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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-140
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-140
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 08 Apr 2020

Submitted as: research article | 08 Apr 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

What have we missed when studying the impact of aerosols on surface ozone via changing photolysis rates?

Jinhui Gao1,2, Ying Li1, Bin Zhu3,4, Bo Hu5, Lili Wang5, and Fangwen Bao1,2 Jinhui Gao et al.
  • 1Department of Ocean Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China
  • 2School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 3Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
  • 4Key Laboratory of Aerosol–Cloud–Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, China
  • 5State Key Laboratory of Atmosphere Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry (LAPC), Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Abstract. Previous studies have emphasized that the decrease in photolysis rate at the surface induced by the light extinction of aerosols could weaken ozone photochemistry and then reduce surface ozone. However, quantitative studies have shown that weakened photochemistry leads to a much greater reduction in the net chemical production of ozone, which does not match the reduction in surface ozone. This suggested that in addition to photochemistry, some other physical processes related to the variation of ozone should also be considered. In this study, the Weather Research and Forecasting with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) model coupled with the ozone source apportionment method was applied to determine the mechanism of ozone reduction induced by aerosols over Central East China (CEC). Our results showed that weakened ozone photochemistry led to a significant reduction in ozone net chemical production, which occurred not only at the surface but also within the lowest several hundred meters in the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Meanwhile, a larger ozone gradient was formed in vertical direction, which led to the high concentrations of ozone aloft being entrained by turbulence from the top of the PBL to the surface and partly counteracting the reduction in surface ozone. In addition, ozone in the upper layer of the PBL was also reduced, which was also induced by much ozone aloft being entrained downward. Therefore, by affecting the photolysis rate, the impact of aerosols was a reduction in ozone not only at the surface but also throughout the entire PBL during the daytime over the CEC in this study. The ozone source apportionment results showed that 41.4 %–66.3 % of the reduction in surface ozone came from local and adjacent source regions, which suggested that the impact of aerosols on ozone from local and adjacent regions was more significant than that from long-distance regions. The results also suggested that while controlling the concentration of aerosols, simultaneously controlling ozone precursors from local and adjacent source regions is an effective way to suppress the increase in surface ozone over CEC at present.

Jinhui Gao et al.

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Short summary
Light extinction of aerosols can decease surface ozone mainly via reducing photochemical production of ozone. However, it also leads high levels of ozone aloft being entrained down to the surface which partly counteracts the reduction in surface ozone. The impact of aerosols is more sensitive to local ozone, which suggests that while controlling the levels of aerosols, controlling the local ozone precursors is an effective way to suppress the increase of ozone over China at present.
Light extinction of aerosols can decease surface ozone mainly via reducing photochemical...
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