Journal cover Journal topic
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 2509-2523, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-2509-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
17 Feb 2017
Aerosol vertical distribution and optical properties over China from long-term satellite and ground-based remote sensing
Pengfei Tian1,2, Xianjie Cao1, Lei Zhang1, Naixiu Sun1, Lu Sun2, Timothy Logan2, Jinsen Shi1, Yuan Wang3, Yuemeng Ji2,4, Yun Lin2, Zhongwei Huang1, Tian Zhou1, Yingying Shi1, and Renyi Zhang2 1Key Laboratory for Semi-Arid Climate Change of the Ministry of Education, College of Atmospheric Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
2Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA
3Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91106, USA
4Institute of Environmental Health and Pollution Control, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China
Abstract. The seasonal and spatial variations of vertical distribution and optical properties of aerosols over China are studied using long-term satellite observations from the Cloud–Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization (CALIOP) and ground-based lidar observations and Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) data. The CALIOP products are validated using the ground-based lidar measurements at the Semi-Arid Climate and Environment Observatory of Lanzhou University (SACOL). The Taklamakan Desert and Tibetan Plateau regions exhibit the highest depolarization and color ratios because of the natural dust origin, whereas the North China Plain, Sichuan Basin and Yangtze River Delta show the lowest depolarization and color ratios because of aerosols from secondary formation of the anthropogenic origin. Certain regions, such as the North China Plain in spring and the Loess Plateau in winter, show intermediate depolarization and color ratios because of mixed dust and anthropogenic aerosols. In the Pearl River Delta region, the depolarization and color ratios are similar to but higher than those of the other polluted regions because of combined anthropogenic and marine aerosols. Long-range transport of dust in the middle and upper troposphere in spring is well captured by the CALIOP observations. The seasonal variations in the aerosol vertical distributions reveal efficient transport of aerosols from the atmospheric boundary layer to the free troposphere because of summertime convective mixing. The aerosol extinction lapse rates in autumn and winter are more positive than those in spring and summer, indicating trapped aerosols within the boundary layer because of stabler meteorological conditions. More than 80 % of the column aerosols are distributed within 1.5 km above the ground in winter, when the aerosol extinction lapse rate exhibits a maximum seasonal average in all study regions except for the Tibetan Plateau. The aerosol extinction lapse rates in the polluted regions are higher than those of the less polluted regions, indicating a stabilized atmosphere due to absorptive aerosols in the polluted regions. Our results reveal that the satellite and ground-based remote-sensing measurements provide the key information on the long-term seasonal and spatial variations in the aerosol vertical distribution and optical properties, regional aerosol types, long-range transport and atmospheric stability, which can be utilized to more precisely assess the direct and indirect aerosol effects on weather and climate.

Citation: Tian, P., Cao, X., Zhang, L., Sun, N., Sun, L., Logan, T., Shi, J., Wang, Y., Ji, Y., Lin, Y., Huang, Z., Zhou, T., Shi, Y., and Zhang, R.: Aerosol vertical distribution and optical properties over China from long-term satellite and ground-based remote sensing, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 2509-2523, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-17-2509-2017, 2017.
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Short summary
We have investigated the vertical distribution and optical properties of aerosols over China using long-term satellite observations from the Cloud–Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization, ground-based lidar observations and Aerosol Robotic Network data. Our results provide key information on the long-term aerosol seasonal and spatial variations, optical properties, regional types, long-range transport and atmospheric stability in China for air quality and climate studies.
We have investigated the vertical distribution and optical properties of aerosols over China...
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