1Physical Oceanography Laboratory, Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction and Climate Laboratory, Department of Marine Meteorology, College of Physical and Environmental Oceanography, Ocean University of China, 238 Songling Rd., Laoshan District, Qingdao 266100, Chi
2Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Centre for Atmosphere Watch and Services (CAWAS), Chinese Academy of Metrological Sciences, China Meteorological Administration, 46 Zhong-Guan-Cun S. Ave., Beijing 100081, China
3Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center, New Mexico State University, Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA
Abstract. The spatial distribution of the aerosols over 86 Chinese cities was reconstructed from air pollution index (API) records for summer 2000 to winter 2006. PM10 (particulate matter ≤10 μm) mass concentrations were calculated for days when PM10 was the principal pollutant, these accounted for 91.6% of the total 150 428 recorded days. The 83 cities in mid-eastern China (100° E to 130° E) were separated into three latitudinal zones using natural landscape features as boundaries. Areas with high PM10 level in northern China (127 to 192 μg m−3) included Urumchi, Lanzhou-Xining, Weinan-Xi'an, Taiyuan-Datong-Yangquan-Changzhi, Pingdingshan-Kaifeng, Beijing-Tianjin-Shijiazhuang, Jinan, and Shenyang-Anshan-Fushun; in the middle zone, high PM10 (119–147 μg m−3) occurred at Chongqing-Chengdu-Luzhou, Changsha-Wuhan, and Nanjing-Hangzhou; in the southern zone, only four cities (Qujing, Guiyang, Guangzhou and Shaoguan) showed PM10 concentration >80 μg m−3. The median PM10 concentration decreased from 108 μg m−3 for the northern cities to 95 μg m−3 and 55 μg m−3 for the middle and southern zones, respectively. PM10 concentration and the APIs both exhibited wintertime maxima, summertime minima, and the second highest values in spring. PM10showed evidence for a decreasing trend for the northern cities while in the other zones urban PM10 levels fluctuated, but showed no obvious change over time. The spatial distribution of PM10 was compared with the emissions, and the relationship between the surface PM10 concentration and the aerosol optical depth (AOD) was also discussed.