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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-182
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-182
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Mar 2019

Research article | 11 Mar 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Impacts of black carbon on the formation of advection-radiation fog during a haze pollution episode in eastern China

Qiuji Ding1,2,3, Jianning Sun1,2,3, Xin Huang1,2,3, Aijun Ding1,2,3, Jun Zou1,2,3, Xiuqun Yang1,2,3, and Congbin Fu1,2,3 Qiuji Ding et al.
  • 1Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
  • 2School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China
  • 3Collaborative Innovation Center of Climate Change, Jiangsu Province, China

Abstract. Aerosols can not only participate in fog formation by acting as condensation nuclei of droplets but also modify the meteorological conditions such as air temperature and moisture, planetary boundary layer height (PBLH) and regional circulation during haze event. The impact of aerosols on fog formation, yet to be revealed, can be critical in understanding and predicting of fog-haze event. In this study, we used the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) to investigate a heavy fog event during a multiday intense haze pollution episode in early December 2013 in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region in eastern China. Using the WRF-Chem model, we conducted four parallel numerical experiments to evaluate the roles of aerosol-radiation interaction (ARI), aerosol-cloud interaction (ACI), black carbon (BC) and none BC (non-BC) aerosols in the formation and maintenance of the heavy fog event. Only when the aerosols' feedback processes are considered can the model well capture the haze pollution and the fog event. We find that the ARI dominates this fog-haze episode while the effects of ACI are negligible. Our analyses shows that BC plays a more important role in fog formation than non-BC aerosols. The dome effect of BC leads to an increase of air moisture over the sea by reducing PBLH and weakening vertical mixing, thereby confining more water vapor in the near-surface layer. The strengthened daytime onshore flow by a cyclonic wind anomaly, induced by contrast temperature perturbation over land and sea, transports moister air to the YRD region, where the suppressed PBLH and weakened daytime vertical mixing maintain the high moisture level. Then the heave fog forms due to the surface cooling at night in this region. This study highlights the importance of anthropogenic emissions in the formation of advection-radiation fog in the polluted coastal areas.

Qiuji Ding et al.
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Qiuji Ding et al.
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Short summary
Aerosol plays an important role in advection-radiation fog formation in eastern China though stabilizing atmospheric stratification and enhancing onshore flow. For the fog-haze episode in December 2013, the effect of aerosol-radiation interaction overwhelmed that of aerosol-cloud interaction. Light-absorbing aerosol like black carbon was more crucial than scattering aerosols. This paper highlights the importance of interaction among aerosol, regional circulation and boundary layer.
Aerosol plays an important role in advection-radiation fog formation in eastern China though...
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