Disclaimer: This material is being kept online for historical purposes. Though accurate at the time of publication, it is no longer being updated. The page may contain broken links or outdated information, and parts may not function in current web browsers. Visit https://espo.nasa.gov for information about our current projects.


Source attribution of black carbon and its direct radiative forcing in China

Yang, Y., H. Wang, S. Smith, P. Ma, and P. J. Rasch (2017), Source attribution of black carbon and its direct radiative forcing in China, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 17, 4319-4336, doi:10.5194/acp-17-4319-2017.

The source attributions for mass concentration, haze formation, transport and direct radiative forcing of black carbon (BC) in various regions of China are quantified in this study using the Community Earth System Model (CESM) with a source-tagging technique. Anthropogenic emissions are from the Community Emissions Data System that is newly developed for the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6). Over north China where the air quality is often poor, about 90 % of near-surface BC concentration is contributed by local emissions. Overall, 35 % of BC concentration over south China in winter can be attributed to emissions from north China, and 19 % comes from sources outside China in spring. For other regions in China, BC is largely contributed from nonlocal sources. We further investigated potential factors that contribute to the poor air quality in China. During polluted days, a net inflow of BC transported from nonlocal source regions associated with anomalous winds plays an important role in increasing local BC concentrations. BC-containing particles emitted from East Asia can also be transported across the Pacific. Our model results show that emissions from inside and outside China are equally important for the BC outflow from East Asia, while emissions from China account for 8 % of BC concentration and 29 % in column burden in the western United States in spring. Radiative forcing estimates show that 65 % of the annual mean BC direct radiative forcing (2.2 W m−2 ) in China results from local emissions, and the remaining 35 % is contributed by emissions outside of China. Efficiency analysis shows that a reduction in BC emissions over eastern China could have a greater benefit for the regional air quality in China, especially in the winter haze season.

PDF of Publication: 
Download from publisher's website.
Research Program: 
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)