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Assessment of Meteorological Impact and Emergency Plan for a Heavy Haze Pollution Episode in a Core City of the North China Plain

Category: Urban Air Quality

Volume: 20 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 26-42
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.08.0392

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To cite this article:
Ma, S., Xiao, Z., Zhang, Y., Wang, L. and Shao, M. (2020). Assessment of Meteorological Impact and Emergency Plan for a Heavy Haze Pollution Episode in a Core City of the North China Plain. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 20: 26-42. doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.08.0392.

Simeng Ma1, Zhimei Xiao 2, Yufen Zhang1, Litao Wang3, Min Shao4

  • 1 State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Urban Ambient Air Particulate Matter Pollution Prevention and Control, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
  • 2 Tianjin Eco-Environm Monitoring Ctr, Tianjin 300071, China
  • 3 Department of Environmental Engineering, Hebei University of Engineering, Handan, Hebei 056038, China
  • 4 School of the Environment, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China


  • The effect of mitigation measures during severe pollution episodes are evaluated.
  • Unfavorable meteorological conditions contribute ~34% of PM2.5 concentrations.
  • Different mitigation measures should be taken in different districts.
  • Fossil fuel combustion and dust play a significant role in most districts.
  • Industrial processes contribute more in adjoining districts and Binhai District.


The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, characterized by frequent episodes of severe haze pollution during winter, is recognized as one of the key regions requiring air pollution control. To reduce the effects of severe pollution, early warning and emission reduction measures should be executed prior to these haze episodes. In this study, the efficacy of emission reduction procedures during severe pollution episodes was evaluated using the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with chemistry (WRF-Chem). To provide feedback and optimize emergency emission reduction plans, a pollution episode that occurred during the period of December 20–26, 2015, which was characterized by a high warning level, long warning period, and integrated pollution process, was selected as a case study to determine the influence of meteorological conditions and the effects of mitigation measures on heavy haze pollution episodes. Adverse meteorological conditions were found to increase PM2.5 concentrations by approximately 34% during the pollution episode. Moreover, the largest contributor to the episode was fossil fuel combustion, followed by dust emission and industrial processes; the first two factors play a significant role in most districts in Tianjin, whereas the third more strongly affects the adjoining districts and Binhai District. Emission reduction for industrial sources and domestic combustion more obviously decreases PM2.5 concentrations during the pollution dissipation stage than the pollution accumulation stage. Thus, different mitigation measures should be adopted in different districts and during different pollution stages. An approximate decrease of 18.9% in the PM2.5 concentration can be achieved when an emergency plan is implemented during the red alert period for heavy haze pollution episodes.


WRF-Chem Mitigation measures PM2.5 Early warning

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