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Aerosol–photolysis interaction reduces particulate matter during wintertime haze events

Wu, Jiarui and Bei, Naifang and Hu, Bo and Liu, Suixin and Wang, Yuan and Shen, Zhenxing and Li, Xia and Liu, Lang and Wang, Ruonan and Liu, Zirui and Cao, Junji and Tie, Xuexi and Molina, Luisa T. and Li, Guohui (2020) Aerosol–photolysis interaction reduces particulate matter during wintertime haze events. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117 (18). pp. 9755-9761. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC7211923. doi:10.1073/pnas.1916775117.

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Aerosol–radiation interaction (ARI) plays a significant role in the accumulation of fine particulate matter (PM_(2.5)) by stabilizing the planetary boundary layer and thus deteriorating air quality during haze events. However, modification of photolysis by aerosol scattering or absorbing solar radiation (aerosol–photolysis interaction or API) alters the atmospheric oxidizing capacity, decreases the rate of secondary aerosol formation, and ultimately alleviates the ARI effect on PM_(2.5) pollution. Therefore, the synergetic effect of both ARI and API can either aggravate or even mitigate PM_(2.5) pollution. To test the effect, a fully coupled Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)-Chem model has been used to simulate a heavy haze episode in North China Plain. Our results show that ARI contributes to a 7.8% increase in near-surface PM_(2.5). However, API suppresses secondary aerosol formation, and the combination of ARI and API results in only 4.8% net increase of PM_(2.5). Additionally, API increases the solar radiation reaching the surface and perturbs aerosol nucleation and activation to form cloud condensation nuclei, influencing aerosol–cloud interaction. The results suggest that API reduces PM_(2.5) pollution during haze events, but adds uncertainties in climate prediction.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information CentralArticle
Wu, Jiarui0000-0001-8791-2325
Wang, Yuan0000-0001-6657-8401
Liu, Zirui0000-0002-1939-9715
Cao, Junji0000-0003-1000-7241
Molina, Luisa T.0000-0002-3596-5334
Additional Information:© 2020 National Academy of Sciences. Published under the PNAS license. Edited by Renyi Zhang, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, and accepted by Editorial Board Member Robert E. Dickinson March 13, 2020 (received for review September 26, 2019). PNAS first published April 16, 2020. This work is financially supported by the National Key R&D Plan (Quantitative Relationship and Regulation Principle between Regional Oxidation Capacity of Atmospheric and Air Quality Grant 2017YFC0210000), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences Grant XDB40030200, and the National Research Program for Key Issues in Air Pollution Control Grant DQGG0105. L.T.M. acknowledges support from NSF Award 1560494. The authors would like to acknowledge helpful discussions with Professor Huiming Bao and the help from Dr. Xiaoli Su for processing the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) cloud data. Data and Materials Availability: All data used in the paper are available in the text or SI Appendix. Author contributions: J.W. and G.L. designed research; J.W., N.B., B.H., and G.L. performed research; S.L., Y.W., Z.S., X.L., L.L., R.W., Z.L., J.C., and X.T. analyzed data; and J.W., L.T.M., and G.L. wrote the paper. The authors declare no competing interest. This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. R.Z. is a guest editor invited by the Editorial Board. This article contains supporting information online at
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Key Research and Development Program of China2017YFC0210000
Chinese Academy of SciencesXDB40030200
National Research Program for Key Issues in Air Pollution ControlDQGG0105
Subject Keywords:particulate pollution; aerosol–radiation interaction; aerosol–photolysis interaction
Issue or Number:18
PubMed Central ID:PMC7211923
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200417-124005643
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Aerosol–photolysis interaction reduces particulate matter during wintertime haze events. Jiarui Wu, Naifang Bei, Bo Hu, Suixin Liu, Yuan Wang, Zhenxing Shen, Xia Li, Lang Liu, Ruonan Wang, Zirui Liu, Junji Cao, Xuexi Tie, Luisa T. Molina, Guohui Li. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences May 2020, 117 (18) 9755-9761; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1916775117
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:102601
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Apr 2020 19:54
Last Modified:12 Feb 2022 00:46

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