Assessing the formation and characteristics of transboundary air pollution in China
Air pollution is one of the most pressing global environmental problems. World Health Organization has reported that around 4 million premature mortalities every year are due to outdoor air pollution, pinpointing the importance and urgency to fully understand the formation and removal of air pollution and to hence support effective emission control policy formulation. This research is particularly critical for developing countries, i.e. China. Despite the intensive emission control effort in China, air pollution remains one of the major environmental issues in the country. Recent research pointed out the important regional nature of air pollution in China. Nevertheless, transboundary air pollution in the country has yet to be fully understood. My research comprehensively assesses the processes of transboundary air pollution in China at multiple spatiotemporal scales, and also to apportion the impacts of emissions in different regions on air quality and public health. Prof. Yim’s team developed a 3-Dimensional Real-timE Atmospheric Monitoring System (3DREAMS), which is the first one in Asia and the few over the world, to measure and analyze the vertical profiles of horizontal wind speed and direction, vertical wind velocity as well as aerosol backscatter. Our findings highlight the significant impacts of transboundary air pollution on particulates and ozone in China, resulting in remarkable public health burdens in the country. The research findings indicate the need for cross-region cooperation to mitigate air pollution and thus the resultant health problems in China.