China’s air pollution reduction efforts may result in an increase in surface ozone levels in highly polluted areas

Annela Anger-Kraavi, Olivier Dessens, Fengming Xi, Terry Barker, Rui Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


China, as a fast growing fossil-fuel-based economy, experiences increasing levels of air pollution. To tackle air pollution, China has taken the first steps by setting emission–reduction targets for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) in the 11th and 12th Five Year Plans. This paper uses two models—the Energy–Environment–Economy Model at the Global level (E3MG) and the global Chemistry Transport Model pTOMCAT—to test the effects of these policies. If the policy targets are met, then the maximum values of 32 % and 45 % reductions below ‘business as usual’ in the monthly mean NOx and SO2 concentrations, respectively, will be achieved in 2015. However, a decrease in NOx concentrations in some highly polluted areas of East, North-East and South-East China can lead to up to a 10% increase in the monthly mean concentrations in surface ozone in 2015. Our study demonstrates an urgent need for the more detailed analysis of the impacts and designs of air pollution reduction guidelines for China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-265
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Early online date26 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • Atmospheric pollution
  • China
  • Five Year Plan
  • Surface ozone

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