Enhanced heating rate of black carbon above planetary boundary layer over megacities in summertime

Dantong Liu, Delong Zhao, Zhenzhen Xie, Chenjie Yu, Ying Chen, Ping Tian, Shuo Ding, Kang Hu, Douglas Lowe, Quan Liu, Wei Zhou, Fei Wang, Jiujiang Sheng, Shaofei Kong, Dawei Hu, Zhenzhu Wang, Deping Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fast development of a secondary aerosol layer was observed over megacities in eastern Asia during summertime. Within three hours, from midday to early afternoon, the contribution of secondary aerosols above the planetary boundary layer (PBL) increased by a factor of 3-5, and the coatings on the black carbon (BC) also increased and enhanced its absorption efficiency by 50%. This tended to result from the intensive actinic flux received above the PBL which promoted the photochemical reactions. The absorption of BC could be further amplified by the strong reflection of solar radiation over the cloud top across the PBL. This enhanced heating effect of BC introduced by combined processes (intensive solar radiation, secondary formation and cloud reflection) may considerably increase the temperature inversion above the PBL. This mechanism should be considered when evaluating the radiative impact of BC, especially for the polluted regions receiving strong solar radiation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2019


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