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Volume 18, issue 4 | Copyright

Special issue: Regional transport and transformation of air pollution in...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 2949-2971, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 01 Mar 2018

Research article | 01 Mar 2018

Aerosol optical characteristics and their vertical distributions under enhanced haze pollution events: effect of the regional transport of different aerosol types over eastern China

Tianze Sun1, Huizheng Che1, Bing Qi2, Yaqiang Wang1, Yunsheng Dong3, Xiangao Xia4,5, Hong Wang1, Ke Gui1, Yu Zheng6, Hujia Zhao1, Qianli Ma7, Rongguang Du2, and Xiaoye Zhang1 Tianze Sun et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather (LASW) and Institute of Atmospheric Composition, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, CMA, Beijing 100081, China
  • 2Hangzhou Meteorological Bureau, Hangzhou 310051, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Environment Optics and Technology, Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Science, Hefei 230031, China
  • 4Laboratory for Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation (LAGEO), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 5School of Geoscience University of Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100049, China
  • 6Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
  • 7Lin'an Regional Air Background Station, Lin'an 311307, China

Abstract. The climatological variation of aerosol properties and the planetary boundary layer (PBL) during 2013–2015 over the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region were investigated by employing ground-based Micro Pulse Lidar (MPL) and CE-318 sun-photometer observations. Combining Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) satellite products, enhanced haze pollution events affected by different types of aerosol over the YRD region were analyzed through vertical structures, spatial distributions, backward trajectories, and the potential source contribution function (PSCF) model. The results show that aerosols in the YRD are dominated by fine-mode particles, except in March. The aerosol optical depth (AOD) in June and September is higher due to high single scattering albedo (SSA) from hygroscopic growth, but it is lower in July and August due to wet deposition from precipitation. The PBL height (PBLH) is greater (means ranging from 1.23 to 1.84km) and more variable in the warmer months of March to August, due to the stronger diurnal cycle and exchange of heat. Northern fine-mode pollutants are brought to the YRD at a height of 1.5km. The SSA increases, blocking the radiation to the surface, and cooling the surface, thereby weakening turbulence, lowering the PBL, and in turn accelerating the accumulation of pollutants, creating a feedback to the cooling effect. Originated from the deserts in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, long-range transported dust masses are seen at heights of about 2km over the YRD region with an SSA440 nm below 0.84, which heat air and raise the PBL, accelerating the diffusion of dust particles. Regional transport from biomass-burning spots to the south of the YRD region bring mixed aerosol particles at a height below 1.5km, resulting in an SSA440 nm below 0.89. During the winter, the accumulation of the local emission layer is facilitated by stable weather conditions, staying within the PBL even below 0.5km.

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The Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region is a key hub in China with air pollution problems. We applied various data from observations and satellites, finding particles in summer prefer hygroscopic growth leading to high scatter. Transported scatter particles lead to a cooling effect which lowers the boundary layer, creating positive feedback. Transported pollutants over YRD are from the North China Plain, northwestern deserts, and southern biomass burning. This finding helps air quality control.
The Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region is a key hub in China with air pollution problems. We...