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Quan Liu, Jiannong Quan, Xingcan Jia, Zhaobin Sun, Xia Li, Yang Gao, and Yangang Liu


Aerosol samples were collected over Beijing, China, during several flights in November 2011. Aerosol composition of nonrefractory submicron particles (NR-PM1) was measured by an Aerodyne compact time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (C-ToF-AMS). This measurement on the aircraft provided vertical distribution of aerosol species over Beijing, including sulfate (SO4), nitrate (NO3), ammonium (NH4), chloride (Chl), and organic aerosols [OA; hydrocarbon-like OA (HOA) and oxygenated OA (OOA)]. The observations showed that aerosol compositions varied drastically with altitude, especially near the top of the planetary boundary layer (PBL). On average, organics (34%) and nitrate (32%) were dominant components in the PBL, followed by ammonium (15%), sulfate (14%), and chloride (4%); in the free troposphere (FT), sulfate (34%) and organics (28%) were dominant components, followed by ammonium (20%), nitrate (19%), and chloride (1%). The dominant OA species was primarily HOA in the PBL but changed to OOA in the FT. For sulfate, nitrate, and ammonium, the sulfate mass fraction increased from the PBL to the FT, nitrate mass fraction decreased, and ammonium remained relatively constant. Analysis of the sulfate-to-nitrate molar ratio further indicated that this ratio was usually less than one in the FT but larger than one in the PBL. Further analysis revealed that the vertical aerosol composition profiles were influenced by complex processes, including PBL structure, regional transportation, emission variation, and the aging process of aerosols and gaseous precursors during vertical diffusion.

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Feng Zhang, Jia-Ren Yan, Jiangnan Li, Kun Wu, Hironobu Iwabuchi, and Yi-Ning Shi


The problem of solar spectral radiation is considered in a layer-based model, with scattering and absorption parallel to the plane for each medium (cloud, ocean, or aerosol layer) and optical properties assumed to be vertically inhomogeneous. A new radiative transfer (RT) method is proposed to deal with the variation of vertically inhomogeneous optical properties in the layers of a model for solar spectral radiation. This method uses the standard perturbation method to include the vertically inhomogeneous RT effects of cloud and snow. The accuracy of the new inhomogeneous RT solution is investigated systematically for both an idealized medium and realistic media of cloud and snow. For the idealized medium, the relative errors in reflection and absorption calculated by applying the homogeneous solution increase with optical depth and can exceed 20%. However, the relative errors when applying the inhomogeneous RT solution are limited to 4% in most cases. Observations show that stratocumulus clouds are vertically inhomogeneous. In the spectral band of 0.25–0.69 μm, the relative error in absorption with the inhomogeneous solution is 1.4% at most, but that with the homogeneous solution can be up to 7.4%. The effective radius of snow varies vertically. In the spectral band of 0.25–0.69 μm, the relative error in absorption with the homogeneous solution can be as much as 72% but is reduced to less than 40% by using the inhomogeneous solution. At the spectral wavelength of 0.94 μm, the results for reflection and absorption with the inhomogeneous solution are also more accurate than those with the homogeneous solution.

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