Where Does Ambient PM2.5 Come from in China: A Comparison and Synthesis of Recent Estimates?

Meng Gao*, Kirk R. Smith, Jos Lelieveld, Frank Dentener, Jason West, Jianlin Hu, Ken Kin Lam Yung, Patrick Kinney, John Evans, Zifa Wang, Chris P. Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper


Exposure to ambient PM2.5 in China is reported as the 3rd largest contributor to excess deaths in China (approximately 1.1 million annually). The breakdown of pollutant sources to PM2.5 exposure would help policymakers prioritize pollution control strategies, but recent studies on this topic (GBD MAPS Working Group, 2016; Hu et al., 2017a; Karagulian et al., 2017; Lelieveld et al., 2015; Silva et al., 2016) greatly diverge. We systematically inter-compare meteorological data, model resolution, aerosol chemistry and emission inventories that applied in these studies to better understand the causes of the divergent conclusions. We find that the divergent conclusions can be explained well by the definition of sector categories and statistical characteristics of these inventories. We synthesize the results from studies using similar sector categories and based on more recent years, and conclude that industrial sector (including energy manufacturing) dominates the sector contribution (32%, 28-37%) to populationweighted PM2.5 in China, and needs immediate action.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2019
EventRisk Assessment, Economic Evaluation, and Decisions Workshop 2019 - Harvard University Center for the Environment, Cambridge, United States
Duration: 26 Sept 201927 Sept 2019
https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hcra/risk-assessment-economic-evaluation-and-decisions-workshop/ (Conference website)
https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hcra/wp-content/uploads/sites/1273/2019/09/Risk-Assessment-Economic-Evaluation-and-Decisions-program.pdf (Conference programme)


WorkshopRisk Assessment, Economic Evaluation, and Decisions Workshop 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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