Recent Progress in Atmospheric Chemistry Research in China: Establishing a Theoretical Framework for the “Air Pollution Complex”

Tong Zhu*, Mingjin Tang, Meng Gao, Xinhui Bi, Junji Cao, Huizheng Che, Jianmin Chen, Aijun Ding, Pingqing Fu, Jian Gao, Yang Gao, Maofa Ge, Xinlei Ge, Zhiwei Han, Hong He, Ru Jin Huang, Xin Huang, Hong Liao, Cheng Liu, Huan LiuJianguo Liu, Shaw Chen Liu, Keding Lu, Qingxin Ma, Wei Nie, Min Shao, Yu Song, Yele Sun, Xiao Tang, Tao Wang, Tijian Wang, Weigang Wang, Xuemei Wang, Zifa Wang, Yan Yin, Qiang Zhang, Weijun Zhang, Yanlin Zhang, Yunhong Zhang, Yu Zhao, Mei Zheng, Bin Zhu, Jiang Zhu

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Atmospheric chemistry research has been growing rapidly in China in the last 25 years since the concept of the “air pollution complex” was first proposed by Professor Xiaoyan TANG in 1997. For papers published in 2021 on air pollution (only papers included in the Web of Science Core Collection database were considered), more than 24 000 papers were authored or co-authored by scientists working in China. In this paper, we review a limited number of representative and significant studies on atmospheric chemistry in China in the last few years, including studies on (1) sources and emission inventories, (2) atmospheric chemical processes, (3) interactions of air pollution with meteorology, weather and climate, (4) interactions between the biosphere and atmosphere, and (5) data assimilation. The intention was not to provide a complete review of all progress made in the last few years, but rather to serve as a starting point for learning more about atmospheric chemistry research in China. The advances reviewed in this paper have enabled a theoretical framework for the air pollution complex to be established, provided robust scientific support to highly successful air pollution control policies in China, and created great opportunities in education, training, and career development for many graduate students and young scientists. This paper further highlights that developing and low-income countries that are heavily affected by air pollution can benefit from these research advances, whilst at the same time acknowledging that many challenges and opportunities still remain in atmospheric chemistry research in China, to hopefully be addressed over the next few decades.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1339-1361
    Number of pages23
    JournalAdvances in Atmospheric Sciences
    Issue number8
    Early online date28 Apr 2023
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Atmospheric Science

    User-Defined Keywords

    • atmospheric chemistry
    • air pollution complex
    • theoretical framework
    • recent progress


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