Insights into extinction evolution during extreme low visibility events: Case study of Shanghai, China.
The Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) particle monitoring network consists of approximately 160 sites at which fine particulate matter (PM2.5) mass and major species concentrations and course particulate matter (PM10) mass concentrations are determined by analysis of 24-hr duration sampling conducted on a 1-day-in-3 schedule A simple algorithm to estimate light extinction from the measured species concentrations was incorporated in the 1999 Regional Haze Rule as the basis for the haze metric used to track haze trends. A revised algorithm was developed that is more consistent with the recent atmospheric aerosol literature and reduces bias for high and low light extinction extremes. The revised algorithm differs from the original algorithm in having a term for estimating sea salt light scattering from Cl(-) ion data, using 1.8 instead of 1.4 for the mean ratio of organic mass to measured organic carbon, using site-specific Rayleigh scattering based on site elevation and mean temperature, employing a split component extinction efficiency associated with large and small size mode sulfate, nitrate and organic mass species, and adding a term for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) absorption for sites with NO2 concentration information. Light scattering estimates using the original and the revised algorithms are compared with nephelometer measurements at 21 IMPROVE monitoring sites. The revised algorithm reduces the underprediction of high haze periods and the overprediction of low haze periods compared with the performance of the original algorithm. This is most apparent at the hazier monitoring sites in the eastern United States. For each site, the PM10 composition for days selected as the best 20% and the worst 20% haze condition days are nearly identical regardless of whether the basis of selection was light scattering from the original or revised algorithms, or from nephelometer-measured light scattering.