Long-term observation of columnar aerosol optical properties over the remote South China Sea

Shantanu Kumar Pani, Hsiang Yu Huang, Sheng Hsiang Wang, Brent N. Holben, Neng Huei Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The South China Sea (SCS) is a receptor of pollution sources from various parts of Asia and is heavily impacted by strong meteorological systems, which thus dictate aerosol variability over the region. This study analyzes long-term aerosol optical properties observed at Dongsha Island (a representative site in northern SCS) from 2009 to 2021 and Taiping Island (a representative site in southern SCS) from 2012 to 2021 to better apprehend the temporal evolution of columnar aerosols over the SCS. The noticeable difference in loadings, optical properties, and compositions of aerosols between northern and southern SCS was due to the influence of dissimilar emission sources and transport mechanisms. Column-integrated aerosol optical depth (AOD) over northern SCS (range of monthly mean at 500 nm; 0.12–0.51) was significantly greater than southern SCS (0.09–0.21). The maximum AOD in March (0.51 ± 0.28) at Dongsha was attributed to westerlies coupled with biomass-burning (BB) emissions from peninsular Southeast Asia, whereas the maximum AOD at Taiping in September (0.21 ± 0.25) was owing to various pollution from the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Fine-mode aerosol dominated over northern SCS (range of monthly mean Angstrom exponent for 440–870 nm: 0.85–1.36) due to substantial influence from continental sources including anthropogenic and BB emissions while coarse-mode particles dominated over southern SCS (0.54–1.28) due to relatively more influence from marine source. More absorbing columnar aerosols prevailed over northern SCS (range of monthly mean single scattering albedo at 675 nm: 0.92–0.99) compared to southern SCS (0.95–0.98) owing to differences in aerosol composition with respect to sources. Special pollution events showcased possible significant impacts on marine ecosystems and regional climate. This study encourages the establishment of more ground-based aerosol monitoring networks and the inclusion of modeling simulations to comprehend the complex nature of aerosol over this vast marginal sea.

Original languageEnglish
Article number167113
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume905
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • AERONET
  • Absorbing aerosol
  • Aerosol optical depth
  • Columnar aerosol composition
  • Single scattering albedo

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term observation of columnar aerosol optical properties over the remote South China Sea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this