Impact of Urbanization on Meteorology and Air Quality in Chengdu, a Basin City of Southwestern China

Haofan Wang, Zhihong Liu, Kai Wu, Jiaxin Qiu, Yang Zhang, Bangping Ye, Min He
2022 Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution  
Rapid urbanization has the potential to fundamentally perturb energy budget and alter urban air quality. While it is clear that urban meteorological parameters are sensitive to urbanization-induced changes in landscapes, a gap exists in our knowledge about how changes in land use and land cover affect the dynamics of urban air quality. Herein, we simulated a severe O3 episode (10–16 July 2017) and a highly polluted PM2.5 episode (25–30 December 2017) and assessed the changes of meteorological
more » ... enomenon and evolution of air pollutants induced by urbanization. We found that the urban expansion area (i.e., land use transition from natural to urban surfaces between 2000 and 2017, UEA) has a significant increase in nocturnal 2-m temperature (T2) with maximum values reaching 3 and 4°C in summer and winter, respectively. In contrast, UEA experienced cooling in the daytime with stronger reductions of T2 in winter than in summer. The T2 variability is primarily attributed to the intense thermal inertia and high heat capacity of the urban canopy and the shadowing effect caused by urbanization. Owing to increased surface roughness and decreased surface albedo as well as shadowing effects, the ventilation index (VI) of UEA increased up to 1,200 m2/s in winter while decreased up to 950 m2/s in summer. Changes in meteorological phenomenon alter physical and chemical processes associated with variations in PM2.5 and O3 concentrations. Urbanization leads to enhanced vertical advection process and weakened aerosol production, subsequently causing PM2.5 levels to decrease by 33.2 μg/m3 during the day and 4.6 μg/m3 at night, respectively. Meanwhile, O3 levels increased by 61.4 μg/m3 at 20:00 due to the reduction of horizontal advection induced by urbanization, while O3 concentrations changed insignificantly at other times. This work provides valuable insights into the effects of urbanization on urban meteorology and air quality over typical megacities, which support informed decision-making for urban heat and air pollution mitigation.
doi:10.3389/fevo.2022.845801 fatcat:fvs4p6o4cvb3xpnosyv36l7bm4