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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(11), 15224-15243; doi:10.3390/rs71115224

Analysis of the 2014 “APEC Blue” in Beijing Using More than One Decade of Satellite Observations: Lessons Learned from Radical Emission Control Measures

1
Department of Geography, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
2
Department of Geographical Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
3
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
4
School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
Present address: Environmental and Climate Sciences Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Bldg. 490A, Upton, NY 11973, USA
Present address: Atomic and Molecular Physics Division, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Richard Müller and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 8 June 2015 / Revised: 15 October 2015 / Accepted: 2 November 2015 / Published: 13 November 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1642 KB, uploaded 13 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

During the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meetings in Beijing, the Chinese government made significant efforts to clear Beijing’s sky. The emission control measures were very effective and the improved air quality during the APEC Meetings was called the “APEC Blue”. To monitor and estimate how these emission control measures affected air quality in Beijing and its five neighboring large cities (Tianjin, Shijiazhuang, Tangshan, Jinan, and Qingdao), we compared and analyzed the satellite-retrieved Aerosol Optical Thickness (AOT) products of the pre-APEC (18–31 October), APEC (1–11 November), and post-APEC periods (11–31 November) in 2002–2014 and daily PM2.5 measurements of the three periods in 2014 on the ground. Compared with the pre- and post-APEC periods, both ground and satellite observations indicated significantly reduced aerosol loading during the 2014 APEC period in Beijing and its surroundings, but with apparent spatial heterogeneity. For example, the peak value of PM2.5 in Beijing were around 100 µg∙m−3 during the APEC period, however, during the pre- and post-APEC periods, the peak values were up to 290 µg∙m−3. The following temporal correlation analysis of mean AOT values between Beijing and other five cities for the past thirteen years (2002–2014) indicated that the potential emission source regions strongly impacting air quality of Beijing were confined within central and southern Hebei as well as northern and southwestern Shandong, in correspondence with the spatial pattern of Digital Earth Model (DEM) of the study region. In addition to stringent emission control measures, back trajectory analysis indicated that the relatively favorable regional transport pattern might also have contributed to the “APEC Blue” in Beijing. These results suggest that the “APEC Blue” is a temporarily regional phenomenon; a long-term improvement of air quality in Beijing is still challenging and joint efforts of the whole region are needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: APEC Blue; North China Plain; emission control; aerosol optical thickness; MODIS; VIIRS; PM2.5; public health; air pollution APEC Blue; North China Plain; emission control; aerosol optical thickness; MODIS; VIIRS; PM2.5; public health; air pollution
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Meng, R.; Zhao, F.R.; Sun, K.; Zhang, R.; Huang, C.; Yang, J. Analysis of the 2014 “APEC Blue” in Beijing Using More than One Decade of Satellite Observations: Lessons Learned from Radical Emission Control Measures. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 15224-15243.

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