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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 23, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and formaldehyde (HCHO) play vital roles in atmospheric photochemical processes. Their tropospheric vertical column density (TVCD) distributions have been monitored by satellite instruments. Evaluation of these observations is essential for applying these observations to study photochemistry. Assessing satellite products using observations at rural sites, where local emissions are minimal, is particularly useful due in part to the spatial homogeneity of trace gases. In this study, we evaluate OMI and TROPOMI NO2and HCHO TVCDs using multi‐axis differential optical absorption spectroscopy (MAX‐DOAS) measurements at a rural site in the east coast of the Shandong province, China in spring 2018 during the Ozone Photochemistry and Export from China Experiment (OPECE) measurement campaign. On days not affected by local burning, we found generally good agreement of NO2data after using consistent a priori profiles in satellite and MAX‐DOAS retrievals and accounting for low biases in scattering weights in one of the OMI products. In comparison, satellite HCHO products exhibited weaker correlations with MAX‐DOAS data, in contrast to satellite NO2products. However, TROPOMI HCHO products showed significantly better agreement with MAX‐DOAS measurements compared to OMI data. Furthermore, case studies of the vertical profiles measured by MAX‐DOAS on burning days revealed large enhancements of nitrous acid (HONO), NO2, and HCHO in the upper boundary layer, accompanied with considerable variability, particularly in HONO enhancements.

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  3. Abstract A catastrophic heatwave struck North America (NA) in the summer of 2021, the underlying cause of which currently remains unclear. The reanalysis data (1980–2021) is analyzed to elucidate the mechanism modulating the summer heatwaves. We find the heatwaves over western NA tend to occur concurrently with quasi-barotropic ridges (QBTRs). The 2021 record-breaking heatwave, in particular, coincides with an extended eight-day QBTR event. The frequency of QBTRs is modulated by large-scale forcing. During the period of 1980–2000, it is correlated with the Arctic Oscillation. After 2000, however, the QBTR frequency is highly associated with sea ice variations. Specifically, the negative sea ice anomalies in the Chukchi Sea are usually associated with stronger net surface shortwave radiation and low cloud cover, triggering upward motion and a low-pressure center in the low- and mid-troposphere. The low pressure strengthens a stationary wave response, concomitant with two alternately high- and low-pressure centers, inducing more frequent QBTRs over western NA. These findings indicate that further Arctic sea ice loss under a warming climate will likely lead to more devastating heatwaves over western NA. 
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  4. Abstract Background The spatiotemporal variation of observed trace gases (NO 2 , SO 2 , O 3 ) and particulate matter (PM 2.5 , PM 10 ) were investigated over cities of Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region including Nanjing, Hefei, Shanghai and Hangzhou. Furthermore, the characteristics of different pollution episodes, i.e., haze events (visibility < 7 km, relative humidity < 80%, and PM 2.5  > 40 µg/m 3 ) and complex pollution episodes (PM 2.5  > 35 µg/m 3 and O 3  > 160 µg/m 3 ) were studied over the cities of the YRD region. The impact of China clean air action plan on concentration of aerosols and trace gases is examined. The impacts of trans-boundary pollution and different meteorological conditions were also examined. Results The highest annual mean concentrations of PM 2.5 , PM 10 , NO 2 and O 3 were found for 2019 over all the cities. The annual mean concentrations of PM 2.5 , PM 10 , and NO 2 showed continuous declines from 2019 to 2021 due to emission control measures and implementation of the Clean Air Action plan over all the cities of the YRD region. The annual mean O 3 levels showed a decline in 2020 over all the cities of YRD region, which is unprecedented since the beginning of the China’s National environmental monitoring program since 2013. However, a slight increase in annual O 3 was observed in 2021. The highest overall means of PM 2.5 , PM 10 , SO 2 , and NO 2 were observed over Hefei, whereas the highest O 3 levels were found in Nanjing. Despite the strict control measures, PM 2.5 and PM 10 concentrations exceeded the Grade-1 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines over all the cities of the YRD region. The number of haze days was higher in Hefei and Nanjing, whereas the complex pollution episodes or concurrent occurrence of O 3 and PM 2.5 pollution days were higher in Hangzhou and Shanghai. The in situ data for SO 2 and NO 2 showed strong correlation with Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) satellite data. Conclusions Despite the observed reductions in primary pollutants concentrations, the secondary pollutants formation is still a concern for major metropolises. The increase in temperature and lower relative humidity favors the accumulation of O 3 , while low temperature, low wind speeds and lower relative humidity favor the accumulation of primary pollutants. This study depicts different air pollution problems for different cities inside a region. Therefore, there is a dire need to continuous monitoring and analysis of air quality parameters and design city-specific policies and action plans to effectively deal with the metropolitan pollution. 
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  5. The continued development of the automotive industry has led to a rapid increase in the amount of waste rubber tires, the problem of “black pollution” has become more serious but is often ignored. In this study, the emission characteristics, health risks, and environmental effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from a typical, recycled rubber plant were studied. A total of 15 samples were collected by summa canisters, and 100 VOC species were detected by the GC/MS-FID system. In this study, the total VOCs (TVOCs) concentration ranged from 1000 ± 99 to 19,700 ± 19,000 µg/m3, aromatics and alkanes were the predominant components, and m/p-xylene (14.63 ± 4.07%–48.87 ± 3.20%) could be possibly regarded as a VOCs emission marker. We also found that specific similarities and differences in VOCs emission characteristics in each process were affected by raw materials, production conditions, and process equipment. The assessment of health risks showed that devulcanizing and cooling had both non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks, yarding had carcinogenic risks, and open training and refining had potential carcinogenic risks. Moreover, m/p-xylene and benzene were the main non-carcinogenic species, while benzene, ethylbenzene, and carbon tetrachloride were the dominant risk compounds. In the evaluation results of LOH, m/p-xylene (25.26–67.87%) was identified as the most key individual species and should be prioritized for control. In conclusion, the research results will provide the necessary reference to standardize the measurement method of the VOCs source component spectrum and build a localized source component spectrum. 
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  6. China has been experiencing severe ozone pollution problems in recent years. While a number of studies have focused on the ozone-pollution-prone regions such as the North China Plain, Yangtze River Delta, and Pearl River Delta regions, few studies have investigated the mechanisms modulating the interannual variability of ozone concentrations in Shandong Province, where a large population is located and is often subject to ozone pollution. By utilizing both the reanalysis dataset and regional numerical model (WRF-CMAQ), we delve into the potential governing mechanisms of ozone pollution in Shandong Province—especially over the major port city of Qingdao—during summer 2014–2019. During this period, ozone pollution in Qingdao exceeded the tier II standard of the Chinese National Ambient Air Quality (GB 3095-2012) for 75 days. From the perspective of meteorology, the high-pressure ridge over Baikal Lake and to its northeast, which leads to a relatively low humidity and sufficient sunlight, is the most critical weather system inducing high-ozone events in Qingdao. In terms of emissions, biogenic emissions contribute to ozone enhancement close to 10 ppb in the west and north of Shandong Province. Numerical experiments show that the local impact of biogenic emissions on ozone production in Shandong Province is relatively small, whereas biogenic emissions on the southern flank of Shandong Province enhance ozone production and further transport northeastward, resulting in an increase in ozone concentrations over Shandong Province. For the port city of Qingdao, ship emissions increase ozone concentrations when sea breezes (easterlies) prevail over Qingdao, with the 95th percentile reaching 8.7 ppb. The findings in this study have important implications for future ozone pollution in Shandong Province, as well as the northern and coastal areas in China. 
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