Abstract: The air quality in China, particularly the PM2.5 (particles less than 2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter) level, has become an increasing public concern because of its relation to health risks. The distribution of PM2.5 concentrations has a close relationship with multiple geographic and socioeconomic factors, but the lack of reliable data has been the main obstacle to studying this topic. Based on the newly published Annual Average PM2.5 gridded data, together with land use data, gridded population data and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data, this paper explored the spatial-temporal characteristics of PM2.5 concentrations and the factors impacting those concentrations in China for the years of 2001–2010. The contributions of urban areas, high population and economic development to PM2.5 concentrations were analyzed using the Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) model. The results indicated that the spatial pattern of PM2.5 concentrations in China remained stable during the period 2001–2010; high concentrations of PM2.5 are mostly found in regions with high populations and rapid urban expansion, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in North China, East China (including the Shandong, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces) and Henan province. Increasing populations, local economic growth and urban expansion are the three main driving forces impacting PM2.5 concentrations.
Keywords: PM2.5; GDP; population; land use change; geographically weighted regression
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Lin, G.; Fu, J.; Jiang, D.; Hu, W.; Dong, D.; Huang, Y.; Zhao, M. Spatio-Temporal Variation of PM2.5 Concentrations and Their Relationship with Geographic and Socioeconomic Factors in China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 173-186.
Lin G, Fu J, Jiang D, Hu W, Dong D, Huang Y, Zhao M. Spatio-Temporal Variation of PM2.5 Concentrations and Their Relationship with Geographic and Socioeconomic Factors in China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(1):173-186.
Lin, Gang; Fu, Jingying; Jiang, Dong; Hu, Wensheng; Dong, Donglin; Huang, Yaohuan; Zhao, Mingdong. 2014. "Spatio-Temporal Variation of PM2.5 Concentrations and Their Relationship with Geographic and Socioeconomic Factors in China." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 1: 173-186.