Correlations between Fine Particulate Matter \((PM_{2.5})\) and Meteorological Variables in the United States: Implications for the Sensitivity of \(PM_{2.5}\) to Climate Change

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Correlations between Fine Particulate Matter \((PM_{2.5})\) and Meteorological Variables in the United States: Implications for the Sensitivity of \(PM_{2.5}\) to Climate Change

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Title: Correlations between Fine Particulate Matter \((PM_{2.5})\) and Meteorological Variables in the United States: Implications for the Sensitivity of \(PM_{2.5}\) to Climate Change
Author: Tai, Amos P.K.; Mickley, Loretta J.; Jacob, Daniel James

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Citation: Tai, Amos P. K., Loretta J. Mickley, and Daniel James Jacob. 2010. “Correlations between Fine Particulate Matter \((PM_{2.5})\) and Meteorological Variables in the United States: Implications for the Sensitivity of \(PM_{2.5}\) to Climate Change.” Atmospheric Environment 44, no. 32: 3976–3984. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2010.06.060.
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Abstract: We applied a multiple linear regression (MLR) model to study the correlations of total \(PM_{2.5}\) and its components with meteorological variables using an 11-year (1998–2008) observational record over the contiguous US. The data were deseasonalized and detrended to focus on synoptic-scale correlations. We find that daily variation in meteorology as described by the MLR can explain up to 50% of \(PM_{2.5}\) variability with temperature, relative humidity (RH), precipitation, and circulation all being important predictors. Temperature is positively correlated with sulfate, organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) almost everywhere. The correlation of nitrate with temperature is negative in the Southeast but positive in California and the Great Plains. RH is positively correlated with sulfate and nitrate, but negatively with OC and EC. Precipitation is strongly negatively correlated with all \(PM_{2.5}\) components. We find that \(PM_{2.5}\) concentrations are on average \(2.6 \mu g m^{−3}\) higher on stagnant vs. non-stagnant days. Our observed correlations provide a test for chemical transport models used to simulate the sensitivity of \(PM_{2.5}\) to climate change. They point to the importance of adequately representing the temperature dependence of agricultural, biogenic and wildfire emissions in these models.
Published Version: doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2010.06.060
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33490488
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