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Impacts of weather conditions modified by urban expansion on surface ozone: Comparison between the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta regions


In this paper, the online weather research and forecasting and chemistry (WRF-Chem) model is used to explore the impacts of urban expansion on regional weather conditions and its implication on surface ozone concentrations over the Pearl River Delta(PRD) and Yangtze River Delta(YRD) regions. Two scenarios of urban maps are used in the WRF-Chem to represent the early 1990s (pre-urbanization) and the current urban distribution in the PRD and the YRD. Month-long simulation results using the above land-use scenarios for March 2001 show that urbanization increases both the day- and night-time 2-m temperatures by about 0.6°C and 1.4° C, respectively. Daytime reduction in the wind speed by about 3.0 m s-1 is larger than that for the nighttime (0.5 to 2 m s-1). The daytime increase in the PBL height (> 200 m) is also larger than the nighttime (50-100 m). The meteorological conditions modified by urbanization lead to detectable ozone-concentration changes in the PRD and the YRD. Urbanization increases the nighttime surface-ozone concentrations by about 4.7%-8.5% and by about 2.9%-4.2% for the daytime. In addition to modifying individual meteorological variables, urbanization also enhances the convergence zones, especially in the PRD. More importantly, urbanization has different effects on the surface ozone for the PRD and the YRD, presumably due to their urbanization characteristics and geographical locations. Even though the PRD has a smaller increase in the surface temperature than the YRD, it has (a) weaker surface wind speed, (b) smaller increase in PBL heights, and (c) stronger convergence zones. The latter three factors outweighed the temperature increase and resulted in a larger ozone enhancement in the PRD than the YRD. © 2009 Chinese National Committee for International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Science Press and Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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