The variation of atmospheric PM2.5 concentrations caused by the memorial activities during Qingming Festival in China

Authors: Xuechen Zhang*, Wuhan University, Huanfeng Shen, Wuhan University
Topics: Remote Sensing, Environment, China
Keywords: PM2.5, satellite, China
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 2:35 PM / 4:15 PM
Room: Jackson, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

In Qingming Festival in China, people will ignite paper money and incense to honor the ancestors and passed relatives. However, this deep-rooted historical tradition becomes controversial because of the air pollution it might cause. By combining ground observations and geostationary satellite remote sensing data, we were able to systematically analyze the effects of these memorial activities on atmospheric PM2.5 concentrations within mainland China. The ground observations helped us to locate specific areas and conduct fine research. In addition, the utilization of high temporal resolutions satellite data makes it possible to trace the emerge, spread and mitigation of PM2.5 polluion over the cemeteries around the whole country. Results show that the extensive discharge of paper money and incense during the event leads to obvious rise of PM2.5 concentrations in several sites near cemeteries, and the impact varies from hours to days. However, the pollution level in different cemeteries various a lot because of several factors like location, terrain, weekend effect and so on. Besides, the pollution can only effect a small area and usually mitigated pretty fast under favorable meteorological conditions. Based on these analysis results, we suggest inherit this significant cultural tradition with more humanized and scientific measures, including reasonable guide of memorial activities, technical innovation for paper money and incense products and so on.

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