Articles | Volume 16, issue 3
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 1673–1691, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-1673-2016

Special issue: The community version of the Weather Research and Forecasting...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 1673–1691, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-1673-2016

Research article 12 Feb 2016

Research article | 12 Feb 2016

Modeling study of the 2010 regional haze event in the North China Plain

M. Gao1,2, G. R. Carmichael1,2, Y. Wang3, P. E. Saide2,a, M. Yu1,2,b, J. Xin3, Z. Liu3, and Z. Wang3 M. Gao et al.
  • 1Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA
  • 2Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Boundary Layer Physics and Atmospheric Chemistry, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • anow at: Atmospheric Chemistry observations and Modeling (ACOM) lab, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, CO, USA
  • bnow at: Mathematics and Computer Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, USA

Abstract. The online coupled Weather Research and Forecasting-Chemistry (WRF-Chem) model was applied to simulate a haze event that happened in January 2010 in the North China Plain (NCP), and was validated against various types of measurements. The evaluations indicate that WRF-Chem provides reliable simulations for the 2010 haze event in the NCP. This haze event was mainly caused by high emissions of air pollutants in the NCP and stable weather conditions in winter. Secondary inorganic aerosols also played an important role and cloud chemistry had important contributions. Air pollutants outside Beijing contributed about 64.5 % to the PM2.5 levels in Beijing during this haze event, and most of them are from south Hebei, Tianjin city, Shandong and Henan provinces. In addition, aerosol feedback has important impacts on surface temperature, relative humidity (RH) and wind speeds, and these meteorological variables affect aerosol distribution and formation in turn. In Shijiazhuang, Planetary Boundary Layer (PBL) decreased about 278.2 m and PM2.5 increased more than 20 µg m−3 due to aerosol feedback. It was also shown that black carbon (BC) absorption has significant impacts on meteorology and air quality changes, indicating more attention should be paid to BC from both air pollution control and climate change perspectives.

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Short summary
The WRF-Chem model was applied to study the 2010 winter haze in North China. Air pollutants outside Beijing contributed about 64.5 % to the PM2.5 levels in Beijing during this haze event, and most of them are from south Hebei, Tianjin city, Shandong and Henan provinces. In addition, aerosol feedback has important impacts on surface temperature, Relative Humidity (RH) and wind speeds, and these meteorological variables affect aerosol distribution and formation in turn.
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