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Correlations between PM2.5 and Ozone over China and Associated Underlying Reasons

1,2, 1,3, 1,* and 4
Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
Research Institute of Climatic and Environmental Governance, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education (KLME), Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environment Change (ILCEC), Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters (CIC-FEMD), Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(7), 352;
Received: 4 June 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 24 June 2019 / Published: 27 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
PDF [2469 KB, uploaded 27 June 2019]


We investigated the spatial-temporal characteristics of the correlations between observed PM2.5 and O3 over China at a national-scale level, and examined the underlying reasons for the varying PM2.5–O3 correlations by using a chemical transport model. The PM2.5 concentrations were positively correlated with O3 concentrations for most regions and seasons over China, while negative correlations were mainly observed in northern China during winter. The strongest positive PM2.5–O3 correlations with correlation coefficients (r) larger than +0.7 existed in southern China during July, and the strongest negative correlations (r < −0.5) were observed in northern China during January. It was a very interesting phenomenon that the positive PM2.5–O3 correlations prevailed for high air temperature samples, while the negative correlations were generally found in cold environments. Together, the effective inhibitory effect of PM2.5 on O3 generation by reducing photolysis rates and the strong titration effect of freshly emitted NO with O3 contributed to the strongest negative PM2.5–O3 correlations in northern China during January (i.e., in cold environments). The strongest positive correlations in southern China during July (i.e., at high temperature), however, were mainly attributed to the promoting effect of high O3 concentration and active photochemical activity on secondary particle formation. View Full-Text
Keywords: PM2.5; ozone; correlation; temperature PM2.5; ozone; correlation; temperature

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Zhu, J.; Chen, L.; Liao, H.; Dang, R. Correlations between PM2.5 and Ozone over China and Associated Underlying Reasons. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 352.

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