East Asian Studies of Tropospheric Aerosols and their Impact on Regional Climate (EAST-AIRC): An overview
As the most populated region of the world, Asia is a major source of aerosols with potential large impact over vast downstream areas. Papers published in this special section describe the variety of aerosols observed in China and their effects and interactions with the regional climate as part of the East Asian Study of Tropospheric Aerosols and their Impact on Regional Climate (EAST-AIRC). The majority of the papers are based on analyses of observations made under three field projects, namely, the Atmospheric Radiation Measurements (ARM) Mobile Facility mission in China (AMF-China), the East Asian Study of Tropospheric Aerosols: An International Regional Experiment (EAST-AIRE), and the Atmospheric Aerosols of China and their Climate Effects (AACCE). The former two are U.S.-China collaborative projects, and the latter is a part of the China's National Basic Research program (or often referred to as “973 project”). Routine meteorological data of China are also employed in some studies. The wealth of general and specialized measurements lead to extensive and close-up investigations of the optical, physical, and chemical properties of anthropogenic, natural, and mixed aerosols; their sources, formation, and transport mechanisms; horizontal, vertical, and temporal variations; direct and indirect effects; and interactions with the East Asian monsoon system. Particular efforts are made to advance our understanding of the mixing and interaction between dust and anthropogenic pollutants during transport. Several modeling studies were carried out to simulate aerosol impact on radiation budget, temperature, precipitation, wind and atmospheric circulation, fog, etc. In addition, impacts of the Asian monsoon system on aerosol loading are also simulated.