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Atmosphere, Volume 5, Issue 3 (September 2014), Pages 473-698

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Research

Open AccessArticle Infrared Absorption Spectra, Radiative Efficiencies, and Global Warming Potentials of Newly-Detected Halogenated Compounds: CFC-113a, CFC-112 and HCFC-133a
Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 473-483; doi:10.3390/atmos5030473
Received: 13 May 2014 / Revised: 12 June 2014 / Accepted: 24 June 2014 / Published: 17 July 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (357 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
CFC-113a (CF3CCl3), CFC-112 (CFCl2CFCl2) and HCFC-133a (CF3CH2Cl) are three newly detected molecules in the atmosphere that are almost certainly emitted as a result of human activity. It is important to characterise
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CFC-113a (CF3CCl3), CFC-112 (CFCl2CFCl2) and HCFC-133a (CF3CH2Cl) are three newly detected molecules in the atmosphere that are almost certainly emitted as a result of human activity. It is important to characterise the possible contribution of these gases to radiative forcing of climate change and also to provide information on the CO2-equivalence of their emissions. We report new laboratory measurements of absorption cross-sections of these three compounds at a resolution of 0.01 cm−1 for two temperatures 250 K and 295 K in the spectral range of 600–1730 cm−1. These spectra are then used to calculate the radiative efficiencies and global warming potentials (GWP). The radiative efficiencies are found to be between 0.15 and 0.3 W∙m−2∙ppbv−1. The GWP for a 100 year time horizon, relative to carbon dioxide, ranges from 340 for the relatively short-lived HCFC-133a to 3840 for the longer-lived CFC-112. At current (2012) concentrations, these gases make a trivial contribution to total radiative forcing; however, the concentrations of CFC-113a and HCFC-133a are continuing to increase. The 2012 CO2-equivalent emissions, using the GWP (100), are estimated to be about 4% of the current global CO2-equivalent emissions of HFC-134a. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Comparative Study of B-, Γ- and Log-Normal Distributions in a Three-Moment Parameterization for Drop Sedimentation
Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 484-517; doi:10.3390/atmos5030484
Received: 14 April 2014 / Revised: 23 June 2014 / Accepted: 3 July 2014 / Published: 24 July 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1537 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines different distribution functions used in a three-moment parameterization scheme with regard to their influence on the implementation and the results of the parameterization scheme. In parameterizations with moment methods, the prognostic variables are interpreted as statistical moments of a drop
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This paper examines different distribution functions used in a three-moment parameterization scheme with regard to their influence on the implementation and the results of the parameterization scheme. In parameterizations with moment methods, the prognostic variables are interpreted as statistical moments of a drop size distribution, for which a functional form has to be assumed. In cloud microphysics, parameterizations are frequently based on gamma- and log-normal distributions, while for particle-laden flows in engineering, the beta-distribution is sometimes used. In this study, the three-moment schemes with beta-, gamma- and log-normal distributions are tested in a 1D framework for drop sedimentation, and their results are compared with those of a spectral reference model. The gamma-distribution performs best. The results of the parameterization with the beta- and the log-normal distribution have less similarity to the reference solution, particularly with regard to number density and rain rate. Theoretical considerations reveal that (depending on the type of the distribution function) only selected combinations of moments can be predicted together. Among these is the important combination of “number density, liquid water content, radar reflectivity” for all three distributions. Advection or source/sink terms can only be calculated under certain conditions on the moment values (positivity of the Hankel–Hadamard determinant). These are derived from mathematical theory (“moment problem”) and are more restrictive for three-moment than for two-moment schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cloud and Precipitation)
Open AccessArticle Atmospheric Ozone and Methane in a Changing Climate
Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 518-535; doi:10.3390/atmos5030518
Received: 13 September 2013 / Revised: 19 March 2014 / Accepted: 17 June 2014 / Published: 29 July 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (836 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ozone and methane are chemically active climate-forcing agents affected by climate–chemistry interactions in the atmosphere. Key chemical reactions and processes affecting ozone and methane are presented. It is shown that climate-chemistry interactions have a significant impact on the two compounds. Ozone, which is
