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First Author: Tong, Lei

Surface ozone (O3) is a harmful air pollutant that has attracted growing concern in China. In this study, the mixing ratios of O3 and nitrogen oxides (NOx) at three different sites (urban, suburban and rural) of Ningbo were continuously measured to investigate the spatiotemporal characteristics of O3 and its relationships with environmental variables. The diurnal O3 variations were characterized by afternoon maxima (38.7–53.1 ppb on annual average) and early morning minima (11.7–26.2 ppb) at all the three sites. Two seasonal peaks of O3 were observed in spring (April or May) and autumn (October) with minima being observed in winter (December). NOx levels showed generally opposite variations to that of O3 with diurnal and seasonal maxima occurring in morning/evening rush-hours and in winter, respectively. As to the inter-annual variations of air pollutants, generally decreasing and increasing trends were observed in NO and O3 levels, respectively, from 2012 to 2015 at both urban and suburban sites. O3 levels were positively correlated with temperature but negatively correlated with relative humidity and NOx levels. Significant differences in O3 levels were observed for different wind speeds and wind directions (p < 0.001). O3 levels varied non-linearly with wind speed ranges with an increasing trend within 4 m/s. Higher mixing ratio of O3 was observed for wind blowing from the sea, which indicates that the coastal air mass might carry more O3. A decreasing trend in O3 levels was observed from weekdays to weekends at all the three sites. As to the spatial variation, higher levels of O3 were observed at the suburban and rural sites where less O3 was depleted by NO titration. In contrast, the urban site exhibited lower O3 but higher NOx levels due to the influence of traffic emissions. Larger amplitudes of diurnal and monthly O3 variations were observed at the suburban site than those at the urban and rural sites. In general, the O3 levels at the non-urban sites were more affected by the background transport, while both the local and regional contributions played roles in urban O3 variations. The annual average O3 mixing ratios (22.7–37.7 ppb) in Ningbo were generally similar to those of other regions around the world. However, the recommended air quality standards for O3 were often exceeded during warm seasons, which could be a potential threat to both local population and plant growth.

Contact the author: Xiao, Hang
Page Number: 57-68
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PubYear: 2017
Volume: 187
The full text link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosres.2016.12.006