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Aerosol Impacts on Meteorological Elements and Surface Energy Budget over an Urban Cluster Region in the Yangtze River Delta

Category: Urban Air Quality

Volume: 19 | Issue: 5 | Pages: 1040-1055
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2017.12.0602

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Xiaolu Ling 1,2, Xiaomen Han1

  • 1 Institute for Climate and Global Change Research, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • 2 Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China


  • Aerosol-radiation-meteorology interaction using in-situ data over urban region.
  • Aerosols reduce net radiation with a maximum reduction of 180 W m–2.
  • Northeasterly winds prevail during polluted days with wind speeds 60% lower.
  • Strong wind speed fluctuations lead to the outbreak of air pollution event.


The Yangtze River Delta (YRD) is a typical example of regions that are dramatically influenced by both human activity and a monsoonal climate. Data on the near-surface micro-meteorology, radiation, and energy fluxes were collected and analyzed at the Lishui field observation site in the suburb of Nanjing to investigate aerosol impacts on the radiation budget and land surface-atmosphere heat, water, and mass exchanges. Cluster analysis, composite analysis, and case study were applied to selected typical polluted/non-polluted days. The results indicate that the mean daily surface pressure is 6.6 hPa lower on polluted than non-polluted days in Nanjing. Northeasterly winds often prevail on the polluted days, with wind speeds being 60% lower than on non-polluted days. Aerosols directly reduce the net radiation flux at the surface, with a maximum reduction of 180 W m–2. During the early stage of air pollution events, the surface pressure is lower, and wind speeds rapidly decrease, whereas during the peak of pollution, low surface pressure and wind speeds linger, effectively preventing the dispersion of air pollutants. Meanwhile, the temperature often decreases, and the relative humidity subsequently increases. As the wind speed and surface pressure increase, the AQI gradually decreases, and the air pollution event ends.


Urban cluster region Meteorological elements Surface energy budget

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