Spatial and temporal variations of PM2.5 concentrations in Chinese cities during 2015-2019
The study analyzed the current status and changing trends of PM2.5 pollution, and used Kriging spatial interpolation, spatial autocorrelation analysis, and scan statistics to explore the spatiotemporal characteristics and identify hotspots. The results showed that PM2.5 pollution during 2015–2019 displayed a downward trend year by year, with a pronounced seasonal difference of higher concentrations in winter and lower concentrations in summer. By 2019, there were still 110 cities (n = 194) failed to meet China’s annual grade II air quality standard (35 μg/m3). The spatial distribution of PM2.5 was characterized by marked heterogeneity, with a significant spatial dependence and clustering characteristics. The pollution hotspots of PM2.5 were mainly concentrated in eastern and central China, especially in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and its surrounding area. The results of this study will assist Chinese authorities in developing strategies for preventing and controlling air pollution, especially in hotspot regions and during peak periods.