developing numerical models, especially for those with online coupled processes. All these efforts are very important for policymaking from the perspectives of environmental protection and mitigation of climate change.

Keywords: air pollution; synoptic weather; climate change; meteorological processes; feedbacks; aerosols; planetary boundary layer; East Asia

Article.  9986 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Biomes and Habitats ; Pollution and Threats to the Environment (Social Science) ; Earth Sciences and Geography

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