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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-250
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-250
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 25 Mar 2019

Submitted as: research article | 25 Mar 2019

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

A new parameterization scheme of the real part of the ambient aerosols refractive index

Gang Zhao1, Tianyi Tan2, Weilun Zhao1, Song Guo2, Ping Tian3, and Chunsheng Zhao1 Gang Zhao et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China
  • 2State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • 3Beijing Key Laboratory of Cloud, Precipitation and Atmospheric Water Resources, Beijing 100089, China

Abstract. The refractive index of ambient aerosols, which directly determines the aerosol optical properties, is widely used in atmospheric models and remote sensing. Traditionally, the real part of the refractive index (RRI) is mainly parameterized by the measurement of ambient aerosol main inorganic components. In this paper, the characteristics of the ambient aerosol RRI are studied based on the field measurement in the East China. Results show that the ambient aerosol RRI varies significantly between 1.36 and 1.56. The direct aerosol radiative forcing is estimated to vary by 40 % corresponding to the variation of the measured aerosol RRI. We find that the ambient aerosol RRI is highly related with the aerosol effective density (ρeff) rather than the main chemical components. However, parameterization schemes of the ambient aerosol RRI by ρeff are not available due to the lack of corresponding simultaneous field measurements. For the first time, the size-resolved ambient aerosol RRI and ρeff are measured simultaneously by our designed measurement system. A new parameterization scheme of the ambient aerosols RRI using ρeff is proposed. The measured and parameterized RRI agree well with the correlation coefficient of 0.76. Knowledge of the ambient aerosol RRI would improve our understanding of the ambient aerosol radiative effects.

Gang Zhao et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Short summary
Traditionally, the real part of refractive index (RRI) of ambient aerosols is calculated by their chemical components. In this study, we demonstrate that the RRI is highly related to effective density rather than chemical components using the field measurements. For the first time, a parameterization scheme of the ambient aerosols RRI using the effective density is proposed. This simple scheme is more reliable and ready to be used in the calculation of aerosol optics and radiation.
Traditionally, the real part of refractive index (RRI) of ambient aerosols is calculated by...
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