Sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3) are important atmospheric pollutants that affect air quality. The long-term variations of SO2 and NO2 in 2008-2018 and O3 in 2015-2018 in the relatively less populated ecological and economic zones of Western Sichuan Plateau, Southwest China were analyzed. In 2008-2018, the variations in SO2 and NO2 in the ecological zone were not significant, but Ganzi showed a slight upward trend. SO2 decreased significantly in the economic zone, especially in Panzhihua, where NO2 changes were not obvious. From 2015 to 2018, the concentration of O3 in the ecological zone increased significantly, while the economic zone showed a downward trend. The rising trend of the concentration ratio of SO2 to NO2 in the ecological zone and the declining trend in the economic zone indicate that the energy consumption structure of these two zones is quite different. The lower correlation coefficients between NO2 and O3 in the Western Sichuan Plateau imply that the variations of O3 are mainly affected by the regional background. The effects of meteorological factors on SO2, NO2, and O3 were more obvious in the economic zone where there are high anthropometric emissions.
Keywords: Western Sichuan Plateau; long-term variation; nitrogen dioxide; ozone; sulfur dioxide.