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Atmosphere 2016, 7(8), 105; doi:10.3390/atmos7080105

Seasonal Variation of Nitrate Concentration and Its Direct Radiative Forcing over East Asia

Key Laboratory of Regional Climate-Environment for Temperate East Asia (RCE-TEA), Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing 100029, China
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Academic Editors: Gabriele Curci and Giovanni Pitari
Received: 4 July 2016 / Revised: 30 July 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 10 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Aerosols and Their Radiative Effects)
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Abstract

This study investigated the seasonal variation of nitrate concentration and its radiative forcing over East Asia by using an online-coupled regional climate model. Comparison with a series of in-situ observations from Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET) and China demonstrated a good skill of the model in reproducing the magnitude and seasonality of nitrate concentration across East Asia. It was found that nitrate concentration in Beijing and Tianjin exhibited the maximum in summer and the minimum in winter possibly due to stronger chemical oxidation and regional transport effect of larger emissions from the north China Plain in summer, whereas in most areas of East Asia, nitrate concentration was higher in winter and lower in summer, consistent with the seasonality of NOx emission. Surface nitrate concentration was higher over the lower reaches of the Yellow River, followed by the middle to lower reaches of the Yangtze River and portions of south China, and lower in Korean Peninsula and Japan. The annual mean surface nitrate concentration was predicted to be 2.9 μg·m−3 for East Asia and 8.5 μg·m−3 for east China. All-sky direct radiative forcing (DRF) due to nitrate at the top of the atmosphere (TOA) exhibited the largest forcing up to −7 W·m−2 over the lower reaches of the Yellow River, and lower forcing of ~−2 W·m−2 in the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Clear-sky DRF by nitrate reached the maximum in spring and the minimum in summer over both East Asia and east China, whereas DRF under all-sky condition showed its maximum in autumn, associated with seasonalities of nitrate column burden, relative humidity, and cloud effect. Annual mean all-sky DRFs at TOA were estimated to be −1.7 W·m−2 and −3.7 W·m−2 over East Asia and east China, respectively, significantly larger than global annual mean, suggesting the important role of nitrate aerosol in environment and climate change over East Asia. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrate aerosol; seasonal variation; direct radiative forcing; online-coupled regional climate model; East Asia nitrate aerosol; seasonal variation; direct radiative forcing; online-coupled regional climate model; East Asia
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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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Li, J.; Han, Z. Seasonal Variation of Nitrate Concentration and Its Direct Radiative Forcing over East Asia. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 105.

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