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Title: Dust-wind interactions can intensify aerosol pollution over eastern China

Eastern China has experienced severe and persistent winter haze episodes in recent years due to intensification of aerosol pollution, which has adverse impacts on hundreds of millions of people across China1–4. In addition to anthropogenic emissions, the winter aerosol pollution over eastern China is associated with abnormal meteorological conditions, including weaker wind speeds5–9. Using a global climate model and a chemical transport model, we show that variations in dust emissions decrease the wintertime land-sea surface air temperature difference between eastern China and the South China Sea and weaken winds below the lowest 10th percentile of wind speed by 0.06 m s-1. Here, the weakened winds enhance stagnation and account for 13% of the increases in PM2.5 aerosol concentrations over eastern China. Although recent increases in anthropogenic emissions are the main factor causing haze over eastern China, we conclude that natural emissions also exert a significant influence on the increases in wintertime PM2.5 concentrations, with important implications that should be considered in air quality studies.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [4] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [5]
  1. Univ. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA (United States)
  3. Nanjing Univ. of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing (China)
  4. Chinese Academy of Meteorological Science, Beijing (China)
  5. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723; KP1703010
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; atmospheric chemistry; atmospheric dynamics
OSTI Identifier: