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Environ Sci Technol. 2010 Oct 15;44(20):7771-6. doi: 10.1021/es101094t.

Recent changes in particulate air pollution over China observed from space and the ground: effectiveness of emission control.

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Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China.


The Chinese government has moved aggressively since 2005 to reduce emissions of a number of pollutants including primary particulate matter (PM) and sulfur dioxide (SO(2)), efforts inadvertently aided since late 2008 by economic recession. Satellite observations of aerosol optical depth (AOD) and column nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)) provide independent indicators of emission trends, clearly reflecting the sharp onset of the recession in the fall of 2008 and rebound of the economy in the latter half of 2009. Comparison of AOD with ground-based observations of PM over a longer period indicate that emission-control policies have not been successful in reducing concentrations of aerosol pollutants at smaller size range over industrialized regions of China. The lack of success is attributed to the increasing importance of anthropogenic secondary aerosols formed from precursor species including nitrogen oxides (NO(x)), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC), and ammonia (NH(3)).

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