Reduced light absorption of black carbon (BC) and its influence on BC-boundary-layer interactions during “APEC Blue”

Meng Gao, Yang Yang, Hong Liao, Bin Zhu, Yuxuan Zhang, Zirui Liu, Xiao Lu, Chen Wang, Qiming Zhou, Yuesi Wang, Qiang Zhang, Gregory R. Carmichael, Jianlin Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Light absorption and radiative forcing of black carbon (BC) is influenced by both BC itself and its interactions with other aerosol chemical compositions. Although the changes in BC concentrations in response to emission reduction measures have been well documented, the influence of emission reductions on the light absorption properties of BC and its influence on BC-boundary-layer interactions has been less explored. In this study, we used the online coupled WRF-Chem model to examine how emission control measures during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit affect the mixing state and light absorption of BC, and the associated implications for BC-PBL interactions. We found that both the mass concentration of BC and the BC coating materials declined during the APEC week, which reduced the light absorption and light absorption enhancement (Eab) of BC. The reduced absorption aerosol optical depth (AAOD) during APEC was caused by both the decline in the mass concentration of BC itself (52.0 %), and the lensing effect of BC (48.0 %). The reduction in coating materials (39.4 %) contributed the most to the influence of the lensing effect, and the reduced light absorption capability (Eab) contributed 3.2 % to the total reduction in AAOD. Reduced light absorption of BC due to emission control during APEC enhanced planetary boundary layer height (PBLH) by 8.2 m. PM2.5 and O3 were found to have different responses to the changes in the light absorption of BC. Reduced light absorption of BC due to emission reductions decreased near-surface PM2.5 concentrations but near-surface O3 concentrations were enhanced in the North China Plain. These results suggest that current measures to control SO2, NOx, etc. would be effective in reducing the absorption enhancement of BC and in inhibiting the feedback of BC on the boundary layer. However, enhanced ground O3 might be a side effect of current emission control strategies. How to control emissions to offset this side effect of current emission control measures on O3 should be an area of further focus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11405-11421
Number of pages17
JournalAtmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Volume21
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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