The Ron Brown cruise during ACE-Asia (March–April 2001) encountered complex aerosol that at times was dominated by marine, polluted, volcanic, and dust aerosols. Average total light scattering coefficients (σsp for Dp <10 μm, relative humidity (RH) = 19%, and λ = 550 nm) ranged from 23 (marine) to 181 Mm−1 (dust). Aerosol hygroscopicity ranged from deliquescent with hysteresis (marine frequently and polluted variably) to hygroscopic without hysteresis (volcanic) to nearly hygrophobic (dust-dominated). Average deliquescence and crystallization RH were 77 ± 2% and 42 ± 3%, respectively. The ambient aerosol was typically on the upper branch of the hysteresis loop for marine and polluted air masses and the lower branch for dust-dominated aerosols. Average f(RH = ambient), defined as σsp (RH = ambient)/σsp (RH = 19%), ranged from 1.25 (dust) to 2.88 (volcanic). Average h(RH ∼60%), defined as f(RH)upper branch/f(RH)lower branch, were 1.6, 1.3, 1, and 1.25 for marine, polluted, volcanic, and dust, demonstrating an importance of hysteresis to optical properties. Hemispheric backscatter fraction (b) at ambient RH ranged from 0.077 (marine) to 0.111 (dust), while single scattering albedo (ω) at ambient RH ranged from 0.94 (dust and polluted) to 0.99 (marine).