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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2016, Vol. 10 Issue (5) : 15
Long-term observation of air pollution-weather/climate interactions at the SORPES station: a review and outlook
Aijun Ding1,2,3(),Wei Nie1,2,3,Xin Huang1,2,3,Xuguang Chi1,2,3,Jianning Sun1,2,3,Veli-Matti Kerminen4,Zheng Xu1,2,3,Weidong Guo1,2,3,Tuukka Petäjä1,4,Xiuqun Yang1,2,3,Markku Kulmala4,Congbin Fu1,2,3
1. Joint International Research Laboratory of Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences (JirLATEST), Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
2. Institute for Climate and Global Change Research, School of Atmospheric Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
3. Collaborative Innovation Center of Climate Change, Jiangsu Province, Nanjing 210023, China
4. Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki 00014, Finland
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The concept design and detailed information of the SORPES station are introduced.

Main scientific findings based 5-year measurements at the station are summarized.

The future outlook of the development plan and its implications are discussed.

The results improved understanding of interaction of physical and chemical processes.

More SORPES-type stations are need to in different regions in China and the world.

This work presents an overall introduction to the Station for Observing Regional Processes of the Earth System – SORPES in Nanjing, East China, and gives an overview about main scientific findings in studies of air pollution-weather/climate interactions obtained since 2011. The main results summarized in this paper include overall characteristics of trace gases and aerosols, chemical transformation mechanisms for secondary pollutants like O3, HONO and secondary inorganic aerosols, and the air pollution – weather/climate interactions and feedbacks in mixed air pollution plumes from sources like fossil fuel combustion, biomass burning and dust storms. The future outlook of the development plan on instrumentation, networking and data-sharing for the SORPES station is also discussed.

Keywords Secondary pollution      Ground-based measurement      Planetary boundary layer meteorology      Earth system processes     
This article is part of themed collection: Understanding the processes of air pollution formation (Responsible Editors: Min SHAO, Shuxiao WANG & Armistead G. RUSSELL)
Corresponding Authors: Aijun Ding   
Issue Date: 28 September 2016
 Cite this article:   
Aijun Ding,Wei Nie,Xin Huang, et al. Long-term observation of air pollution-weather/climate interactions at the SORPES station: a review and outlook[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2016, 10(5): 15.
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Aijun Ding
Wei Nie
Xin Huang
Xuguang Chi
Jianning Sun
Veli-Matti Kerminen
Zheng Xu
Weidong Guo
Tuukka Petäjä
Xiuqun Yang
Markku Kulmala
Congbin Fu
Fig.1  Concept and key scientific themes for the SORPES station.

Note: The yellow and blue arrows show the radiative transfer of shortwave and long-wave radiation in the atmosphere, respectively

Fig.2  Maps showing the location and geographical representatives of the SORPES station from different scales: (a) the East Asian monsoon region; (b) Yangtze River Delta region and surrounding regions, (c) Nanjing downtown and suburban areas
Fig.3  Averaged Lagrangian retroplume of the SORPES station for (a) winter and (b) summer.

Note: “Retroplume” represents the distribution of probability or residence time of a simulated air mass. These results were calculated using HYSPLIT [48] based on the method developed by Ding et al. [49]. (Modified from Ding et al. [16])

Fig.4  (a) Scatter plots of CO-NOy color-coded with O3 concentration and (b) PM2.5-O3 color-coded with air temperature; averaged distribution of potential source contribution (c) of CO for O3 episode days and (d) for PM2.5 episode days. (Modified from Ding et al. [16])
main research themes study period main results and key findings references
overall characteristics O3 and PM2.5 2011.8–
VOC-limited regime for O3 production; elevated secondary aerosols in summer.
Synoptic weather and human activities play a vital role in pollution episodes.
Ding et al. [16]
new particle formation 2011.11–
Ion-induced nucleation plays a marginal role in NPF at SORPES.
A simple empirical criterion was deducted to estimate NPF probability.
Herrmann et al. [60]
NPF and growth 2011–2013 Particle formation rate peaks in spring while growth rate peaks in summer.
Clean air masses favor NPF and polluted YRD air masses facilitate growth.
Qi et al. [56]
identification of primary and secondary PM 2011–2014 The majority of particles are of secondary origin in both Nanjing and Hyytiälä.
Secondary particles dominate particularly in the nucleation and Aitken modes.
Kulmala et al. [61]
chemical formation mechanisms HONO formation 2012.3–2012.6 Biomass burning aerosols enhance the conversion of NO2 to HONO.
Mixed anthropogenic and fire plumes further promote HONO formation.
Nie et al. [62]
sulfate formation enhanced by NO2 2012.5–
NO2 promotes sulfate formation through catalytic and photochemical reactions.
Aqueous-phase oxidation by NO2 elevates ambient sulfate and HONO level.
Xie et al. [53]
NPF simulation 2013.6–2013.8 Regional and box model accomplish NPF simulations without VOC observation.
Oxidation products of biogenic VOCs enhance growth of newly formed clusters.
Huang et al. [63]
air pollution –meteorology
observational evidence for an extreme episode 2012.6 Air pollution modifies radiation transfer, temperature profile and precipitation.
More stable stratification in turn enhances the accumulation of local pollution.
Ding et al. [29]
theoretical analysis based on flux data 2013.5–
High PM enhances PBL stability, further increasing surface PM concentration.
Feedback between PM and PBL gets more effective at high PM loadings.
Petäjä et al. [35]
meteorology-chemistry online simulation 2012.6 Aerosol-induced energy reallocation adjusts thermal and humidity stratification.
Modified convective activity and moisture transport redistributed precipitation.
Huang et al. [64]
regional modeling and policy implication 2013.12 BC plays an important role in enhancing haze pollution in megacities.
Reducing BC emission co-benefits mitigation of haze pollution and global warming.
Ding et al. [17]
land-atmosphere interaction 2013.3
Surface type affects radiation balance, land-atmosphere exchanges and local climate.
Urbanization and agricultural cultivation pose warming and cooling effects locally.
Guo et al. [50]
measurement of aerosol optical properties and black carbon 2013.9–2015.1 Compensation parameter is backscatter fraction and SSA dependent.
Backscatter fraction clearly affects aethalometer data and should be considered.
Virkkula et al. [37]
Tab.1  Main results obtained from SORPES station during 2011–2015
Fig.5  A conceptual model for the NO2 promoted sulfate formation via two different mechanisms: dust promoted photochemical heterologous reactions and aqueous-phase reactions in mixed plumes with biomass burning and fossil fuel sources
Fig.6  (a) Time series of solar radiation, sensible heat flux and PM2.5 mass and water soluble ions concentration, and (b) comparison of air temperature vertical profiles from the WRF simulation, FNL data and ECMWF forecast products and radiosonde measurement at Nanjing at 20:00 LT of 10 June, 2012.

Note: Ref SR gives a reference of clear-sky solar radiation based on solar radiation measurement in the afternoon of 13 June with cloud-free sky. (Modified from Ding et al. [29])

Fig.7  Radiative forcing (a) at the surface and (b) in the atmosphere due to anthropogenic and biomass burnings aerosols on 10 June 2012; and aerosol-induced changes in air temperature and wind fields (c) near the surface and (d) at the altitude of 2 km (Figure modified from Huang et al. [64])
Fig.8  A schematic figure for interactions of air pollution–PBL dynamics and aerosol–radiation–cloud for the mixed agriculture burning plumes and fossil fuel combustion pollutants (Modified from Ding et al. [29])
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