skip to main content

Title: The free troposphere as a potential source of arctic boundary layer aerosol particles: Free Troposphere and Boundary Layer Arctic Aerosol
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
7053 to 7060
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract. The aerosol–planetary boundary layer (PBL) interaction wasproposed as an important mechanism to stabilize the atmosphere andexacerbate surface air pollution. Despite the tremendous progress made inunderstanding this process, its magnitude and significance still have largeuncertainties and vary largely with aerosol distribution and meteorologicalconditions. In this study, we focus on the role of aerosol verticaldistribution in thermodynamic stability and PBL development by jointly usingmicropulse lidar, sun photometer, and radiosonde measurements taken inBeijing. Despite the complexity of aerosol vertical distributions,cloud-free aerosol structures can be largely classified into three types:well-mixed, decreasing with height, and inverse structures. The aerosol–PBLrelationship and diurnal cycles of the PBL height and PM2.5 associated with these different aerosol vertical structures showdistinct characteristics. The vertical distribution of aerosol radiativeforcing differs drastically among the three types, with strong heating in thelower, middle, and upper PBL, respectively. Such a discrepancy in the heatingrate affects the atmospheric buoyancy and stability differently in the threedistinct aerosol structures. Absorbing aerosols have a weaker effect ofstabilizing the lower atmosphere under the decreasing structure than underthe inverse structure. As a result, the aerosol–PBL interaction can bestrengthened by the inverse aerosol structure and can be potentiallyneutralized by the decreasing structure. Moreover, aerosols can both enhanceand suppress PBL stability,more »leading to both positive and negativefeedback loops. This study attempts to improve our understanding of theaerosol–PBL interaction, showing the importance of the observationalconstraint of aerosol vertical distribution for simulating this interactionand consequent feedbacks.« less