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Black-carbon-induced regime transition of boundary layer development strongly amplifies severe haze

MPS-Authors
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Wang,  Jiandong
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons101295

Su,  Hang
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons187724

Wei,  Chao
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons203184

Zheng,  Guangjie
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons230413

Andreae,  Meinrat O.
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons101189

Pöschl,  Ulrich
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons127588

Cheng,  Yafang
Multiphase Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Wang, J., Su, H., Wei, C., Zheng, G., Wang, J., Su, T., et al. (2023). Black-carbon-induced regime transition of boundary layer development strongly amplifies severe haze. One Earth, 6. doi:10.1016/j.oneear.2023.05.010.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000D-3E46-0
Abstract
Black-carbon (BC) aerosol can strongly influence planetary boundary layer (PBL) development and thus severe haze formation, but its distinct role compared with scattering aerosols is not yet fully understood. Here, combining numerical simulation and field observation, we found a “tipping point,” where the daily maximum PBL height decreases abruptly when exceeding a critical threshold of aerosol optical depth (AOD), due to a BC-induced decoupling of mixing zones. Because the threshold AOD decreases with increasing BC mass fraction, our results suggest that the abrupt transition of PBL development to adverse conditions can be avoided by reducing the AOD below the threshold but can be avoided more efficiently by reducing the BC mass fraction to increase the threshold (e.g., up to four to six times more effective in extreme haze events in Beijing). To achieve co-benefits for air quality and climate change, our findings clearly demonstrate that high priority should be given to controlling BC emissions.