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Article

Quantifying the Influences of PM2.5 and Relative Humidity on Change of Atmospheric Visibility over Recent Winters in an Urban Area of East China

1
Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
2
Jiangsu Provincial Meteorological Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China
3
Institute of Atmospheric Composition/Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry of China Meteorological Administration (CMA), Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
4
Jiangsu Climate Center, Nanjing 210009, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050461
Received: 3 April 2020 / Revised: 27 April 2020 / Accepted: 30 April 2020 / Published: 2 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asian/Pacific Air Pollution and Environment)
Fine particulate matters (PM2.5) and relative humidity (RH) in the ambient atmosphere are the leading anthropogenic and natural factors changing atmospheric horizontal visibility. Based on the analysis of environmental and meteorological data observed over 2013–2019 in Nanjing, an urban area in East China, this study investigated the influences of PM2.5 and RH on atmospheric visibility changes over recent years. The visibility had significantly negative correlations with the PM2.5 concentrations and RH changes. The nonlinear relationships existed between PM2.5 concentrations and visibility, as well as between RH and visibility, with the inflection points in the atmospheric visibility changes. The PM2.5 inflection concentrations were 81.0 μg m−3, 76.0 μg m−3, 49.0 μg m−3, and 33.0 μg m−3, respectively, for the RH ranges of RH < 60%, 60% ≤ RH < 80%, 80% ≤ RH < 90%, and RH ≥ 90%, indicating that the improvement of visibility with reducing PM2.5 concentrations could be more difficult under the humid meteorological condition. The visibility changes were most sensitive to PM2.5 concentrations in the RH range of 60–80% in this urban area of East China. The relative contributions of natural factor RH and anthropogenic factor PM2.5 to variations of wintertime atmospheric visibility were quantified with 54.3% and 45.7%, respectively, revealing an important role of natural factor RH in the change of atmospheric visibility in the urban area of East Asian monsoon region. View Full-Text
Keywords: atmospheric visibility; PM2.5; relative humidity; Nanjing atmospheric visibility; PM2.5; relative humidity; Nanjing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sun, X.; Zhao, T.; Liu, D.; Gong, S.; Xu, J.; Ma, X. Quantifying the Influences of PM2.5 and Relative Humidity on Change of Atmospheric Visibility over Recent Winters in an Urban Area of East China. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 461. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050461

AMA Style

Sun X, Zhao T, Liu D, Gong S, Xu J, Ma X. Quantifying the Influences of PM2.5 and Relative Humidity on Change of Atmospheric Visibility over Recent Winters in an Urban Area of East China. Atmosphere. 2020; 11(5):461. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050461

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sun, Xiaoyun, Tianliang Zhao, Duanyang Liu, Sunling Gong, Jiaping Xu, and Xiaodan Ma. 2020. "Quantifying the Influences of PM2.5 and Relative Humidity on Change of Atmospheric Visibility over Recent Winters in an Urban Area of East China" Atmosphere 11, no. 5: 461. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050461

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