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  • Shen, Yicheng; Virkkula, Aki; Ding, Aijun; Wang, Jiaping; Chi, Xuguang; Nie, Wei; Qi, Ximeng; Huang, Xin; Liu, Qiang; Zheng, Longfei; Xu, Zheng; Petäjä, Tuukka; Aalto, Pasi P.; Fu, Congbin; Kulmala, Markku (2018)
    Aerosol optical properties (AOPs) and supporting parameters-particle number size distributions, PM2 : 5 mass concentrations, and the concentrations of trace gases (NOx and NOy) - were measured at SORPES, a regional background station in Nanjing, China from June 2013 to May 2015. The aerosol was highly scattering: the average scattering coefficient was sigma(sp) =403 +/- 314Mm 1, the absorption coefficient sigma(ap) =26 +/- 19Mm 1, and the single-scattering albedo SS Lambda =0.93 +/- 0.03 for green light. The SSA in Nanjing appears to be slightly higher than published values from several other sites in China and elsewhere. The average Angstrom exponent of absorption (AAE) for the wavelength range 370-950 nm was 1.04 and the AAE range was 0.7-1.4. These AAE values can be explained with different amounts of non-absorbing coating on pure black carbon (BC) cores and different core sizes rather than contribution by brown carbon. The AOPs had typical seasonal cycles with high sigma(sp) and sigma(ap) in winter and low ones in summer: the averages were sigma(sp) =544 +/- 422 and sigma(ap) =36 +/- 24Mm 1 in winter and sigma(sp) =342 +/- 281 and sigma(ap) =20 +/- 13Mm 1 in summer. The intensive AOPs had no clear seasonal cycles, the variations in them were rather related to the evolution of pollution episodes. The diurnal cycles of the intensive AOPs were clear and in agreement with the cycle of the particle number size distribution. The diurnal cycle of SSA was similar to that of the air photochemical age, suggesting that the darkest aerosol originated from fresh traffic emissions. A Lagrangian retroplume analysis showed that the potential source areas of high sigma(sp) and sigma(ap) are mainly in eastern China. Synoptic weather phenomena dominated the cycle of AOPs on a temporal scale of 3-7 days. During pollution episodes, modeled boundary layer height decreased, whereas PM2.5 concentrations and sigma(sp) and sigma(ap) typically increased gradually and remained high during several days but decreased faster, sometimes by even more than an order of magnitude within some hours. During the growth phase of the pollution episodes the intensive AOPs evolved clearly. The mass scattering efficiency MSE of PM2.5 grew during the extended pollution episodes from similar to 4 to similar to 6m(2) g(-1) and the mass fraction of BCe decreased from similar to 10 to similar to 3% during the growth phase of the episodes. Particle growth resulted in the backscatter fraction decreasing from more than 0.16 to less than 0.10, SSA growing from less than 0.9 to more than 0.95, and radiative forcing efficiency (RFE) changing from less than -26Wm(-2) to more than 24Wm(-2), which means that the magnitude of RFE decreased. The RFE probability distribution at SORPES was clearly narrower than at a clean background site which is in agreement with a published RFE climatology.
  • Virkkula, Aki; Pohja, Toivo; Aalto, Pasi P.; Keronen, Petri; Schobesberger, Siegfried; Clements, Craig B.; Petäjä, Tuukka; Nikmo, Juha; Kulmala, Markku (2014)
  • Luoma, Krista; Virkkula, Aki; Aalto, Pasi; Petaja, Tuukka; Kulmala, Markku (2019)
    Aerosol optical properties (AOPs) describe the ability of aerosols to scatter and absorb radiation at different wavelengths. Since aerosol particles interact with the sun's radiation, they impact the climate. Our study focuses on the long-term trends and seasonal variations of different AOPs measured at a rural boreal forest site in northern Europe. To explain the observed variations in the AOPs, we also analyzed changes in the aerosol size distribution. AOPs of particles smaller than 10 mu m (PM10) and 1 mu m (PM1) have been measured at SMEAR II, in southern Finland, since 2006 and 2010, respectively. For PM10 particles, the median values of the scattering and absorption coefficients, single-scattering albedo, and backscatter fraction at lambda = 550 nm were 9.8 Mm(-1), 1.3 Mm(-1), 0.88, and 0.14. The median values of scattering and absorption angstrom ngstrom exponents at the wavelength ranges 450-700 and 370-950 nm were 1.88 and 0.99, respectively. We found statistically significant trends for the PM10 scattering and absorption coefficients, single-scattering albedo, and backscatter fraction, and the slopes of these trends were -0.32 Mm(-1), -0.086 Mm(-1), 2.2 x 10(-3), and 1.3 x 10(-3) per year. The tendency for the extensive AOPs to decrease correlated well with the decrease in aerosol number and volume concentrations. The tendency for the backscattering fraction and single-scattering albedo to increase indicates that the aerosol size distribution consists of fewer larger particles and that aerosols absorb less light than at the beginning of the measurements. The trends of the single-scattering albedo and backscattering fraction influenced the aerosol radiative forcing efficiency, indicating that the aerosol particles are scattering the radiation more effectively back into space.