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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(6), 510; doi:10.3390/rs8060510

Analysis of Aerosol Radiative Forcing over Beijing under Different Air Quality Conditions Using Ground-Based Sun-Photometers between 2013 and 2015

1
School of Geoscience and Surveying Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing 100083, China
2
Beijing Key Lab of Spatial Information Integration and Its Applications, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Richard Müller and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 30 April 2016 / Revised: 3 June 2016 / Accepted: 11 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract

Aerosol particles can strongly affect both air quality and the radiation budget of the atmosphere. Above Beijing, the capital city of China, large amounts of aerosols within the atmospheric column have caused the deterioration of local air quality and have influenced radiative forcings at both the top and the bottom of the atmosphere (BOA and TOA). Observations of aerosol radiative forcing and its efficiency have been made using two sun-photometers in urban Beijing between 2013 and 2015, and have been analyzed alongside two air quality monitoring stations’ data by dividing air quality conditions into unpolluted, moderately polluted, and heavily polluted days. Daily average PM2.5 concentrations varied greatly in urban Beijing (5.5–485.0 µg/m3) and more than one-third of the analyzed period is classified as being polluted according to the national ambient air quality standards of China. The heavily polluted days had the largest bottom of atmosphere (BOA) and top of atmosphere (TOA) radiative forcings, but the smallest radiative forcing efficiencies, while the unpolluted days showed the opposite characteristics. On heavily polluted days, the averaged BOA aerosol radiative forcing occasionally exceeded −150 W/m2, which represents a value about three-times greater than that for unpolluted days. BOA aerosol radiative forcing was around two-to-three times as large as TOA aerosol radiative forcing under various air quality conditions, although both were mostly negative, suggesting that aerosols had different magnitudes of cooling effects at both the surface and the top of the atmosphere. Unpolluted days had the largest average values of aerosol radiative forcing efficiencies at BOA (and TOA) levels, which exceeded −190 W/m2 (−70 W/m2), compared with the lowest average values in heavily polluted days of around −120 W/m2 (−55 W/m2). These results suggest that the high concentrations of particulate matter pollution in the urban Beijing area had a strong cooling effect at both BOA and TOA levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerosol; PM2.5; radiative forcing aerosol; PM2.5; radiative forcing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chen, W.; Yan, L.; Ding, N.; Xie, M.; Lu, M.; Zhang, F.; Duan, Y.; Zong, S. Analysis of Aerosol Radiative Forcing over Beijing under Different Air Quality Conditions Using Ground-Based Sun-Photometers between 2013 and 2015. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 510.

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