Articles | Volume 15, issue 6
Research article
23 Mar 2015
Research article |  | 23 Mar 2015

Mesoscale modeling study of the interactions between aerosols and PBL meteorology during a haze episode in Jing–Jin–Ji (China) and its nearby surrounding region – Part 1: Aerosol distributions and meteorological features

H. Wang, M. Xue, X. Y. Zhang, H. L. Liu, C. H. Zhou, S. C. Tan, H. Z. Che, B. Chen, and T. Li

Abstract. The urbanized region ofJing(Beijing)-Jin(Tianjin)-Ji (alias of Hebei province) and its nearby surrounding region (3JNS) is becoming China's most polluted area by haze, exceeding even the Yangtze and Pearl river deltas. Aside from pollutant emission, the meteorology of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) is the most important factor affecting haze pollution. Focusing on July 2008, the aerosol optical properties and PBL meteorology features closely related to haze formation were simulated in the 3JNS region using an online atmospheric chemical transport model. The relationship between regional PBL meteorology, PM2.5, and haze is discussed. Model results accurately simulated the aerosol optical depth (AOD), single scattering albedo (SSA) and asymmetry parameter (ASY), validated by comparison with observations from the MODerate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), the China Aerosol Remote Sensing NETwork (CARSNET) and the Aerosol Robotic NETwork (AERONET). Modeled PBL wind speeds showed reasonable agreement with those from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Reanalysis 2. A monthly mean AOD value as high as 1.2 was found from both model and observations, with a daily mean larger than 2.0 during haze episodes in the 3JNS region. Modeled and observed SSA values of 0.90–0.96 and ASY values of 0.72–0.74 demonstrated the high scattering characteristic of summer aerosols in this region. PBL wind speeds from modeled and NCEP data both showed a reversing trend of PM2.5 variation, illustrating the importance of the "PBL window shadow" in haze formation. Turbulence diffusion and PBL height had opposite phases to surface PM2.5, indicating that lower PBL height and weaker PBL turbulence diffusion are essential to haze formation. It is noted that homogeneous air pressure does not occur at the surface, but at an 850–950 hPa height during the haze episode. The momentum transmitting downward of the cold air from above the PBL to the low PBL and surface lead to an increase in surface wind speeds and haze dispersal.

Final-revised paper