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Partic. vol. 33 pp. 63-72 (August 2017)
doi: 10.1016/j.partic.2017.02.001

Comparison of aerosol characteristics during haze periods over two urban agglomerations in China using CALIPSO observations

Qiong Liua,b, Xiaojun Maa, Yanrong Yua,c, Yan Qina, Yonghang Chena,d,*, Yanming Kanga, Hua Zhange, Tiantao Chengb, Yan Linga, Yujie Tanga

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    • Aerosol characteristics in two metropolitan regions in China were compared. • Aerosols were larger in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei metropolitan region. • Aerosols were more regular in the Yangtze River Delta.


Using CALIPSO (cloud-aerosol lidar and infrared pathfinder satellite observation) vertical observation data during haze periods from January 2007 to December 2008, we analyzed differences in aerosol characteristics near the surface, as well as in the middle troposphere between the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei metropolitan region (Area A) and the Yangtze River Delta region (Area B) in China. One significant difference was that haze pollution in Area A was related to local and non-local aerosols, while in Area B it was related to local anthropogenic sources. In all seasons apart from autumn, aerosol pollution in Area A was more severe than in Area B, both near the surface and at higher altitudes. In Area A, non-spherical aerosols were dominant from 0 to 4 km in spring, summer, and winter; while in autumn, there were considerably high numbers of non-spherical aerosols below 0.5 km, and near-spherical aerosols from 0.5 to 4 km. In Area B, both near-spherical and non-spherical aerosols were common in all seasons. Moreover, aerosols with attenuated color ratios of 0–0.2 were more common in all seasons in Area A than in Area B, indicating that fine particle pollution in Area A was more serious than in Area B. Finally, relatively large aerosols linked to gravity settling appeared more frequently near the surface in Area A than in Area B.

Graphical abstract


CALIPSO; Aerosols; Haze; Vertical distribution; Seasonal variation; Urban agglomerations