Climate variability of cold surge and its impact on the air quality of Taiwan

Chuan Yao Lin, Shih Chun Candice Lung, How-Ran Guo, Pei Chih Wu, Huey-Jen Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Climate change has been receiving wide attention in the last few decades. In order to quantify the climate variability of extreme weather events and their possible impacts on weather parameters and air quality, cold surge events in the past 45 years and the difference in characteristics of air pollutants before and after frontal passage has been examined after December 1993 in Taiwan. The potential impact of climate change on air pollutant concentration and its health implication were presented and discussed. In the past 45 years, the cold surge days (about 18.7 days, or 0.42 day/year) decreased significantly and the average lowest daily temperature for winter in northern Taiwan increased nearly 3°C (0.067°C/year). Based on the definition of cold surge in Taiwan and excluding the stagnation frontal passage, 21 cold surge frontal passage (CSFP) cases and 89 common frontal passage (CFP) events in winter (December-February) were identified in the past 12 years (1993-2005). We take the frontal passage day as the baseline and the differences in air pollutant concentrations and weather-related parameters between the two days before and after the frontal passage days were examined for each case. The averages of the above-mentioned differences during CSFP were compared to the corresponding differences during CFP. During CSFP, the air temperatures after the frontal passage were nearly 4-6°C lower than before the passage at both the background windward stations and urban stations. The average wind speed was about 4-5 m/s higher at the windward stations and less than 2 m/s higher in the major urban areas in Taiwan. During CFP, there was a 2°C increase in temperature but 1 m/s decrease in wind speeds on the day after frontal passage. Because of these meteorological differences, the concentration change of air pollutants during CSFP is significantly greater than that during CFP, especially for PM10 concentration. The difference of PM10 concentration during CSFP can be as large as 20-40 μg/m3 while that during CFP is only about 10 μg/m3. The differences in the other air pollutants such as CO, SO2, and O3 during CSFP are greater than those during CFP, but the difference is insignificant. Under the warming trend, less frequent CSFP's are expected; the impacts on deterioration of air quality and human health are noteworthy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-471
Number of pages15
JournalClimatic Change
Volume94
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jun 1

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air quality
climate
weather
wind velocity
cold
climate change
winter
air temperature
warming
urban area
temperature
air pollutant
station

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Lin, Chuan Yao ; Lung, Shih Chun Candice ; Guo, How-Ran ; Wu, Pei Chih ; Su, Huey-Jen. / Climate variability of cold surge and its impact on the air quality of Taiwan. In: Climatic Change. 2009 ; Vol. 94, No. 3-4. pp. 457-471.
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Climate variability of cold surge and its impact on the air quality of Taiwan. / Lin, Chuan Yao; Lung, Shih Chun Candice; Guo, How-Ran; Wu, Pei Chih; Su, Huey-Jen.

In: Climatic Change, Vol. 94, No. 3-4, 01.06.2009, p. 457-471.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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