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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-753
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-753
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 30 Jul 2018

Research article | 30 Jul 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Aerosol hygroscopic growth, contributing factors and impact on haze events in a severely polluted region in northern China

Jun Chen1, Zhanqing Li1,2, Min Lv3, Yuying Wang1, Wei Wang1, Yingjie Zhang4, Haofei Wang5,6, Xing Yan1, Yele Sun4, and Maureen Cribb2 Jun Chen et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 2Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and ESSIC, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
  • 3School of Geographic Science, Nantong University, Nantong 226000, China
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
  • 5College of Resource Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing, 100048, China
  • 6State Environment Protection Key Laboratory of Satellite Remote Sensing, Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China

Abstract. The hygroscopic growth of aerosol particles is a key factor of air pollution because it can significantly reduce visibility. In order to better understand the impact of the hygroscopic growth effect on haze events and contributing factors, we made use of rich measurements during an intensive field campaign conducted in Xingtai, Hebei province of China that has suffered from the most serious pollution in the Northern China Plain. Key measurements are from Raman lidar and ground-based instruments such as a GrayWolf 6-channel handheld particle/mass meter for atmospheric particulate matter that have diameters less than 1μm and 2.5μm (PM1 and PM2.5, respectively), aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM), and a hygroscopic tandem differential mobility analyzer (H-TDMA). The evolution of PM1 and PM2.5 agreed well with that of the water vapor content due to the aerosol hygroscopic growth effect. Two cases were selected to further analyze the effects of aerosol particle hygroscopic growth on haze events. The lidar-estimated aerosol hygroscopic enhancement factor during a pollution event (Case II) was greater than that during a relatively clean period (Case I) with similar relative humidity (RH): 80–91%. The hygroscopic growth was fitted by the Kasten model whose parameter b differ considerably: 0.9346 vs. 0.1000 for cases II and I respectively. The aerosol acidity value of Case II (1.50) was greater than that of Case I (1.35) due to different amounts of inorganics such as NH4NO3, NH4HSO4, and (NH4)2SO4, consistent with the difference in the aerosol hygroscopicity parameter κ calculated from the chemical species of PM1 obtained by the ACSM. Data from the H-TDMA showed that all of the aerosol particle size hygroscopic growth factors in each particle size category (40, 80, 110, 150, and 200nm) at different RH (80–91%) during Case II were higher than those during Case I. Under the same water vapor conditions, aerosol hygroscopic growth was one of the major factors contributing to heavy haze pollution. Concerning aerosol chemical composition, nitrate was the primary component contributing to aerosol hygroscopicity over Xingtai.

Jun Chen et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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The hygroscopic growth function of aerosol particles is derived from Raman lidar whose dependence on aerosol chemical composition is investigated using data from an aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM), and a hygroscopic tandem differential mobility analyzer (H-TDMA) deployed in China. Two distinct cases were chosen with marked differences in their hygroscopic growth that was that was fitted by the Kasten model. The differences were attributed to different amounts of chemical species.
The hygroscopic growth function of aerosol particles is derived from Raman lidar whose...
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