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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2016, Vol. 10 Issue (5) : 11     https://doi.org/10.1007/s11783-016-0859-5
RESEARCH ARTICLE |
Air quality improvement in Los Angeles—Perspectives for developing cities
David D. Parrish1,2(),Jin Xu3,Bart Croes3,Min Shao4
1. Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
2. NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, 325 Broadway R/CSD7, Boulder, CO 80305, USA
3. California Air Resources Board, 1001 I Street, P.O. Box 2815, Sacramento, CA 95814, USA
4. College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
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Abstract

Air quality improvement in Los Angeles can inform air quality policies in developing cities.

Emission control efforts, their results, costs and health benefits are briefly summarized.

Today's developing cities face new challenges including regional pollution.

Air quality issues in Beijing are briefly compared and contrasted with Los Angeles.

Opportunities for co-benefits for climate and air quality improvement are identified.

Air quality improvement in Los Angeles, California is reviewed with an emphasis on aspects that may inform air quality policy formulation in developing cities. In the mid-twentieth century the air quality in Los Angeles was degraded to an extent comparable to the worst found in developing cities today; ozone exceeded 600 ppb and annual average particulate matter <10 mm reached ~150 mg·m−3. Today's air quality is much better due to very effective emission controls; e.g., modern automobiles emit about 1% of the hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide emitted by vehicles of 50 years ago. An overview is given of the emission control efforts in Los Angeles and their impact on ambient concentrations of primary and secondary pollutants; the costs and health benefits of these controls are briefly summarized. Today's developing cities have new challenges that are discussed: the effects of regional pollution transport are much greater in countries with very high population densities; often very large current populations must be supplied with goods and services even while economic development and air quality concerns are addressed; and many of currently developing cities are located in or close to the tropics where photochemical processing of pollution is expected to be more rapid than at higher latitudes. The air quality issues of Beijing are briefly compared and contrasted with those of Los Angeles, and the opportunities for co-benefits for climate and air quality improvement are pointed out.

Keywords Air pollution      Ozone      Particulate matter      Control technology     
This article is part of themed collection: Understanding the processes of air pollution formation (Responsible Editors: Min SHAO, Shuxiao WANG & Armistead G. RUSSELL)
Corresponding Authors: David D. Parrish   
Issue Date: 07 July 2016
 Cite this article:   
David D. Parrish,Jin Xu,Bart Croes, et al. Air quality improvement in Los Angeles—Perspectives for developing cities[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2016, 10(5): 11.
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http://journal.hep.com.cn/fese/EN/10.1007/s11783-016-0859-5
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fese/EN/Y2016/V10/I5/11
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David D. Parrish
Jin Xu
Bart Croes
Min Shao
Fig.1  History of measured ambient ozone and PM2.5 concentrations in the SoCAB. The statistics shown (annual maximum 1-h and 8-h average ozone concentrations and 98th percentile of 24-h average PM2.5 concentrations) provide the basis of the NAAQS. The dashed lines show the recently announced NAAQS for ozone (blue line at 70 ppb) and the current NAAQS for PM2.5 (orange line at 35 mg·m–3).
Fig.2  Evolution of ozone concentrations over the past 35 years in the SoCAB. The data points give the indicated percentiles of the maximum daily 8-h average ozone recorded at any monitor within the basin on each day of the May–September ozone season. The curves are least-squares fits of Eq. (1) to the respective data. b) Graphic interpretation of the parameters of Eq. (1) for the 90th percentile data. Figure adapted from [7].
Fig.3  Typical mixing ratios estimated from published data from various field campaigns conducted near downtown Los Angeles together with linear fits to the logarithm of the data (left axis). The solid red line indicates a 7.5% yr1 decrease. Figure reproduced from [10].
Fig.4  Long-term trends of ambient concentrations of primary (NOx, VOCs and CO) and secondary (O3 and PAN) pollutants in the SoCAB. The respective lines are linear least-squares fits to log-transformed data; these lines therefore define exponential decreases of the concentrations. The data are normalized so that the linear fits intersect 100 in the year 1960. Ozone data are the anthropogenic enhancements of the 90th percentile from Fig. 2. Other data are average concentrations for summertime weekdays. For clarity, only the solid red line from Fig. 3 is shown for the VOC and CO data. Analyses and data for PAN and NOx are from [8].
Fig.5  Long-term trends of ambient concentrations of primary pollutants (SO2, VOCs and NOx) and PM2.5 in the SoCAB in the same format as Fig. 4. Here the data are normalized so that the linear fits intersect 100 in the year 1980. The PM2.5 data are those from Fig. 1. The SO2 data are annual average concentrations from the North Long Beach monitoring station, where the largest SO2 concentrations in the SoCAB are measured. The trend derived for this one station (6.1±1.2% yr1) for 1980-2010 is consistent with the trend of the federal design value for the entire SoCAB (6.2±0.5% yr1) for the entire 1963-2011 period.
Fig.6  Annual average afternoon surface NO2 mixing ratios for the year 2005 binned at 0.25° × 0.25° from OMI over eastern China and western North America. Panels are on the same latitude scale. Contours represent population density data gridded at 0.25° × 0.25° resolution with 100 persons·km2 (pink) and 500 persons·km2 (black). Figure adapted from [19].
Fig.7  Evolution of tropospheric NO2 column over 19 years above central east China derived from several satellite measurements. Figure courtesy of A. Richter, A. Hilboll, and J. P. Burrows of University of Bremen.
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