Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 70 ›› Issue (11): 1720-1734.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201511003

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Spatial-temporal characteristics of the PM2.5 in China in 2014

Zhenbo WANG1,2(), Chuanglin FANG1,2(), Guang XU1, Yuepeng PAN3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. Institute of Atmospheric Physics, CAS, Beijing 100029, China
  • Received:2015-04-16 Revised:2015-05-16 Online:2015-11-20 Published:2015-11-20
  • Supported by:
    Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41371177;Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.71433008;Program of National Natural Youth Foundation of China, No.41201168


Haze pollution in China has become a severe environmental problem for people’s daily life as well as their health, among which PM2.5 makes significant contribution to poor air quality. Satellite observations played a leading role in the recognition in the spatio-temporal variation of PM2.5 nationally. However, based on the information and data obtained by satellites, the inversion method has limitations to truly reflect the spatio-temporal variation of PM2.5 concentrations near ground level. Based on the observed PM2.5 concentration data from 945 newly set-up air monitoring sites in 2014, our research reveals the spatio-temporal variations of PM2.5 concentrations in China by using spatial statistical model. The results show that (1) in 2014, the average PM2.5 concentration in China was 61 μg/m3. It had a periodical U-impulse type daily variation as well as a U-shaped monthly variation with a higher level in autumn and winter while a lower one in spring and summer. (2) Concentration of PM2.5 in urban China shows a significant spatial differentiation and clustering pattern with spatial-periodic occurrences in north and south China. (3) The Hu-line (Hu Population Line) and Yangtze River are respectively the east-west and north-south boundaries which separate the high-value zone and the low-value zone of PM2.5 concentrations in China. In 2014, the highly polluted cities by PM2.5 were mainly distributed in the urban agglomerations (Central Henan, Harbin-Changchun, the Bohai Rim Region, the Yangtze River Delta, and the Middle Yangtze River), east of the Hu-line and north of the Yangtze River. The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei urban agglomeration was the most severely polluted region all the year round. The southeast coastal region centered on the Pearl River Delta had good air quality in a stable manner.

Key words: PM2.5, spatial-temporal characteristics, monitoring data, China