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Published April 2021 | Published
Journal Article Open

Anthropogenic aerosols prolong fog lifetime in China


Investigation of aerosol effects on fog with long-term measurements has generally focused on fog occurrence frequency and intensity; here we examine the effects on fog lifetime, fog formation, and fog dissipation. From analysis of 52 years (1960–2011) of data collected at 404 stations in China, it is found that fog lifetime exhibits a clear increasing trend with time, and the increased lifetime is mainly attributable to delayed fog dissipation. Increased aerosol levels and global warming affect fog lifetime in opposite ways; increased aerosol levels serve to prolong fog lifetime by primarily delaying fog dissipation, whereas warming decreases fog lifetime by primarily delaying fog formation. The overall aerosol effect on fog lifetime in China is shown to predominate, especially in the highly polluted region of Eastern China. The observational findings are confirmed by a suite of WRF-Chem simulations that reveal the influences of both increased aerosol levels and temperatures through a complex chain of interactions among microphysical, dynamical, thermodynamic, and radiative processes.

Additional Information

© 2021 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 8 October 2020. Revised 11 March 2021. Accepted for publication 16 March 2021. Published 1 April 2021. This research is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (41975181), and Chinese Key Projects in the National Science and Technology (2017YFC0209604, 2018YFF0300101). Y.L. is supported by the US Department of Energy Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Program. The data were obtained from National Meteorological Information Center of China Meteorological Administration (https://data.cma.cn/en), which is open to the scientific community. Data availability statement. The data that support the findings of this study are openly available at the following URL/DOI: https://data.cma.cn/en. The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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August 20, 2023
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