Simulated coordinated impacts of the previous autumn North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and winter El Niño on winter aerosol concentrations over eastern China
The high aerosol concentration (AC) over eastern China has attracted attention from both science and society. Based on the simulations of a chemical transport model using a fixed emissions level, the possible impact of the previous autumn North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) combined with the simultaneous El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on the boreal winter AC over eastern China is investigated. We find that the NAO only manifests its negative impacts on the AC during its negative phase over central China, and a significant positive influence on the distribution of AC is observed over south China only during the warm events of ENSO. The impact of the previous NAO on the AC occurs via an anomalous sea surface temperature tripole pattern by which a teleconnection wave train is induced that results in anomalous convergence over central China. In contrast, the occurrence of ENSO events may induce an anomalous shift in the western Pacific subtropical high and result in anomalous southwesterlies over south China. The anomalous circulations associated with a negative NAO and El Niño are not favorable for the transport of AC and correspond to worsening air conditions over central and south China. The results highlight the fact that the combined effects of tropical and extratropical systems play a considerable role in affecting the boreal winter AC over eastern China.