Ground-based aerosol climatology of China: aerosol optical depths from the China Aerosol Remote Sensing Network (CARSNET) 2002–2013
Abstract. Long-term measurements of aerosol optical depths (AODs) at 440 nm and Ångström exponents (AE) between 440 and 870 nm made for CARSNET were compiled into a climatology of aerosol optical properties for China. Quality-assured monthly mean AODs are presented for 50 sites representing remote, rural, and urban areas. AODs were 0.14, 0.34, 0.42, 0.54, and 0.74 at remote stations, rural/desert regions, the Loess Plateau, central and eastern China, and urban sites, respectively, and the corresponding AE values were 0.97, 0.55, 0.82, 1.19, and 1.05. AODs increased from north to south, with low values (< 0.20) over the Tibetan Plateau and northwestern China and high AODs (> 0.60) in central and eastern China where industrial emissions and anthropogenic activities were likely sources. AODs were 0.20–0.40 in semi-arid and arid regions and some background areas in northern and northeastern China. AEs were > 1.20 over the southern reaches of the Yangtze River and at clean sites in northeastern China. In the northwestern deserts and industrial parts of northeast China, AEs were lower (< 0.80) compared with central and eastern regions. Dust events in spring, hygroscopic particle growth during summer, and biomass burning contribute the high AODs, especially in northern and eastern China. The AODs show decreasing trends from 2006 to 2009 but increased ~ 0.03 per year from 2009 to 2013.