A new parameterization scheme for the real part of the ambient urban aerosol refractive index

Zhao, Gang; Tan, Tianyi; Zhao, Weilun; Guo, Song; Tian, Ping; Zhao, Chunsheng

The refractive index of ambient aerosols, which directly determines the aerosol optical properties, is widely used in atmospheric models and remote sensing. Traditionally, the real part of the refractive index (RRI) is parameterized by the measurement of ambient aerosol main inorganic components. In this paper, the characteristics of the ambient aerosol RRI are studied based on field measurements in East China. The results show that the measured ambient aerosol RRI varies significantly between 1.36 and 1.56. The direct aerosol radiative forcing is estimated to vary by 40 % when the RRI values were varied between 1.36 and 1.56. We find that the ambient aerosol RRI is highly correlated with the aerosol effective density (ρeff) rather than the main chemical components. However, the parameterization of the ambient aerosol RRI by ρeff is not available due to the lack of corresponding simultaneous field measurements. For the first time, the size-resolved ambient aerosol RRI and ρeff are measured simultaneously by our designed measurement system. A new parameterization scheme for the ambient aerosol RRI using ρeff is proposed for urban environments. The measured and parameterized RRI values agree well, with a correlation coefficient of 0.75 and slope of 0.99. Knowledge of the ambient aerosol RRI would improve our understanding of ambient aerosol radiative effects.

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Zhao, Gang / Tan, Tianyi / Zhao, Weilun / et al: A new parameterization scheme for the real part of the ambient urban aerosol refractive index. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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