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Open AccessArticle

Long-Term (2005–2017) View of Atmospheric Pollutants in Central China Using Multiple Satellite Observations

Hubei Key Laboratory of Regional Development and Environmental Response, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China
Faculty of Resources and Environmental Science, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China
State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
State key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
Beijing Key Laboratory of Cloud, Precipitation and Atmospheric Water Resources, Beijing Weather Modification office, Beijing 10089, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(6), 1041;
Received: 25 February 2020 / Revised: 18 March 2020 / Accepted: 21 March 2020 / Published: 24 March 2020
The air quality in China has experienced dramatic changes during the last few decades. To improve understanding of distribution, variations, and main influence factors of air pollution in central China, long-term multiple satellite observations from moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS) and ozone monitoring instrument (OMI) are used to characterize particle pollution and their primary gaseous precursors, sulfur dioxide (SO2), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in Hubei province during 2005–2017. Unlike other regions in eastern China, particle and gaseous pollutants exhibit distinct spatial and temporal patterns in central China due to differences in emission sources and control measures. OMI SO2 of the whole Hubei region reached the highest value of ~0.2 Dobson unit (DU) in 2007 and then declined by more than 90% to near background levels. By contrast, OMI NO2 grew from ~3.2 to 5.9 × 1015 molecules cm−2 during 2005–2011 and deceased to ~3.9 × 1015 molecules cm−2 in 2017. Unlike the steadily declining SO2, variations of OMI NO2 flattened out in 2016 and increased ~0.5 × 1015 molecules cm−2 during 2017. As result, MODIS AOD at 550 nm increased from 0.55 to the peak value of 0.7 during 2005–2011 and then decreased continuously to 0.38 by 2017. MODIS AOD and OMI SO2 has a high correlation (R > 0.8), indicating that annual variations of SO2 can explain most changes of AOD. The air pollution in central China has notable seasonal variations, which is heaviest in winter and light in summer. While air quality in eastern Hubei is dominated by gaseous pollution such as O3 and NOx, particle pollutants are mainly concentrated in central Hubei. The high consistency with ground measurements demonstrates that satellite observation can well capture variations of air pollution in regional scales. The increasing ozone (O3) and NO2 since 2016 suggests that more control measures should be made to reduce O3-related emissions. To improve the air quality in regional scale, it is necessary to monitor the dynamic emission sources with satellite observations at a finer resolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: air pollution; OMI; MODIS; central China; emission control air pollution; OMI; MODIS; central China; emission control
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Li, R.; Mei, X.; Chen, L.; Wang, L.; Wang, Z.; Jing, Y. Long-Term (2005–2017) View of Atmospheric Pollutants in Central China Using Multiple Satellite Observations. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 1041.

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