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Ozone and methane are chemically active climate-forcing agents affected by climate–chemistry interactions in the atmosphere. Key chemical reactions and processes affecting ozone and methane are presented. It is shown that climate-chemistry interactions have a significant impact on the two compounds. Ozone, which is a secondary compound in the atmosphere, produced and broken down mainly in the troposphere and stratosphre through chemical reactions involving atomic oxygen (O), NOx compounds (NO, NO2), CO, hydrogen radicals (OH, HO2), volatile organic compounds (VOC) and chlorine (Cl, ClO) and bromine (Br, BrO). Ozone is broken down through changes in the atmospheric distribution of the afore mentioned compounds. Methane is a primary compound emitted from different sources (wetlands, rice production, livestock, mining, oil and gas production and landfills).Methane is broken down by the hydroxyl radical (OH). OH is significantly affected by methane emissions, defined by the feedback factor, currently estimated to be in the range 1.3 to 1.5, and increasing with increasing methane emission. Ozone and methane changes are affected by NOx emissions. While ozone in general increase with increases in NOx emission, methane is reduced, due to increases in OH. Several processes where current and future changes have implications for climate-chemistry interactions are identified. It is also shown that climatic changes through dynamic processes could have significant impact on the atmospheric chemical distribution of ozone and methane, as we can see through the impact of Quasi Biennial Oscillation (QBO). Modeling studies indicate that increases in ozone could be more pronounced toward the end of this century. Thawing permafrost could lead to important positive feedbacks in the climate system. Large amounts of organic material are stored in the upper layers of the permafrost in the yedoma deposits in Siberia, where 2 to 5% of the deposits could be organic material. During thawing of permafrost, parts of the organic material that is deposited could be converted to methane. Furthermore, methane stored in deposits under shallow waters in the Arctic have the potential to be released in a future warmer climate with enhanced climate impact on methane, ozone and stratospheric water vapor. Studies performed by several groups show that the transport sectors have the potential for significant impacts on climate-chemistry interactions. There are large uncertainties connected to ozone and methane changes from the transport sector, and to methane release and climate impact during permafrost thawing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate-Chemistry Interactions)
Open AccessArticle Temporal Variability of Atmospheric Total Gaseous Mercury in Windsor, ON, Canada
Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 536-556; doi:10.3390/atmos5030536
Received: 25 March 2014 / Revised: 22 May 2014 / Accepted: 23 May 2014 / Published: 12 August 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1425 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Atmospheric Total Gaseous Mercury (TGM) concentrations were monitored in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, during 2007 to 2011, to investigate the temporal variability of TGM. Over five years, the average concentration was 2.0 ± 1.3 ng/m3. A gradual decrease in annual TGM concentrations
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Atmospheric Total Gaseous Mercury (TGM) concentrations were monitored in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, during 2007 to 2011, to investigate the temporal variability of TGM. Over five years, the average concentration was 2.0 ± 1.3 ng/m3. A gradual decrease in annual TGM concentrations from 2.0 ng/m3 in year 2007 to 1.7 ng/m3 in 2009 was observed. The seasonal means show the highest TGM concentrations during the summer months (2.4 ± 2.0 ng/m3), followed by winter (1.9 ± 1.4 ng/m3), fall (1.8 ± 0.81 ng/m3), and spring (1.7 ± 0.73 ng/m3). Diurnal patterns in summer, fall, and winter were similar. A different diurnal pattern was observed in spring with an early depletion in the morning. The TGM concentrations were lower on weekends (1.8 ± 0.77 ng/m3) than on weekdays (2.0 ± 1.5 ng/m3), suggesting 10% of TGM in Windsor was attributable to emissions from industrial sectors in the region. Directional TGM concentrations also indicated southwesterly air masses were TGM enriched due to emissions from coal-fired power plants and industrial facilities. Correlation and principal component analysis identified that combustion of fossil fuel, ambient temperature, wind speed, synoptic systems, and O3 concentrations influenced TGM concentrations significantly. Overall, inter-annual, seasonal, day-of-week, and diurnal variability was observed in Windsor. The temporal patterns were affected by anthropogenic and surface emissions, as well as atmospheric mixing and chemistry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Mercury) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Airborne Vertical Profiling of Mercury Speciation near Tullahoma, TN, USA
Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 557-574; doi:10.3390/atmos5030557
Received: 12 April 2014 / Revised: 19 July 2014 / Accepted: 25 July 2014 / Published: 13 August 2014
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1402 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Atmospheric transport and in situ oxidation are important factors influencing mercury concentrations at the surface and wet and dry deposition rates. Contributions of both natural and anthropogenic processes can significantly impact burdens of mercury on local, regional and global scales. To address these
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Atmospheric transport and in situ oxidation are important factors influencing mercury concentrations at the surface and wet and dry deposition rates. Contributions of both natural and anthropogenic processes can significantly impact burdens of mercury on local, regional and global scales. To address these key issues in atmospheric mercury research, airborne measurements of mercury speciation and ancillary parameters were conducted over a region near Tullahoma, Tennessee, USA, from August 2012 to June 2013. Here, for the first time, we present vertical profiles of Hg speciation from aircraft for an annual cycle over the same location. These airborne measurements included gaseous elemental mercury (GEM), gaseous oxidized mercury (GOM) and particulate bound mercury (PBM), as well as ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), condensation nuclei (CN) and meteorological parameters. The flights, each lasting ~3 h, were conducted typically one week out of each month to characterize seasonality in mercury concentrations. Data obtained from 0 to 6 km altitudes show that GEM exhibited a relatively constant vertical profile for all seasons with an average concentration of 1.38 ± 0.17 ng∙m−3. A pronounced seasonality of GOM was observed, with the highest GOM concentrations up to 120 pg∙m−3 in the summer flights and lowest (0–20 pg∙m−3) in the winter flights. Vertical profiles of GOM show the maximum levels at altitudes between 2 and 4 km. Limited PBM measurements exhibit similar levels to GOM at all altitudes. HYSPLIT back trajectories showed that the trajectories for elevated GOM (>70 pg∙m−3) or PBM concentrations (>30 pg∙m−3) were largely associated with air masses coming from west/northwest, while events with low GOM (<20 pg∙m−3) or PBM concentrations (<5 pg∙m−3) were generally associated with winds from a wider range of wind directions. This is the first set of speciated mercury vertical profiles collected in a single location over the course of a year. Even though there are current concerns that the KCl denuders used in this study may under-collect GOM, especially in the presence of elevated ozone, the collected data in this region shows the strong seasonality of oxidized mercury concentrations throughout the low to middle free troposphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Mercury) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Programmable Thermal Dissociation of Reactive Gaseous Mercury, a Potential Approach to Chemical Speciation: Results from a Field Study
Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 575-596; doi:10.3390/atmos5030575
Received: 9 May 2014 / Revised: 17 July 2014 / Accepted: 22 July 2014 / Published: 13 August 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Programmable Thermal Dissociation (PTD) has been used to investigate the chemical speciation of Reactive Gaseous Mercury (RGM, Hg2+). RGM was collected on denuders and analyzed using PTD. The technique was tested in a field campaign at a coal-fired power plant in
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Programmable Thermal Dissociation (PTD) has been used to investigate the chemical speciation of Reactive Gaseous Mercury (RGM, Hg2+). RGM was collected on denuders and analyzed using PTD. The technique was tested in a field campaign at a coal-fired power plant in Pensacola, Florida. Stack gas samples were collected from ducts located after the electrostatic precipitator and prior to entering the stack. An airship was used to sample from the stack plume, downwind of the stack exit. The PTD profiles from these samples were compared with PTD profiles of HgCl2. Comparison of stack and in-plume samples suggest that the chemical speciation are the same and that it is possible to track a specific chemical form of RGM from the stack and follow its evolution in the stack plume. Comparison of the measured plume RGM with the amount calculated from in-stack measurements and the measured plume dilution suggest that the stack and plume RGM concentrations are consistent with dilution. The PTD profiles of the stack and plume samples are consistent with HgCl2 being the chemical form of the sampled RGM. Comparison with literature PTD profiles of reference mercury compounds suggests no other likely candidates for the speciation of RGM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Mercury) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Areal-Averaged Spectral Surface Albedo from Ground-Based Transmission Data Alone: Toward an Operational Retrieval
Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 597-621; doi:10.3390/atmos5030597
Received: 13 June 2014 / Revised: 12 August 2014 / Accepted: 12 August 2014 / Published: 22 August 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1522 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We present here a simple retrieval of the areal-averaged spectral surface albedo using only ground-based measurements of atmospheric transmission under fully overcast conditions. Our retrieval is based on a one-line equation. The feasibility of our retrieval for routine determinations of albedo is demonstrated
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We present here a simple retrieval of the areal-averaged spectral surface albedo using only ground-based measurements of atmospheric transmission under fully overcast conditions. Our retrieval is based on a one-line equation. The feasibility of our retrieval for routine determinations of albedo is demonstrated for different landscapes with various degrees of heterogeneity using three sets of measurements: (1) spectral atmospheric transmission from the Multi-Filter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MFRSR) at five wavelengths (415, 500, 615, 673, and 870 nm); (2) tower-based measurements of local surface albedo at the same wavelengths; and (3) areal-averaged surface albedo at four wavelengths (470, 560, 670 and 860 nm) from collocated and coincident Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) observations. These integrated datasets cover both temporally long (2008–2013) and short (April–May 2010) periods at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains site and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Table Mountain site, respectively. The calculated root mean square error (RMSE), defined here as the root mean squared difference between the MODIS-derived surface albedo and the retrieved areal-averaged albedo, is quite small (RMSE ≤ 0.015) and comparable with that obtained previously by other investigators for the shortwave broadband albedo. Good agreement between tower-based measurements of daily-averaged surface albedo for completely overcast and non-overcast conditions is also demonstrated. Full article
Open AccessArticle Diurnal Variability of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Atmosphere over the Remote Southern Atlantic Ocean
Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 622-634; doi:10.3390/atmos5030622
Received: 15 May 2014 / Revised: 14 July 2014 / Accepted: 21 July 2014 / Published: 22 August 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (908 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A diel (24-h) cycle with daytime atmospheric concentrations higher than nighttime concentrations by a factor of 1.5–3 was observed for several low molecular weight polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in remote areas of the tropical South Atlantic during a cruise
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A diel (24-h) cycle with daytime atmospheric concentrations higher than nighttime concentrations by a factor of 1.5–3 was observed for several low molecular weight polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in remote areas of the tropical South Atlantic during a cruise in October–November 2005. In contrast, high molecular weight PCBs and PAHs did not display diurnal variability. A model which has successfully explained diel variability of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) over land could not reproduce the observed diel cycle by considering variability in temperature, atmospheric OH radical concentrations, atmospheric boundary layer height and wind speed as causal factors. We used the model to conduct two bounding scenarios to explore the possibility that phytoplankton biomass turn-over in the surface ocean drives the observed variability in air concentrations. The model could only qualitatively reproduce the field observations of diel variability for low chlorinated PCB congeners when the ocean acts as a source of pollutants to the atmosphere, and when variability in biomass drives variability in the capacity of the surface ocean. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Survey of Mercury in Air and Precipitation across Canada: Patterns and Trends
Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 635-668; doi:10.3390/atmos5030635
Received: 27 June 2014 / Revised: 21 August 2014 / Accepted: 26 August 2014 / Published: 11 September 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (11630 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Atmospheric mercury (Hg) measurements from across Canada were compiled and analysed as part of a national Hg science assessment. Here we update long-term trends of Hg in air and precipitation, and present more extensive measurements on patterns and trends in speciated Hg species
