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Climate Impacts of the Biomass Burning in Indochina on Atmospheric Conditions over Southern China

Huang, Lina and Lin, Wenshi and Li, Fangzhou and Wang, Yuan and Jiang, Baolin (2019) Climate Impacts of the Biomass Burning in Indochina on Atmospheric Conditions over Southern China. Aerosol and Air Quality Research, 19 (12). pp. 2707-2720. ISSN 1680-8584. doi:10.4209/aaqr.2019.01.0028.

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Substantial biomass burning (BB) activities in Indochina during March and April of each year generate aerosols that are transported via westerly winds to southern China. These BB aerosols have both radiative (direct and semi-direct) and indirect effects on the climate. This study evaluates impacts of BB in Indochina during April 2013 on atmospheric conditions in southern China using WRF-Chem sensitivity simulations. We show that the atmosphere becomes drier and hotter under the aerosol radiative effect in southern China, while the changes linked to the indirect effect are opposite. The former (the latter) rises (reduces) surface temperature 0.13°C (0.19°C) and decrease (increase) water vapor mixing ratios 0.23 g kg⁻¹ (0.40 g kg⁻¹) at 700 hPa. Atmospheric responses to aerosols in turn affect aerosol dissipation. Specifically, BB aerosols absorb solar radiation and heat the local atmosphere, which inhibits the formation of clouds (reducing low-level cloud about 7%) related to the aerosol semi-direct effect. Less cloud enhances surface solar radiation flux and temperature. Otherwise, northeasterly winds linked to radiative effect suppress water vapor transport. In this case, precipitation reduces 1.09 mm day⁻¹, diminishing wet removal and westward transport of aerosols. Under the indirect effect, greater cloud coverage is formed, which reduces surface solar radiation flux and increases local latent heat release. This extra heating promotes air convection and diffusion of pollution. Regional mean precipitation increases 0.49 mm d⁻¹, facilitating wet pollution removal. Under indirect effect, aerosol extinction coefficient reduces 0.011 km⁻¹ at 2-km height over southern China. However, it increases around 0.002 km⁻¹ at 3-km height over southernmost China related to radiative effect. Therefore, atmospheric changes linked to indirect effect play a greater role in removing pollutants from the atmosphere than radiative effect over southern China.

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Wang, Yuan0000-0001-6657-8401
Additional Information:© 2019 Taiwan Association for Aerosol Research. Received for review, February 23, 2019; Revised, August 5, 2019; Accepted, October 17, 2019. The authors were supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFC1507402), the National Program for Key Basic Research Projects of China (973) (Grant no. 2014CB953904), National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC; Grant no. 41705117 and 41875168), and Guangzhou Science and Technology Plan (201605131033247). We are also grateful to the NCAR Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division for making the WRF-Chem model available at The National Centers for Environmental Prediction-Final Global tropospheric analysis data (NCEP-FNL;, the 0.5° × 0.5° Reanalysis of Tropospheric chemical composition (RETRO; http:/, and the 1° × 1° Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR; were used in this paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Key Research and Development Program of China2018YFC1507402
National Program for Key Basic Research Projects of China2014CB953904
National Natural Science Foundation of China41705117
National Natural Science Foundation of China41875168
Guangzhou Science and Technology Plan201605131033247
Subject Keywords:Aerosol radiative effect; Aerosol indirect effect; Cloud cover; WRF-Chem; Latent heat
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191223-151651728
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Official Citation:Huang, L., Lin, W., Li, F., Wang, Y. and Jiang, B. (2019). Climate Impacts of the Biomass Burning in Indochina on Atmospheric Conditions over Southern China. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 2707-2720. doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2019.01.0028
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100420
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Dec 2019 23:37
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:53

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