1State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Satellites Remote Sensing, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2International Institute for Earth System Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China
4Laboratoire d'Optique Atmosphérique, Université Lille 1, Villeneuve d'Ascq 59655, France
5NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681, USA
Abstract. With the development of economy in the past thirty years, many large cities in the eastern and southwestern China are experiencing increased haze events and atmospheric pollution, causing significant impacts on the regional environment and even climate. However, knowledge on the aerosol physical and chemical properties in heavy haze conditions is still insufficient. In this study, two winter heavy haze events in Beijing occurred in 2011 and 2012 were selected and investigated by using the ground-based remote sensing measurements. We used CIMEL CE318 sun-sky radiometer to derive haze aerosol optical, physical and chemical properties, including aerosol optical depth (AOD), size distribution, complex refractive indices and fractions of chemical components like black carbon (BC), brown carbon (BrC), mineral dust (DU), ammonium sulfate-like (AS) components and aerosol water content (AW). The retrieval results from a total of five haze days showed that the aerosol loading and properties during the two winter haze events were relatively stable. Therefore, a parameterized heavy haze characterization was drawn to present a research case for future studies. The averaged AOD is 3.2 at 440 nm and Ångström exponent is 1.3 from 440–870 nm. The coarse particles occupied a considerable fraction of the bimodal size distribution in winter haze events, with the mean particle radius of 0.21 and 2.9 μm for the fine and coarse mode respectively. The real part of the refractive indices exhibited a relatively flat spectral behavior with an average value of 1.48 from 440 to 1020 nm. The imaginary part showed obviously spectral variation with the value at 440 nm (about 0.013) higher than other three wavelengths (e.g. about 0.008 at 675 nm). The chemical composition retrieval results showed that BC, BrC, DU, AS and AW occupied 1%, 2%, 49%, 15% and 33% respectively on average for the investigated haze events. The comparison of these remote sensing results with in situ BC and PM2.5 measurements were also presented in the paper.