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Atmospheric mercury (Hg) measurements from across Canada were compiled and analysed as part of a national Hg science assessment. Here we update long-term trends of Hg in air and precipitation, and present more extensive measurements on patterns and trends in speciated Hg species (gaseous elemental mercury—GEM, reactive gaseous mercury—RGM, and total particulate mercury on particles <2.5 μm—TPM2.5) at several sites. A spatial analysis across Canada revealed higher air concentrations and wet deposition of Hg in the vicinity of local and regional emission sources, and lower air concentrations of Hg at mid-latitude maritime sites compared to continental sites. Diel and seasonal patterns in atmospheric GEM, RGM and TPM2.5 concentrations reflected differences in patterns of anthropogenic emissions, photo-induced surface emissions, chemistry, deposition and mixing. Concentrations of GEM decreased at rates ranging from −0.9% to −3.3% per year at all sites where measurements began in the 1990s. Concentrations of total Hg in precipitation declined up to 3.7% yr−1. Trends in RGM and TPM2.5 were less clear due to shorter measurement periods and low concentrations, however, in spring at the high Arctic site (Alert) when RGM and TPM2.5 concentrations were high, concentrations of both increased by 7%–10% per year. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Mercury) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Estimation of Emissions from Sugarcane Field Burning in Thailand Using Bottom-Up Country-Specific Activity Data
Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 669-685; doi:10.3390/atmos5030669
Received: 27 May 2014 / Revised: 1 September 2014 / Accepted: 12 September 2014 / Published: 23 September 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4042 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Open burning in sugarcane fields is recognized as a major source of air pollution. However, the assessment of its emission intensity in many regions of the world still lacks information, especially regarding country-specific activity data including biomass fuel load and combustion factor. A
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Open burning in sugarcane fields is recognized as a major source of air pollution. However, the assessment of its emission intensity in many regions of the world still lacks information, especially regarding country-specific activity data including biomass fuel load and combustion factor. A site survey was conducted covering 13 sugarcane plantations subject to different farm management practices and climatic conditions. The results showed that pre-harvest and post-harvest burnings are the two main practices followed in Thailand. In 2012, the total production of sugarcane biomass fuel, i.e., dead, dry and fresh leaves, amounted to 10.15 million tonnes, which is equivalent to a fuel density of 0.79 kg∙m−2. The average combustion factor for the pre-harvest and post-harvest burning systems was determined to be 0.64 and 0.83, respectively. Emissions from sugarcane field burning were estimated using the bottom-up country-specific values from the site survey of this study and the results compared with those obtained using default values from the 2006 IPCC Guidelines. The comparison showed that the use of default values lead to underestimating the overall emissions by up to 30% as emissions from post-harvest burning are not accounted for, but it is the second most common practice followed in Thailand. Full article
Open AccessArticle CO2 Monitoring and Background Mole Fraction at Zhongshan Station, Antarctica
Atmosphere 2014, 5(3), 686-698; doi:10.3390/atmos5030686
Received: 8 July 2014 / Revised: 12 September 2014 / Accepted: 15 September 2014 / Published: 24 September 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1105 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background CO2 mole fraction and seasonal variations, measured at Zhongshan station, Antarctica, for 2010 through 2013, exhibit the expected lowest mole fraction in March with a peak in November. Irrespective of wind direction, the mole fraction of CO2 distributes evenly after
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Background CO2 mole fraction and seasonal variations, measured at Zhongshan station, Antarctica, for 2010 through 2013, exhibit the expected lowest mole fraction in March with a peak in November. Irrespective of wind direction, the mole fraction of CO2 distributes evenly after polluted air from station operations is removed from the data sets. The daily range of average CO2 mole fraction in all four seasons is small. The monthly mean CO2 mole fraction at Zhongshan station is similar to that of other stations in Antarctica, with seasonal CO2 amplitudes in the order of 384–392 µmol∙mol−1. The annual increase in recent years is about 2 µmol∙mol−1∙yr−1. There is no appreciable difference between CO2 mole fractions around the coast of Antarctica and in the interior, showing that CO2 observed in Antarctica has been fully mixed in the atmosphere as it moves from the north through the southern hemisphere. Full article
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