Hao Wu1,2, Yang Cao This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.3, Tijian Wang4, Jiawei You5, Tingting Yang1, Yawei Qu6, Shuqi Yan1, Huadong Yang1, Xiyu Mu1, Libo Gao7, Congwu Huang8 


1 Key Laboratory of Transportation Meteorology of China Meteorological Administration, Nanjing Joint Institute for Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing 210041, China
2 Key Laboratory of Urban Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Beijing 100089, China
3 College of Construction Engineering, Jiangsu Open University, Nanjing 210019, China
4 School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
5 Productivity Centre of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing 210042, China
6 College of Intelligent and Control Engineering, Jinling Institute of Technology, Nanjing 211169, China
7 Jiangsu Meteorological Observatory, Nanjing 210041, China
8 Faculty of Resources and Environmental Science, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China

Received: September 13, 2023
Revised: December 12, 2023
Accepted: January 12, 2024

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.230214  

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Cite this article:

Wu, H., Cao, Y., Wang, T., You, J., Yang, T., Qu, Y., Yan, S., Yang, H., Mu, X., Gao, L., Huang, C. (2024). How Does PM2.5 Impact the Urban Vertical Temperature Structure? A Case Study in Nanjing. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.230214


  • Both concentration and composition of PM2.5 affect UHI.
  • Urban centre and suburb UHI differences are impacted by uneven distribution of PM2.5.
  • PM2.5 may mask the “warm city” problem.


PM2.5 impacts the atmospheric temperature structure through scattering or absorbing solar radiation, whose concentration and composition can affect the impact. This study calculated the effect of PM2.5 on the temperature structures in the urban centre and the suburbs of Nanjing, as well as their differences. The results show that the optical parameters, atmospheric heating rate, radiative forcing, and temperature are all impacted by the concentration and composition of PM2.5. The uneven distribution of PM2.5 influences the differences in those factors between the urban centre and suburbs. In spring, summer, autumn, and winter, surface temperatures in the urban centre were approximately 283 K, 285 K, 305 K, and 277 K, while those in the suburbs were approximately 282 K, 283 K, 304 K, and 274 K. The urban heat island intensity has been reduced by 0.1–0.4 K due to the presence of PM2.5 in Nanjing. Due to the black carbon component’s warming effect on the top of the boundary layer, the impact of PM2.5 on the urban heat island intensity profile drops quickly at the 0.75–1.25 km. PM2.5 may mask the “warm city” problem and have a more complex impact on the urban climate.

Keywords: PM2.5, Urban heat island, Box model, Radiative forcing, Fine particulate matter

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