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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  17 Aug 2020

17 Aug 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Optical and hygroscopic properties of black carbon influenced by particle microphysics at the top of anthropogenically polluted boundary layer

Shuo Ding1, Dantong Liu1, Delong Zhao2,3, Kang Hu1, Ping Tian2,3, Fei Wang2, Ruijie Li2, Yichen Chen2, Hui He2, Mengyu Huang2, and Deping Ding2 Shuo Ding et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Sciences, School of Earth Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
  • 2Beijing Weather Modification Office, Beijing, China
  • 3Beijing Key Laboratory of Cloud, Precipitation and Atmospheric Water Resources, Beijing, China

Abstract. Aerosols at the top of planetary boundary layer (PBL) could modify its atmospheric dynamics by redistributing the solar radiation, and start to be activated to form low-level cloud at this layer. Black carbon (BC), as an aerosol component efficiently absorbing solar radiation, can introduce heating and positive radiative effects at this sensitive layer, especially in the polluted PBL over the continent. This study presents continuous measurements of detailed BC properties at a mountain site locating at the top of polluted PBL over the North China Plain, during seasons with contrast emission structure and meteorology. The pollution level was persistently influenced by local surface anthropogenic emission on daily basis through daytime convective mixing, but the concentration was also enhanced or diluted depending on air mass direction, defined as neutral, polluted and diluted PBL, respectively. Winter was observed to have a higher BC mass fraction (4–8 %) than summer (2–7 %). By resolving the detailed particle size-resolved mixing state of BC in optical and hygroscopic models, we found enhanced BC mass absorption cross section (MACBC) for polluted PBL (up to 13 m2 g−1 at λ = 550 nm), and summer had a higher MACBC than winter by 5 %. The higher BC mass fraction in winter corresponded with a lower single-scattering albedo by 0.03–0.09 than summer, especially the lowest for diluted winter PBL (0.86 ± 0.02). The water supersaturation (SS) required to activate half number of BC decreased from 0.21 ± 0.08 % to 0.1 ± 0.03 % for winter diluted and polluted PBL; from 0.22 ± 0.06 % to 0.17 ± 0.05 % for summer. Notably, at the top of anthropogenically polluted PBL in both seasons, the enlarged BC with enhanced absorption capacity could be also efficiently droplet activated, e.g. winter (summer) BC with MAC of 9.84 ± 1.2 (10.7 ± 1) m2 g−1 could be half activated at SS = 0.13 ± 0.06 % (0.18 ± 0.05 %). These BC at the top of the PBL can more directly interact with the free troposphere and be transported to a wider region, exerting important direct and indirect radiative impacts.

Shuo Ding et al.

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Short summary
In this study, we for the first time characterized the detailed black carbon (BC) microphysics at a mountain site located at the top of PBL influenced by surface emission over the North China Plain region. We investigated the optical and hygroscopic properties of BC at this level, as influenced by microphysical properties. Such information will importantly constrain the impacts of BC in influencing the PBL dynamics and low-level cloud formation over anthropogenically polluted region.
In this study, we for the first time characterized the detailed black carbon (BC) microphysics...