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Open AccessCommunication

A New Type of Haze? The December 2015 Purple (Magenta) Haze Event in Nanjing, China

Key Laboratory of Transportation Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Nanjing 210008, China
Jiangsu Meteorological Observatory, Nanjing 210008, China
College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yuxuan Wang and Robert W. Talbot
Atmosphere 2017, 8(4), 76;
Received: 25 December 2016 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 6 April 2017 / Published: 14 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Pollution)
A special and unusual purple (magenta) haze episode was observed in Nanjing, China, at 17:00 on 22 December 2015. Many local and national news outlets reported this event. Based on an analysis of the pollution features and meteorological factors, including boundary layer characteristics, we concluded that this haze event was similar in most respects to other local haze episodes. We discuss the reasons and the possibilities about this rare color haze at the end of the paper. One way to attain a combination of blue and red light is to have the green wavelengths selectively absorbed, and this seems unlikely for typical atmospheric constituents. Another way involves pollution gases or particles together with small liquid-water drops, which need further confirmation. A third possibility is that the combination of transmitted red light from the sun and scattered blue light from above could produce a purple/magenta color in the sky. In general, further studies are required to assess the physical, chemical, and optical features of this purple haze in order to explain and predict this phenomenon in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: air pollution; cloud; East China; inversion; purple haze; rare atmospheric phenomenon air pollution; cloud; East China; inversion; purple haze; rare atmospheric phenomenon
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Liu, D.; Liu, X.; Wang, H.; Li, Y.; Kang, Z.; Cao, L.; Yu, X.; Chen, H. A New Type of Haze? The December 2015 Purple (Magenta) Haze Event in Nanjing, China. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 76.

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