Bao, FW; Li, Y; Cheng, TH; Gao, JH; Yuan, SY (2020). Estimating the Columnar Concentrations of Black Carbon Aerosols in China Using MODIS Products. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 54(18), 11025-11036.

Black carbon (BC), the strongest light-absorbing particle, is believed to play substantial roles in regional air quality and global climate change. In this study, taking advantage of the high quality of moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer products, we developed a new algorithm to estimate the BC columnar concentrations over China by simulating the BC and non-BC aerosol mixing states in detail. The results show that our new algorithm produces a reliable estimation of BC aerosols, in which BC columnar concentrations and their related parameters (aerosol absorption and BC surface concentration) show reasonable agreements and low biases compared with ground-based measurements. The uncertainties of BC retrievals are mainly associated with the surface and aerosol assumptions used in the algorithm, ranging from -14 to 44% at higher aerosol optical depth (AOD > 0.5). The proposed algorithm can improve the capability of space-borne aerosol remote sensing by successfully distinguishing BC from other aerosols. The acquired BC columnar concentrations enable the spatial pattern of serious BC aerosol pollution over East China to be characterized, showing that it exhibits higher levels in winter. These nationwide results are beneficial for estimating BC emissions, proposing mitigation strategies for air pollution, and potentially reducing the uncertainties of climate change studies.