1Department of Atmospheric Science, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China
2South China Institute of Environmental Sciences (SCIES), Guangzhou, China
3Department of Environmental Science, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China
4Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing, China
Abstract. In urban area of Guangzhou, an experiment was conducted at the monitoring site of SCIES in order to recognize the impact of relative humidity (RH) and particles size distribution on aerosol light extinction during 2009 to 2010. Water-soluble ions and OC/EC in daily PM2.5 samples was determined by the Dionex ion chromatography and the DIR model 2001 carbon analyzer, respectively; particles size distribution was measured by TSI 3321 APS; and total light scattering coefficient was measured by TSI 3565 Nephelometer. Inorganic salts that constitute PM2.5 were recognized under an assumption of the electrical charge neutrality, while chemical components as POM, EC and water content were determined by means of hygroscopic growth calculation and chemical mass closure. As a result, (NH4)2SO4, NaNO3, POM, EC and water content were found to be the major components. By the Mie Model, light scattering and absorption coefficient of PM0.5–2.5 were estimated on the basis of the chemical composition of PM2.5 and the size distribution of number concentration of PM0.5–2.5. This estimation was evaluated by results from Nephelometer measurement and proved to have high accuracy. With the knowledge of hygroscopic growth of some inorganic salts, it was realized that optical properties of PM2.5 greatly depended on relative humidity, while light extinction was enhanced averagely 1.23, 1.38 and 1.75 times at 70%, 80% and 90% RH, respectively. Moreover, light extinction coefficient of PM0.5–2.5 increased averagely 1.24 to 1.28 times during wet days while merely 1.04 times in dry days. Furthermore, combined results from Nephelometer, the knowledge of relation between EC and aerosol light absorption and the Mie Model estimation, size distribution of total light extinction coefficient was determined. PM1 contributed averagely 76%, 85%, 94% and 93% to light extinction in spring, summer, autumn and winter, respectively, while the contributions from PM2.5 were 94% at least.