A sea breeze is a local circulation that occurs in coastal regions from the poles to the equator. The adverse influence of ship emissions on air quality in coastal areas may be aggravated by the onshore flow of sea breeze circulation. However, our knowledge regarding the evolution of ship-emitted pollutants during a specific sea breeze episode is still limited. To address this knowledge gap, this study investigated the evolution of ship emissions during a sea breeze episode that occurred on 29 June, 2014 in Tangshan port in China by employing the WRF/Chem model. NO2
, one of the primary pollutants emitted by ships, was selected as the target pollutant for investigation. The results indicate that the ground level NO2
concentration was considerably affected by sea breeze circulation. Although the onset of the sea breeze was delayed until nearly midday due to offshore synoptic winds, ship-emitted NO2
was transported to more than 100 km inland with the penetration of the sea breeze. Further investigation found that the averaged concentration of ship-contributed NO2
during the episode showed an evident downward trend as the distance from the coastline increased. Vertically, the shallow atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) on the sea limited the vertical dispersion of ship emissions, and the pollutant was transported shoreward by the sea breeze within this shallow ABL. The height of the ABLs is lowered in coastal regions due to the cooling effect of sea breezes which brings the cool marine air to the hot land surface. Ship-contributed NO2
was mostly trapped in the shallow ABL; thereby, its concentration increased.
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