Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2016, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (2): 77-84.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2016.02.001

• Articles •     Next Articles

Spatio-temporal Differences and Driving Forces of Air Quality in Chinese Cities

WANG Dai*, LIU Yi   

  1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2015-06-16 Revised:2015-12-20 Online:2016-04-12 Published:2016-04-12
  • Contact: * Tel.: +86 10 64889584. E-mail address:
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (A Study on the resource-environment base for the Modern Man-Land Relationship in China, No; 8122015)


Deterioration of city air quality is the serious problem in the process of rapid urbanization and economic development in China. Taking 74 cities that have implemented the new Ambient Air Quality Standards (GB3095- 2012) since 2013 as examples, using statistical and ArcGIS spatial analysis method, the multi-scale temporal and spatial variations characteristics and the impact of social and economic factors on urban air quality variations, are analyzed in this paper. The main research conclusions are as follows:(1) Air quality in Chinese cities shows very significant seasonal variations, with higher air quality in summer and autumn, and lower air quality in spring and winter; (2) Seen from a daily pollution perspective, air pollution is very serious and will tend to be more serious in the future; (3) Seen from an hourly variation perspective, urban air quality is time coupled with social production and urban living; (4) The overall spatial pattern of urban air quality is high in the east and north and low in the west and south, but with an obvious trend towards regional integration. (5) Cities in different regions have different factors that cause air quality variations. In general, urbanization level and energy consumption per GDP are the common factors.