Journal of Meteorological Research

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 865–873 | Cite as

The aerosol radiative effect on a severe haze episode in the Yangtze River Delta

  • Kai Sun
  • Hongnian Liu
  • Xueyuan Wang
  • Zhen Peng
  • Zhe Xiong
Regular Article


Due to increased aerosol emissions and unfavorable weather conditions, severe haze events have occurred frequently in China in the last 10 years. In addition, the interaction between the boundary layer and the aerosol radiative effect may be another important factor in haze formation. To better understand the effect of this interaction, the aerosol radiative effect on a severe haze episode that took place in December 2013 was investigated by using two WRF-Chem model simulations with different aerosol configurations. The results showed that the maximal reduction of regional average surface shortwave radiation, latent heat, and sensible heat during this event were 88, 12, and 37 W m–2, respectively. The planetary boundary layer height, daytime temperature, and wind speed dropped by 276 m, 1°C, and 0.33 m s–1, respectively. The ventilation coefficient dropped by 8%–24% for in the central and northwestern Yangtze River Delta (YRD). The upper level of the atmosphere was warmed and the lower level was cooled, which stabilized the stratification. In a word, the dispersion ability of the atmosphere was weakened due to the aerosol radiative feedback. Additional results showed that the PM2.5 concentration in the central and northwestern YRD increased by 6–18 μg m–3, which is less than 15% of the average PM2.5 concentration during the severely polluted period in this area. The vertical profile showed that the PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations increased below 950 hPa, with a maximum increase of 7 and 8 μg m–3, respectively. Concentrations reduced between 950 and 800 hPa, however, with a maximum reduction of 3.5 and 4.5 μg m–3, respectively. Generally, the aerosol radiative effect aggravated the level of pollution, but the effect was limited, and this haze event was mainly caused by the stagnant meteorological conditions. The interaction between the boundary layer and the aerosol radiative effect may have been less important than the large-scale static weather conditions for the formation of this haze episode.

Key words

haze aerosol radiative effect Yangtze River Delta ventilation coefficient PM2.5 WRF-Chem 


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Copyright information

© The Chinese Meteorological Society and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai Sun
    • 1
  • Hongnian Liu
    • 1
  • Xueyuan Wang
    • 1
  • Zhen Peng
    • 1
  • Zhe Xiong
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Atmospheric SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Climate–Environment for East Asia, Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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