Seasonal and spatial variability of surface ozone over China: contributions from background and domestic pollution
1Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Center for Earth System Science, Institute for Global Change Studies, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
2School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
3Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA
Abstract. Both observations and a 3-D chemical transport model suggest that surface ozone over populated eastern China features a summertime trough and that the month when surface ozone peaks differs by latitude and region. Source-receptor analysis is used to quantify the contributions of background ozone and Chinese anthropogenic emissions on this variability. Annual mean background ozone over China shows a spatial gradient from 55 ppbv in the northwest to 20 ppbv in the southeast, corresponding with changes in topography and ozone lifetime. Pollution background ozone (annual mean of 12.6 ppbv) shows a minimum in the summer and maximum in the spring. On the monthly-mean basis, Chinese pollution ozone (CPO) has a peak of 20–25 ppbv in June north of the Yangtze River and in October south of it, which explains the peaks of surface ozone in these months. The summertime trough in surface ozone over eastern China can be explained by the decrease of background ozone from spring to summer (by −15 ppbv regionally averaged over eastern China). Tagged simulations suggest that long-range transport of ozone from northern mid-latitude continents (including Europe and North America) reaches a minimum in the summer, whereas ozone from Southeast Asia exhibits a maximum in the summer over eastern China. This contrast in seasonality provides clear evidence that the seasonal switch in monsoonal wind patterns plays a significant role in determining the seasonality of background ozone over China.