Surface ozone (O3) pollution during summer (June–August) over eastern China has become more severe in recent years, resulting in a co-occurrence of surface O3 and PM2.5 (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters ≤ 2.5 µm in the air) pollution. However, the mechanisms regarding how the synoptic weather pattern (SWP) might influence this compound pollution remain unclear. In this study, we applied the T-mode principal component analysis (T-PCA) method to objectively classify the occurrence of four SWPs over eastern China, based on the geopotential heights at 500 hPa during summer (2015–2018). These four SWPs over eastern China were closely related to the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH), exhibiting significant intra-seasonal and interannual variations. Based on ground-level air quality observations, remarkable spatial and temporal disparities of surface O3 and PM2.5 pollution were also found under the four SWPs. In particular, there were two SWPs that were sensitive to compound pollution (Type 1 and Type 2). Type 1 was characterized by a stable WPSH ridge with its axis at about 22∘ N and the rain belt located south of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD); Type 2 also exhibited WPSH dominance (ridge axis at ∼ 25∘ N) but with the rain belt (over the YRD) at a higher latitude compared to Type 1. In general, SWPs have played an important role as driving factors of surface O3–PM2.5 compound pollution in a regional context. Our findings demonstrate the important role played by SWPs in driving regional surface O3–PM2.5 compound pollution, in addition to the large quantities of emissions, and may also provide insights into the regional co-occurring high levels of both PM2.5 and O3 via the effects of certain meteorological factors.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Atmospheric Science