MEP Releases Air Quality Status of 74 Chinese Cities

13 December 2015 | Ministry of Environmental Protection – China News Release

MEP released of late the air quality status of 74 cities in November, including cities seated in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River delta, Pearl River delta, as well as municipalities directly under the Central Government, provincial capital cities, and cities separately listed in State plans.

According to Luo Yi, Director General of MEP Department of Environmental Monitoring, the percentage of air quality attainment days ranged between 16.7 percent and 100 percent among the 74 cities in November. Specifically, the percentage of attainment days reached up to 100 percent in 14 cities Guiyang, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Lhasa, Kunming, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Haikou, Guangzhou, Taizhou, Shenzhen, Zhoushan, Quzhou, and Nanning, between 80 percent and 100 percent in 22 cities including Chongqing, Wenzhou, and Dongguan, between 50 percent and 80 percent in 24 cities including Taizhou, Changzhou, and Suzhou, and under 50 percent in 14 cities Shenyang, Harbin, Jinan, Hengshui, Xingtai, Cangzhou, Changchun, Tangshan, Langfang, Zhengzhou, Dalian, Baoding, Beijing, and Tianjin. PM2.5 was the main pollutant during most of the nonattainment days, followed by days with PM10 as the main pollutant. Northern China began heat supply in November, and affected by pollution emission and unfavorable meteorological conditions, a large-scale, serious, and lingering air pollution spell struck the Northeast and South China. Between Nov.1 and 14, heavy air pollution lingered on in Northeast China, as a result, 34 out of the 36 cities at prefectural level and above in the three northeastern provinces recorded heavy and serious pollution, Shenyang observed heavy and serious pollution for five consecutive days, and 12 cities including Harbin, Changchun, and Anshan had records of serious and heavy pollution for four consecutive days. Specifically, the hourly PM2.5 reading peaked at approximately 1,000 μg/m3 in Harbin and even above the figure in Changchun, Shenyang, etc. Between Nov.27 and Dec.1, heavy air pollution lingered in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and 10 out of the 13 cities in the region were engulfed in heavy and serious pollution. Specifically, Shijiazhuang recorded serious pollution for five consecutive days, Beijing recorded four days of serious pollution and one day of heavy pollution, and Baoding, Langfang, and Xingtai had three days of serious pollution and two days of heavy pollution. The max. mean daily PM2.5 reading and max. mean hourly PM2.5 reading was recorded by Baoding, at 513 μg/m3 and 740 μg/m3 respectively during the heavy air pollution spell. The max. hourly PM2.5 reading reached over 900 μg/m3. The max. mean daily PM2.5 reading registered 464 μg/m3, and the max. mean hourly PM2.5 reading was 605 μg/m3 in Beijing.

Affected by the heavy air pollution, the mean monthly PM2.5 reading was much higher in some cities from November last year. The top 10 cities with the highest mean monthly PM2.5 reading were Harbin, Shenyang, Changchun, Langfang, Xingtai, Shijiazhuang, Beijing, Jinan, Hengshui, and Baoding. Measured by the urban AQI, the top 10 cities recorded with fairly poor air quality (ranking from the 74th to the 65th) this month were Shenyang, Xingtai, Baoding, Shijiazhuang, Harbin, Changchun, Langfang, Tangshan, Jinan, and Hengshui, while the top 10 cities recorded with fairly good air quality (ranking from the 1st to the 10th) were Haikou, Xiamen, Zhoushan, Fuzhou, Guiyang, Huizhou, Lishui, Nanchang, Kunming, and Shenzhen.

The percentage of attainment days ranged between 33.3 percent and 90.0 percent in the 13 cities located in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in November. Specifically, the percentage of attainment days was between 80 percent and 90.0 percent in three cities Zhangjiakou, Qinhuangdao, and Chengde, somewhere between 50 percent and 80 percent in two cities Handan and Shijiazhuang, and below 50 percent in eight cities including Hengshui, Xingtai, and Cangzhou. PM2.5 was the main pollutant during most of the nonattainment days, followed by days with PM10 as the main pollutant. The mean monthly reading of PM2.5 was down 13.0 percent year on year and up 56.7 percent month on month; that of PM10 was down 23.6 percent year on year and up 19.3 percent month on month; that of SO2 was down 26.4 percent year on year and up 56.0 percent month on month; and that of NO2 dropped 7.9 percent year on year and went up 13.7 percent month on month. The mean nonattainment rate of the mean daily reading of CO went down 0.2 percentage point year on year and up 4.4 percentage points month on month. The mean nonattainment rate of 8-hour maximum daily reading of O3 levelled off year on year and went down 5.8 percentage points month on month.

