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Title: New positive feedback mechanism between boundary layer meteorology and secondary aerosol formation during severe haze events

Severe haze events during which particulate matter (PM) increases quickly from tens to hundreds of microgram per cubic meter in 1-2 days frequently occur in China. Although it has been known that PM is influenced by complex interplays among emissions, meteorology, and physical and chemical processes, specific mechanisms remain elusive. In this paper, a new positive feedback mechanism between planetary boundary layer (PBL), relative humidity (RH), and secondary PM (SPM) formation is proposed based on a comprehensive field experiment and model simulation. The decreased PBL associated with increased PM increases RH by weakening the vertical transport of water vapor; the increased RH in turn enhances the SPM formation through heterogeneous aqueous reactions, which further enhances PM, weakens solar radiation, and decreases PBL height. This positive feedback, together with the PM-Radiation-PBL feedback, constitutes a key mechanism that links PM, radiation, PBL properties (e.g. PBL height and RH), and SPM formation, This mechanism is self-amplifying, leading to faster PM production, accumulation, and more severe haze pollution.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [7] ; ORCiD logo [8]
  1. Beijing Weather Modification Office (China); China Meteorological Administration, Beijing (China). Inst. of Urban Meterorology
  2. China Meteorological Administration, Beijing (China). Inst. of Urban Meterorology
  3. China Meteorological Administration, Beijing (China). Inst. of Urban Meterorology; Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
  4. Lanzhou Univ. (China). College of Atmospheric sciences
  5. Beijing Weather Modification Office (China)
  6. Beijing Meteorological Bureau (China)
  7. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China). Inst. of Atmospheric Physics
  8. Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0012704; 2017YFC0209604; 41505119; IUMKY201709
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); Key Technologies R&D Program (China); National Natural Science Foundation of China (NNSFC)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; Atmospheric chemistry; Environmental monitoring; haze; planetary boundary layer; secondary aerosol formation; feedback mechanism
OSTI Identifier: