Combined short-term and long-term emission controls improve air quality sustainably in China

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Wen, Z., Ma, X., Xu, W., Si, R., Liu, L., Ma, M., Zhao, Y., Tang, A., Zhang, Y., Wang, K., Zhang, Y., Shen, J., Zhang, L., Zhao, Y., Zhang, F., Goulding, K. W. T. and Liu, X. 2024. Combined short-term and long-term emission controls improve air quality sustainably in China. Nature Communications. 15, p. 5159. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-49539-9

AuthorsWen, Z., Ma, X., Xu, W., Si, R., Liu, L., Ma, M., Zhao, Y., Tang, A., Zhang, Y., Wang, K., Zhang, Y., Shen, J., Zhang, L., Zhao, Y., Zhang, F., Goulding, K. W. T. and Liu, X.
Abstract

The effectiveness of national policies for air pollution control has been demonstrated, but the relative effectiveness of short-term emission reduction measures in comparison with national policies has not. Here we show that short-term abatement measures during important international events substantially reduced PM2.5 concentrations, but air quality rebounded to prevent levels after the measures ceased. Long-term adherence to strict emission reduction policies led to successful decreases of 54% in PM2.5 concentrations in Beijing, and 23% in atmospheric nitrogen deposition in China from 2012 to 2020. Incentivized by “blue skies” type campaigns, economic development and reactive nitrogen pollution are quickly decoupled, showing that a combination of inspiring but aggressive short-term measures and effective but durable long-term policies delivers sustainable air quality improvement. However, increased ammonia concentrations, transboundary pollutant flows, and the complexity to achieving reduction targets under climate change scenarios, underscore the need for the synergistic control of multiple pollutants and inter-regional action.

KeywordsEmission controls; Chinese air quality
Year of Publication2024
JournalNature Communications
Journal citation15, p. 5159
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-49539-9
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-49539-9
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderNational Natural Science Foundation of China
Funder project or codeUK - China Virtual Joint Centre for Improved Nitrogen Agronomy (CINAG)
Publisher's version
Copyright license
CC BY 4.0
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online17 Jun 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted10 Jun 2024
PublisherNature Publishing Group
ISSN2041-1723

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/990q8/combined-short-term-and-long-term-emission-controls-improve-air-quality-sustainably-in-china

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