Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2019

Department 1

Environmental Studies


China has imposed short-term emission control regulations on industry and transportation to quickly improve air quality during certain events, including the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. Previous research noted reductions in NO2 vertical column density, CO emissions, CO2 emissions, and Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD). NO2 and SO2 decreased in neighboring provinces, during this time period. Using MODIS level-2 atmospheric aerosol product (MYD04_L2) data, processed by the dark target algorithm, this study observes trends in regional AOD and temporal change in AOD during the Olympic emissions reduction program. 2008 observations are referenced against AOD observations from 2003 to 2013, within 9-day intervals from June 23rd to October 24th and 40 km bands extending up to 240 km from the Beijing municipal limits. During the Olympics, median AOD values were below median AOD values from the reference period. AOD levels returned to above reference period levels in the September 12th to September 20th period, before the end of the Special Olympics in Beijing. During the Olympic period, reductions in AOD values, compared to the reference period were observed in regions within 80 km of Beijing, while an increase in AOD values was present in regions 120 km to 240 km from Beijing.


Written for ES 460: Environmental Studies Honors Thesis.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.