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Radiative absorption enhancement of dust mixed with anthropogenic pollution over East Asia

Tian, Pengfei and Zhang, Lei and Ma, Jianmin and Tang, Kai and Xu, Lili and Wang, Yuan and Cao, Xianjie and Liang, Jiening and Ji, Yuemeng and Jiang, Jonathan H. and Yung, Yuk L. and Zhang, Renyi (2018) Radiative absorption enhancement of dust mixed with anthropogenic pollution over East Asia. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 18 (11). pp. 7815-7825. ISSN 1680-7324.

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The particle mixing state plays a significant yet poorly quantified role in aerosol radiative forcing, especially for the mixing of dust (mineral absorbing) and anthropogenic pollution (black carbon absorbing) over East Asia. We have investigated the absorption enhancement of mixed-type aerosols over East Asia by using the Aerosol Robotic Network observations and radiative transfer model calculations. The mixed-type aerosols exhibit significantly enhanced absorbing ability than the corresponding unmixed dust and anthropogenic aerosols, as revealed in the spectral behavior of absorbing aerosol optical depth, single scattering albedo, and imaginary refractive index. The aerosol radiative efficiencies for the dust, mixed-type, and anthropogenic aerosols are −101.0, −112.9, and −98.3 Wm⁻²τ⁻¹ at the bottom of the atmosphere (BOA); −42.3, −22.5, and −39.8 Wm⁻²τ⁻¹ at the top of the atmosphere (TOA); and 58.7, 90.3, and 58.5 Wm⁻²τ⁻¹ in the atmosphere (ATM), respectively. The BOA cooling and ATM heating efficiencies of the mixed-type aerosols are significantly higher than those of the unmixed aerosol types over the East Asia region, resulting in atmospheric stabilization. In addition, the mixed-type aerosols correspond to a lower TOA cooling efficiency, indicating that the cooling effect by the corresponding individual aerosol components is partially counteracted. We conclude that the interaction between dust and anthropogenic pollution not only represents a viable aerosol formation pathway but also results in unfavorable dispersion conditions, both exacerbating the regional air pollution in East Asia. Our results highlight the necessity to accurately account for the mixing state of aerosols in atmospheric models over East Asia in order to better understand the formation mechanism for regional air pollution and to assess its impacts on human health, weather, and climate.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information
Zhang, Lei0000-0001-9031-4318
Tang, Kai0000-0002-5402-0344
Wang, Yuan0000-0001-6657-8401
Jiang, Jonathan H.0000-0002-5929-8951
Yung, Yuk L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Zhang, Renyi0000-0001-8708-3862
Additional Information:© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Received: 05 Jan 2018 – Discussion started: 30 Jan 2018 – Revised: 16 May 2018 – Accepted: 17 May 2018 – Published: 04 Jun 2018. Special issue | Regional transport and transformation of air pollution in eastern China. Editor(s): T. Zhu, Y. Zhang, J. Chen, D. E. Heard, Z. Li, L. T. Molina, L. Morawska, D. Parrish, H. Su, R. Zhang, and Y. Wang. This research was financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (41627807 and 41475008) and National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFC0401003). Pengfei Tian was funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2018M631216). Yuan Wang acknowledged the support from NASA ROSES ACMAP. Yuemeng Ji was financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (41675122) and Science and Technology Program of Guangzhou city (201707010188). The authors thank the principal investigators and staff for establishing and maintaining the AERONET sites used in this research. We thank the Institute for Computational Earth System Science (ICESS), University of California, for providing the SADART model. Yuan Wang, Jonathan H. Jiang, and Yuk L. Yung acknowledge support by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA. Data Availability. The original sun photometer data are available from the AERONET website (, last access: 31 May 2018; Holben et al., 1998). The radiative flux data for the worldwide AERONET sites calculated using the SBDART model and all data for the figures and table in this research are available from the authors upon request. The supplement related to this article is available online at: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. Edited by: Zhanqing Li. Reviewed by: three anonymous referees.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of China41627807
National Natural Science Foundation of China41475008
National Key Research and Development Program of China2016YFC0401003
China Postdoctoral Science Foundation2018M631216
National Natural Science Foundation of China41675122
Guangzhou City201707010188
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200529-093434091
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Tian, P., Zhang, L., Ma, J., Tang, K., Xu, L., Wang, Y., Cao, X., Liang, J., Ji, Y., Jiang, J. H., Yung, Y. L., and Zhang, R.: Radiative absorption enhancement of dust mixed with anthropogenic pollution over East Asia, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 18, 7815–7825,, 2018.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:103561
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:29 May 2020 18:40
Last Modified:29 May 2020 18:40

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