The attainment rate of Beijing registered 46.7 percent, with five days recorded with heavy pollution and four with severe pollution. This month had four more days of heavy and serious pollution than last November. PM2.5 was the main pollutant during most of the nonattainment days. The mean monthly reading of PM2.5 was 118 μg/m3, up 38.8 percent year on year and 59.5 percent month on month; that of PM10 was 132 μg/m3, up 7.3 percent year on year and 53.5 percent month on month; that of SO2 was 12 μg/m3, down 29.4 percent year on year and up 100 percent month on month; and that of NO2 was 61 μg/m3, down 10.3 percent year on year and up 13.0 percent month on month. The mean nonattainment rate of the daily reading of CO was 6.7 percent, up 6.7 percentage points compared with last November and last month. The 8-hour maximum daily reading of O3 attained the standard all through the month, levelling off with last November and going down 6.5 percentage points.

The percentage of attainment days ranged between 63.3 percent and 100 percent in the 25 cities located in Yangtze River delta in November. Specifically, the percentage of attainment days registered 100 percent in three cities Taizhou, Zhoushan, and Quzhou, ranged somewhere between 80 percent and 100 percent in nine cities including Wenzhou, Lishui, and Hangzhou, and between 63.3 percent and 80 percent in 13 cities including Taizhou, Changzhou, and Suzhou. PM2.5 was the main pollutant during most of the nonattainment days, followed by days with NO2 as the main pollutant. The mean monthly reading of PM2.5 was down 17.5 percent year on year and levelled off month on month; that of PM10 was down 23.5 percent year on year and 14.8 percent month on month; that of SO2 went down 25.9 percent year on year and 9.1 percent month on month; and that of NO2 was down 12.5 percent year on year and up 5.0 percent month on month. The mean nonattainment rate of mean daily reading of CO levelled off compared with last November and last month. The mean nonattainment rate of 8-hour maximum daily reading of O3 went up 0.1 percentage point year on year and down 15.3 percentage points month on month.

The percentage of attainment days ranged between 90 percent and 100 percent in the nine cities located in Pearl River delta in November. Specifically, the percentage of attainment days reached 100 percent in four cities including Huizhou, Jiangmen, and Guangzhou, between 90 percent and 100 percent in five cities including Dongguan, Zhaoqing, and Zhongshan. The main pollutant was O3 during half of the nonattainment days and PM2.5 in another half. The mean monthly reading of PM2.5 went down 26.0 percent year on year and 14.0 percent month on month; that of PM10 was down 15.7 percent year on year and 9.2 percent month on month; that of SO2 went down 21.1 percent year on year and levelled off with last month; and that of NO2 went down 5.0 percent year on year and up 8.6 percent month on month. The mean nonattainment rate of mean daily reading of CO levelled off compared with last November and last month. The mean nonattainment rate of 8-hour maximum daily reading of O3 went down 2.6 percentage points year on year and 12.5 percentage points month on month.

In general, the mean monthly PM2.5 reading elevated significantly in three out of the 13 cities in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, that is, Beijing, Zhangjiakou, and Langfang, and went down in the remaining 10 cities compared with last November. Compared with last month, however, the mean monthly reading of PM2.5, PM10, SO2 and NO2 and the mean nonattainment rate of mean daily reading of CO were much higher, according to Luo. The air quality was improved in the Yangtze River and Pearl River deltas. In the Yangtze River delta, the concentrations of the main pollutants PM2.5, PM10, SO2 and NO2 dropped significantly from last November, that of PM10 and SO2 dropped to a certain extent, that of PM2.5 levelled off, that of NO2 went up, and that of the nonattainment rate of the mean daily reading of O3 went down from last month. In the Pearl River delta, the concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 dropped to a certain extent, that of SO2 went down from last November and levelled off from last month, and that of NO2 went down from last November and up from last month. The nonattainment rate of the mean daily reading of O3 went down from last November and last month.

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