Simulation of the interannual variations of tropospheric ozone over China: Roles of variations in meteorological parameters and anthropogenic emissions

Sijia Lou, Hong Liao*, Yang Yang, Qing Mu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


We quantify the interannual variations (IAVs) of tropospheric O3 over China for the years 2004-2012 by using the one-way nested-grid version of the global three-dimensional Goddard Earth Observing System chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem). The roles of variations in meteorological fields and anthropogenic emissions of O3 precursors are examined separately and together through sensitivity simulations. With variations in both meteorological parameters and emissions, simulated seasonal mean surface-layer O3 concentrations over North China (NC, 110-120°E, 32-42°N) exhibit the largest IAVs in June-July-August (JJA). The regionally averaged absolute percent departure from the mean (APDM) values over NC are 0.7%, 3.2%, 3.9%, and 2.1% in December-January-February (DJF), March-April-May (MAM), and September-October-November (SON), respectively. Over South China (SC, 110-120°E, 22-32°N), the IAVs of O3 are found maximum in MAM, and minimum in JJA; the APDM values are 2.7%, 3.7%, 1.4%, and 2.6% in DJF, MAM, JJA, and SON, respectively. With respect to the IAVs of O3 over the Sichuan Basin (SCB, 102-110°E, 27-33°N), the APDM values are simulated to be 2.7-3.8% throughout the year. The IAVs in surface-layer O3 by variations in meteorological fields are simulated to be larger than those by variations in anthropogenic emissions throughout the year in NC and SC except for JJA in SC. The relatively more important role of variations in anthropogenic emissions is simulated in SCB in all seasons. Process analyses are performed to identify key meteorological parameters that influence the IAVs of O3 over NC, SC, and SCB. Over all of these regions, variations in winds are found to have the largest impact on the IAVs of O3, followed by those in temperature and specific humidity. Considering that the APDM values represent the IAVs averaged over 2004-2012, the magnitudes of IAVs of O3 for specific years can be more significant than the numbers reported here. Our results have important implications for the effectiveness of short-term air quality control strategies in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-851
Number of pages13
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Interannual variation
  • Process analysis
  • Tropospheric ozone


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