Explosive Secondary Aerosol Formation during Severe Haze in the North China Plain
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Severe haze events with exceedingly high-levels of fine aerosols occur frequently over the past decades in the North China Plain (NCP), exerting profound impacts on human health, weather, and climate. The development of effective mitigation policies requires a comprehensive understanding of the haze formation mechanisms, including identification and quantification of the sources, formation, and transformation of the aerosol species. Haze evolution in this region exhibits distinct physical and chemical characteristics from clean to polluted periods, as evident from increasing stagnation and relative humidity, but decreasing solar radiation as well as explosive secondary aerosol formation. The latter is attributed to highly elevated concentrations of aerosol precursor gases and is reflected by rapid increases in the particle number and mass concentrations, both corresponding to nonequilibrium chemical processes. Considerable new knowledge has been acquired to understand the processes regulating haze formation, particularly in light of the progress in elucidating the aerosol formation mechanisms. This review synthesizes recent advances in understanding secondary aerosol formation, by highlighting several critical chemical/physical processes, that is, new particle formation and aerosol growth driven by photochemistry and aqueous chemistry as well as the interaction between aerosols and atmospheric stability. Current challenges and future research priorities are also discussed.
author list (cited authors)
Peng, J., Hu, M., Shang, D., Wu, Z., Du, Z., Tan, T., ... Zhang, R.