AbstractDespite intensive research exploring how aerosols respond to emission control over Northern China, efforts mostly focus on the environmental benefit, especially in winter. Here we found that unlike the most substantial PM2.5 concentration reduction in winter, aerosol optical depth (AOD) declines more than 2 times faster in summer, causing an increase in aerosol radiative effects of 1.2 (5.7)Wm-2 on all-sky (clear-sky) conditions over 2013–2019 and largely shaping the climate impact. Low-level aerosols are shown to be the prime contributor under the synergetic effects of aerosol composition and ambient relative humidity (RH). The dominance of the highly hygroscopic sulfate combined with high RH enables a strong extinction efficiency of the reduced summertime aerosols, while the insignificant AOD decline in wintertime result from the dominance of organic aerosols with weak hygroscopicity, and is further offset by the increased frequencies of extremely high RH. We show the environmental and climatic responses of aerosols to emission control exhibit distinctively different seasonality.
Published: August 25, 2023