Special Issue on Air Pollution and its Impact in South and Southeast Asia (III)

Nur Nazmi Liyana Mohd Napi  1, Maggie Chel Gee Ooi This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Mohd Latif Talib  2, Liew Juneng2, Mohd Shahrul Mohd Nadzir2, Andy Chan3, Li Li4,5, Samsuri Abdullah6 

1 Insitute of Climate Change, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
2 Department of Earth Sciences and Environment, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
3 Department of Civil Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia, 43500 Semenyih, Selangor, Malaysia
4 School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai University, 200444 Shanghai, China
5 Key Laboratory of Organic Compound Pollution Control Engineering (MOE), Shanghai University, 200444 Shanghai, China
6 Air Quality and Environment Research Group, Faculty of Ocean Engineering Technology and Informatics, University Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia

Received: January 3, 2022
Revised: April 5, 2022
Accepted: May 12, 2022

 Copyright The Author's institutions. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited. 

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.210393  

Cite this article:

Mohd Napi, N.N.L., Chel Gee Ooi, M., Talib, M.L., Juneng, L., Mohd Nadzir, M.S., Chan, A., Li, L., Abdullah, S. (2022). Contribution of Aerosol Species to the 2019 Smoke Episodes over the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 22, 210393. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.210393


  • High/low PM2.5 and AOD level periods are identified in East Coast Peninsular Malaysia.
  • High PM2.5 and AOD related to the biomass burning in Indochina and Indonesia.
  • Black and organic carbon have strong and positive influence on high PM2.5 and AOD.


Large-scale biomass burning (BB) emits large amounts of aerosols that lead to transboundary smoke events and adversely impacts human health, whilst causing societal and environmental issues. High ambient PM2.5 concentration in the year 2019 based on New Malaysia Ambient Air Quality Standard (NMAAQS) was identified as high pollution episodes, HP1 and HP2 on the east coast Peninsular Malaysia (ECPM). Meanwhile, the low PM2.5 concentration episodes are known as LP1 and LP2. The transboundary smoke events in Indochina and Indonesia are linked to HP1 (March–April) and HP2(August–September), respectively from backward trajectory and MERRA-2 model re-analyses weather data. The correlation analysis showed a significantly strong positive correlation (r) of black carbon (HP1: 0.91; HP2: 0.96), organic carbon (HP1: 0.90; HP2: 0.94), and sulphate (HP1: 0.80; HP2: 0.61) with the aerosol optical depth (AOD) levels during high pollution episodes. The synoptic weather condition and inter-monsoon in HP1 and southwest monsoon in HP2 introduce strong wind speed and favourable wind pattern that can initiate the long-range transport of high AOD and PM2.5 to the ECPM region. In conclusion, this study demystified the sources of BB emissions, the transport route of transboundary smoke events, their influence factors during different high pollution periods, and the links between aerosol species from local and non-local emissions with AOD levels and PM2.5 concentrations along the ECPM, which altogether provide crucial information on climate variability signal and can help in developing a corresponding strategy for high pollution episodes.

Keywords: Biomass burning smoke, Long-range transport, AOD, Aerosol species, East coast Peninsular Malaysia

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