Articles | Volume 21, issue 19
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 15135–15152, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-21-15135-2021
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 15135–15152, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-21-15135-2021

Research article 12 Oct 2021

Research article | 12 Oct 2021

Nonlinear responses of particulate nitrate to NOx emission controls in the megalopolises of China

Mengmeng Li et al.

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Cited articles

Alexander, B., Hastings, M. G., Allman, D. J., Dachs, J., Thornton, J. A., and Kunasek, S. A.: Quantifying atmospheric nitrate formation pathways based on a global model of the oxygen isotopic composition (Δ17O) of atmospheric nitrate, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 5043–5056, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-9-5043-2009, 2009. 
Alexander, B., Sherwen, T., Holmes, C. D., Fisher, J. A., Chen, Q., Evans, M. J., and Kasibhatla, P.: Global inorganic nitrate production mechanisms: comparison of a global model with nitrate isotope observations, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 3859–3877, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-3859-2020, 2020. 
Bhati, S. and Mohan, M.: WRF-urban canopy model evaluation for the assessment of heat island and thermal comfort over an urban airshed in India under varying land use/land cover conditions, Geoscience Letters, 5, 27, https://doi.org/10.1186/s40562-018-0126-7, 2018. 
Cheng, Y. F., Zheng, G. J., Wei, C., Mu, Q., Zheng, B., Wang, Z. B., Gao, M., Zhang, Q., He, K. B., Carmichael, G., Poschl, U., and Su, H.: Reactive nitrogen chemistry in aerosol water as a source of sulfate during haze events in China, Science Advances, 2, e1601530, https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1601530, 2016. 
Dong, X. Y., Li, J., Fu, J. S., Gao, Y., Huang, K., and Zhuang, G. S.: Inorganic aerosols responses to emission changes in Yangtze River Delta, China, Sci. Total Environ., 481, 522–532, 2014. 
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Short summary
We establish the nonlinear responses between nitrate and NOx in China. Reduction of NOx results in linearly lower nitrate in summer–autumn whereas an increase of winter nitrate until an inflexion point at 40–50 % reduction due to the excess oxidants. NH3 and VOCs are effective in controlling nitrate pollution, whereas decreasing the SO2 and NOx emissions may have counterintuitive effects on nitrate aerosols. This paper helps understand the nonlinear aerosol and photochemistry feedback.
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