China share high-quality air pollution data resource

A bilingual data sharing platform, for air quality research and management in China, has been launched this week, focusing on the complexities of atmospheric pollution in the country.

While there have been certain air quality improvements in China thanks to efforts such as the 2013 Clean Air Act, the development of the economy and the increased use of cars has given rise to new challenges, such as the emergence of ozone (O3) pollution, complicating the landscape of air quality management.

The China Air Pollution Data Center is supported by a Major Research Plan titled ‘Fundamental Researches on the Formation and Response Mechanism of the Air Pollution Complex in China.’ This initiative aims to delve into the formation mechanisms of air pollution, crucial chemical and physical processes, and their interconnectedness.

The Major Research Plan, made up of 76 individual research projects, has provided high-quality data. To consolidate and disseminate these findings for the benefit of scientific research on air pollution, a comprehensive data sharing platform was initiated in 2020.

Spearheaded by Peking University, in collaboration with Tsinghua University, the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing Normal University, and 3Clear Science & Technology Co., Ltd., this platform marks the inception of the China Air Pollution Data Center (CAPDC).

Accessible at, CAPDC represents the first-ever data sharing platform focused specifically on atmospheric pollution complexities in China. Designed to be inclusive, the platform welcomes both domestic and international scientists.

The introduction of CAPDC has been featured in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, categorizing the results from the Major Research Plan into eight distinct categories, encompassing both data and non-data types. The data categories include emission inventory, chemical reanalysis, field observation, satellite observation, laboratory measurement, and source profile, comprising a total of 258 datasets. Non-data type results are further divided into new technology and online source apportionment technology, totaling 15 reports.

Data categories available on CAPDC include:

  1. Emissions Inventory: Providing nine datasets covering various anthropogenic and natural sources, including a 10-km resolution emission inventory for China in 2017.
  2. Chemical Reanalysis: Comprising three datasets, including high-resolution air quality reanalysis and PM2.5 composition data, continuously updated on the platform.
  3. Field Observation: Offering 221 datasets from 2011 to 2021, capturing field measurements in 41 cities, focusing on parameters such as cloud characteristics and aerosol parameters.
  4. Satellite Observation: Collating high-resolution data for various atmospheric pollutants through the Major Research Plan and the ChinaHighAirPollutants (CHAP) dataset.
  5. Laboratory Measurement: Encompassing physicochemical property parameters and chemical reaction parameters across six datasets.

Other categories include New Technology, Source Apportionment Method and Source profile.

The CAPDC website provides access in both Chinese and English, and provides functions such as project information inquiries, data retrieval, and downloading after registration and agreement to the data use terms. Emissions inventory, chemical reanalysis, and satellite observation data can be previewed prior to downloading.

Prof. Mei Zheng from Peking University. said: ‘Looking ahead, CAPDC aims to expand its repository with additional data and resources, continually enhancing user experience and bolstering efforts in combating air pollution.’


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