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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1045
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-1045
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 06 Jan 2020

Submitted as: research article | 06 Jan 2020

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

To what extents do urbanization and air pollution affect fog?

Shuqi Yan1,2,3,4, Bin Zhu1,2,3,4, Yong Huang5,6, Jun Zhu7, Hanqing Kang1,2,3,4, Chunsong Lu1,2,3,4, and Tong Zhu8 Shuqi Yan et al.
  • 1Collaborative Innovation Centre on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, China
  • 2Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education (KLME), Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, China
  • 4Special test field of National Integrated meteorological observation, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing, China
  • 5Anhui Meteorology Institute, Key Lab of Atmospheric Science and Remote Sensing Anhui Province, Hefei 230031, China
  • 6Shouxian National Climatology Observatory, Shouxian 232200, China
  • 7Xiangshan Meteorological Bureau, Xiangshan 315700, China
  • 8IMSG at NOAA/NESDIS/STAR, 5830 University Research Ct., College Park, MD 20740, USA

Abstract. The remarkable development of China has resulted in rapid urbanization (urban heat island and dry island) and severe air pollution (aerosol pollution). Previous studies demonstrate that these two factors have either suppressing or promoting effects on fog, but what are the extents of their individual and combined effects? In this study, a dense radiation fog event in East China in January 2017 was reproduced by the WRF-Chem model, and the individual and combined effects of urbanization and aerosols on fog (indicated by liquid water content (LWC)) are quantitatively revealed. Results show that urbanization inhibits low-level fog, delays its formation and advances its dissipation due to higher temperatures and lower saturations. In contrast, upper-level fog could be enhanced because of the updraft-induced vapour convergence. Aerosols promote fog by increasing LWC, increasing droplet concentration and decreasing droplet effective radius. Further experiments show that the current pollution level in China is still below the critical aerosol concentration that suppresses fog. Urbanization influences fog to a larger extent than do aerosols. When urbanization and aerosol pollution are combined, the much weaker aerosol promoting effect is counteracted by the stronger urbanization suppressing effect on fog. Budget analysis of LWC reveals that urban development (urbanization and aerosols) alters LWC profile and fog structure mainly by modulating condensation/evaporation process. Our results infer that urban fog will be further reduced if urbanization keeps developing and air quality keeps deteriorating in the future.

Shuqi Yan et al.
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Short summary
The development of China has caused rapid urbanization and severe air pollution. However, the extent of their individual and combined effects on fog is not well understood. Through numerical experiments, we find that urbanization suppresses low-level fog but probably promotes upper-level fog. Additional aerosols generally promote fog. Urbanization affects fog to a much larger extent than aerosols do.
The development of China has caused rapid urbanization and severe air pollution. However, the...
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