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Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2330; doi:10.3390/su9122330

Characteristics of Particulate Pollution (PM2.5 and PM10) and Their Spacescale-Dependent Relationships with Meteorological Elements in China

1
College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
2
Key Laboratory of Environmental Biology and Pollution Control (Hunan University), Ministry of Education, Changsha 410082, China
3
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
4
College of Mathematics and Econometrics, Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 November 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 14 December 2017
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Abstract

Particulate matter (PM) pollution in China has an obvious characteristic of spatial distribution. It is well known that intensive anthropogenic activities, such as fossil fuel combustion and biomass burning, have great influence on the spatial distribution of PM pollution. However, the spacescale-dependent relationships between PM concentrations and weather conditions remain unclear. Here, we investigated the characteristics of two types of particulate pollution, including PM2.5 and PM10, and their spatial relationships with meteorological elements in 173 cities throughout China from March 2014 to February 2015. Results: (1) High PM2.5 concentrations were distinctly located southeast of the Hu Line, and high PM10 concentrations were distinctly situated north of the Yangtze River; (2) Spacescale-dependent relationships were found between PM pollution and meteorological elements. The influence of temperature had similar inverted V-shaped characteristics, namely, there was serious PM pollution when temperature was about 15 °C, and there was slight PM pollution when temperature was less or more than 15 °C. Annual precipitation, wind speed, and relative humidity were negatively correlated with PM, while annual atmospheric pressure was positively correlated with PM; (3) The ideal meteorological regions were identified according to the quantified spatial relationships between PM and meteorological elements, which could be defined by a combination of the following conditions: (a) temperature <10 °C or >21 °C; (b) precipitation >1500 mm; (c) atmospheric pressure <900 hPa; (d) wind speed >3 m/s; and (e) relative humidity >65%, where air pollutants can easily be scavenged. The success of this research provides a meteorological explanation to the spatial distribution characteristics of PM pollution in China. View Full-Text
Keywords: PM pollution; meteorological elements; spacescale-dependent relationship; ideal meteorological regions; China PM pollution; meteorological elements; spacescale-dependent relationship; ideal meteorological regions; China
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Li, X.; Chen, X.; Yuan, X.; Zeng, G.; León, T.; Liang, J.; Chen, G.; Yuan, X. Characteristics of Particulate Pollution (PM2.5 and PM10) and Their Spacescale-Dependent Relationships with Meteorological Elements in China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 2330.

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