Winter is a season of much concern for aerosol pollution in China, but less concern for pollution in the summertime. There are even less concern and larger uncertainty about interdecadal changes in summer aerosol pollution, relative influence of meteorological conditions, and their links to climate change. Here we try to reveal the relation among interdecadal changes in summer's most important circulation system affecting China (East Asian Summer Monsoon-EASM), an index of meteorological conditions (called PLAM, Parameter Linking Air Quality and Meteorological Elements, which is almost linearly related with aerosol pollution), and aerosol optical depth (AOD) in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River (M-LYR) in central eastern China during summertime since the 1960's. During the weak monsoon years, the aerosol pollution load was heavier in the M-LYR and opposite in the strong monsoon years mainly influenced by EASM and associated maintenance position of the anti-Hadley cell around 115°E. The interdecadal changes in meteorological conditions and their associated aerosol pollution in the context of such climate change have experienced four periods since the 1960's, which were a relatively large decreased period from 1961 to 1980, a large rise between 1980 and 1999, a period of slow rise or maintenance from 1999 to 2006, and a relatively rapid rise between 2006 and 2014. Among later three pollution increased periods, about 51%, 25% and 60% of the aerosol pollution change respectively come from the contribution of worsening weather conditions, which are found to be greatly affected by changes in EASM.
- Interdecadal change
- Middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River
- Pollution-related meteorological condition
- Summer aerosol pollution