16 Sep 2021

16 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Distinguishing the impacts of natural and anthropogenic aerosols on global gross primary productivity through diffuse fertilization effect

Hao Zhou1,2, Xu Yue3, Yadong Lei4, Chenguang Tian1,2, Jun Zhu3, Yimian Ma1,2, Yang Cao1,2, Xixi Yin3, and Zhiding Zhang3 Hao Zhou et al.
  • 1Climate Change Research Center, Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing 100029, China
  • 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 3Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, Collaborative Innovation Center of Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology (NUIST), Nanjing, 210044, China
  • 4State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather & Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry of CMA, Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing, 100081, China

Abstract. Aerosols can enhance ecosystem productivity by increasing diffuse radiation. Such diffuse fertilization effects (DFEs) vary among different aerosol compositions and sky conditions. Here, we apply a suite of chemical, radiation, and vegetation models in combination with ground- and satellite-based measurements to assess the impacts of natural and anthropogenic aerosol species on gross primary productivity (GPP) through DFE during 2001–2014. Globally, aerosols increase GPP by 8.9 Pg C yr-1 at clear skies but only 0.95 Pg C yr-1 at all skies. Anthropogenic aerosols account for 41% of the total GPP enhancement though they contribute only 25% to the increment of diffuse radiation. Sulfate/nitrate aerosols from anthropogenic sources make dominant contributions of 33% (36%) to aerosol DFE at all (clear) skies, followed by the ratio of 18% (22%) by organic carbon aerosols from natural sources. In contrast to other species, black carbon aerosols decrease global GPP by 0.28 (0.12) Pg C yr-1 at all (clear) skies. Long-term simulations show that aerosol DFE is increasing 2.9% yr-1 at all skies mainly because of a downward trend in cloud amount. This study suggests that the impacts of aerosols and cloud should be considered in projecting future changes of ecosystem productivity under varied emission scenarios.

Hao Zhou et al.

Status: open (until 28 Oct 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-701', Anonymous Referee #1, 12 Oct 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-701', Anonymous Referee #2, 15 Oct 2021 reply

Hao Zhou et al.


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Short summary
Aerosols enhance plant photosynthesis by increasing diffuse radiation. In this study, we found that the aerosol impacts are quite different for varied species. Scattering aerosols such as sulfate and organic carbon promote photosynthesis while absorbing aerosols such as black caron have negative impacts. Earth system models should consider the impacts of cloud and aerosol species on terrestrial ecosystem so as to better predict carbon cycles under different emission scenarios.