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Open AccessArticle

Can the Aerosol Absorption Ångström Exponent Represent Aerosol Color in the Atmosphere: A Numerical Study

by Dapeng Zhao 1,2,*, Yan Yin 1,2, Chao Liu 1,2, Chunsong Lu 1,2 and Xiaofeng Xu 1,2
1
Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
2
Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, School of Atmospheric Physics, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(2), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11020187
Received: 8 January 2020 / Revised: 28 January 2020 / Accepted: 5 February 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Carbonaceous Aerosols)
The aerosol absorption Ångström exponent (AAE) is widely used to indicate aerosol absorption spectrum variations and is an important parameter for characterizing aerosol optical absorption properties. This study discusses the relationship between aerosol AAEs and their colors numerically. By combining light scattering simulations, a two-stream radiative transfer model, and an RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) color model, aerosol colors that can be sensed by human eyes are numerically generated with both the solar spectrum and human eye response taken into account. Our results indicate that the responses of human eyes to visible light might be more significant than the incident spectrum in the simulation of aerosol color in the atmosphere. Using the improved numerical simulation algorithm, we obtain the color change of absorption aerosols with different AAEs. When the AAE value is small, the color of the aerosol is generally black and gray. When the AAE value increases to approximately 2 and the difference between the light transmittances at wavelengths of 400 nm and 730 nm is greater than 0.2, the aerosol will appear brown or yellow
Keywords: AAE; color; simulations; response; carbonaceous aerosol AAE; color; simulations; response; carbonaceous aerosol
MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, D.; Yin, Y.; Liu, C.; Lu, C.; Xu, X. Can the Aerosol Absorption Ångström Exponent Represent Aerosol Color in the Atmosphere: A Numerical Study. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 187.

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