Variations and drivers of aerosol vertical characterization after clean air policy in China based on 7-years consecutive observations

Zifa Wang , Xi Chen , Ting Yang , Haibo Wang , Futing Wang


Received August 15, 2021,Revised , Accepted February 21, 2022, Available online March 07, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 499-512

Understanding the aerosol vertical characterization is of great importance to both climate and atmospheric environment. This study investigated the variations of aerosol profiles over eight regions of interest in China after clean air policy (2013-2019) and discussed the drivers of the vertical aerosol structure, using observations from active satellite measurements (CALIPSO). From the annual variation, the amplitude of extinction coefficient profiles showed a decreasing trend with fluctuations, and the maximum was 0.21 km−1 in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (JJJ). For regions suffered from air pollution, the variation was greatest below 0.45 km, while it was between 1-1.5 km for Sichuan Basin. The correlation coefficient between the relative humidity (RH) and the extinction coefficient indicated that the increase of RH inhibited the decrease of the extinction coefficient in the Yangtze River Delta. In most regions, the main aerosol subtypes were polluted dust and polluted continental, but they were coarser in JJJ and North West. The frequency of concurrency of dust and polluted dust aerosols decreased in JJJ, but polluted continental aerosols occurred more frequently. Further, the aerosol extinction coefficient profiles under different pollution conditions showed that it changed most during heavy pollution periods in JJJ, especially in 2017, with a significant aerosol loading between ∼700 and 1200 m. The atmospheric reanalysis data revealed that the weak convergence at low level and the divergence at high level supported the upward transport of aerosols in 2017. Overall, the differences in divergence allocation, RH, and wind filed were the main meteorological drivers.

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