Aerosol Raman lidar observations of profiles of the particle extinction and backscatter coefficients and the respective extinction-to-backscatter ratio (lidar ratio) were performed under highly polluted conditions in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) in southern China in October 2004 and at Beijing during a clear period with moderately polluted to background aerosol conditions in January 2005. The anthropogenic haze in the PRD is characterized by volume light-extinction coefficients of particles ranging from approximately 200 to and lidar ratios mostly between 40 and 55 sr (average of ). Almost clean air masses were observed throughout the measurements of the Beijing campaign. These air masses originated from arid desert–steppe-like regions (greater Gobi area). Extinction values usually varied between 100 and , and the lidar ratios were considerably lower (compared with PRD values) with values mostly from 30 to 45 sr (average of ). Gobi dust partly influenced the observations. Unexpectedly low lidar ratios of approximately 25 sr were found for a case of background aerosol with a low optical depth of 0.05. The low lidar ratios are consistent with Mie-scattering calculations applied to ground-based observations of particle size distributions.
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