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Atmosphere, Volume 9, Issue 5 (May 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Rainfall from Hurricane Harvey in 2017 exceeded 50 inches in parts of Houston, Texas. Overland [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Nitric Oxide Production by Centimeter-Sized Meteoroids and the Role of Linear and Nonlinear Processes in the Shock Bound Flow Fields
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050202
Received: 8 April 2018 / Revised: 12 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
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Abstract
Nitric oxide (NO) is a critical indicator of energy deposition in the lower thermosphere because of its formational pathways. Thus, it is important to constrain sources of NO, such as meteoroid generated hypersonic flows below 95 km altitude. This paper aims to examine
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Nitric oxide (NO) is a critical indicator of energy deposition in the lower thermosphere because of its formational pathways. Thus, it is important to constrain sources of NO, such as meteoroid generated hypersonic flows below 95 km altitude. This paper aims to examine the process of and place the upper estimate on NO production in high temperature flow fields of strongly ablating meteoroids. For centimeter-sized meteoroids, the production of NO is bound within the dynamically stable volume of bright meteor plasma trains in the region of 80–95 km. Our estimate of the upper limit of the cumulative mass of NO produced annually by centimeter-sized meteoroids is significantly lower than that reported in previous early studies. In the context of shock waves, we explored the reasons why centimeter-sized meteoroids are the most efficient producers of NO. Effects of nonlinear processes on meteoric NO production are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transition from Linear to Non-Linear Flows in Atmospheric Processes)
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Open AccessArticle Enhanced Iron Solubility at Low pH in Global Aerosols
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050201
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 16 May 2018 / Accepted: 20 May 2018 / Published: 22 May 2018
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Abstract
The composition and oxidation state of aerosol iron were examined using synchrotron-based iron near-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy. By combining synchrotron-based techniques with water leachate analysis, impacts of oxidation state and mineralogy on aerosol iron solubility were assessed for samples taken from multiple locations
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The composition and oxidation state of aerosol iron were examined using synchrotron-based iron near-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy. By combining synchrotron-based techniques with water leachate analysis, impacts of oxidation state and mineralogy on aerosol iron solubility were assessed for samples taken from multiple locations in the Southern and the Atlantic Oceans; and also from Noida (India), Bermuda, and the Eastern Mediterranean (Crete). These sampling locations capture iron-containing aerosols from different source regions with varying marine, mineral dust, and anthropogenic influences. Across all locations, pH had the dominating influence on aerosol iron solubility. When aerosol samples were approximately neutral pH, iron solubility was on average 3.4%; when samples were below pH 4, the iron solubility increased to 35%. This observed aerosol iron solubility profile is consistent with thermodynamic predictions for the solubility of Fe(III) oxides, the major iron containing phase in the aerosol samples. Source regions and transport paths were also important factors affecting iron solubility, as samples originating from or passing over populated regions tended to contain more soluble iron. Although the acidity appears to affect aerosol iron solubility globally, a direct relationship for all samples is confounded by factors such as anthropogenic influence, aerosol buffer capacity, mineralogy and physical processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Nowcasting Model for Tropical Cyclone Precipitation Regions Based on the TREC Motion Vector Retrieval with a Semi-Lagrangian Scheme for Doppler Weather Radar
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050200
Received: 4 April 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
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Abstract
Accurate observational data and reliable prediction models are both essential to improve the quality of precipitation forecasts. The spiraling trajectories of air parcels within a tropical cyclone (TC) coupled with the large sizes of these systems brings special challenges in making accurate short-term
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Accurate observational data and reliable prediction models are both essential to improve the quality of precipitation forecasts. The spiraling trajectories of air parcels within a tropical cyclone (TC) coupled with the large sizes of these systems brings special challenges in making accurate short-term forecasts, or nowcasts. Doppler weather radars are ideal instruments to observe TCs when they move over land, and traditional nowcasts incorporate radar data. However, data from dozens of radars must be mosaicked together to observe the entire system. Traditional single-radar-based reflectivity tracking methods commonly employed in nowcasting are not suitable for TCs as they are not able to capture the circular motion of these systems. Thus, this paper focuses on improving short-term predictability of TC precipitation with Doppler weather radar observations based on: a multi-scale motion vector retrieval algorithm, an optimization technique and a semi-Lagrangian advection scheme. Motion fields of precipitation regions are obtained by a multi-level motion vector retrieval algorithm, then corrected and smoothed by the optimization technique using mass and smooth constraints. Predicted precipitation regions are then extrapolated using the semi-Lagrangian advection scheme. A case study of Hurricane Isabel (2003) shows that the combination of these methods may increase reliable rainfall prediction to about 5 h as the TC moves over land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Cyclones and Their Impacts)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Urban Greenspace Patterns on Particulate Matter Pollution in Metropolitan Zhengzhou in Henan, China
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050199
Received: 2 April 2018 / Revised: 13 May 2018 / Accepted: 17 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
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Abstract
This case study was conducted to quantify the effects of urban greenspace patterns on particle matter (PM) concentration in Zhengzhou, China by using redundancy and variation partitioning analysis. Nine air-quality monitoring stations (AQMS) were selected as the central points. Six distances of 1
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This case study was conducted to quantify the effects of urban greenspace patterns on particle matter (PM) concentration in Zhengzhou, China by using redundancy and variation partitioning analysis. Nine air-quality monitoring stations (AQMS) were selected as the central points. Six distances of 1 km, 2 km, 3 km, 4 km, 5 km, and 6 km were selected as the side lengths of the squares with each AQMS serving as the central point, respectively. We found: (1) the fine size of PM (PM2.5) and coarse size of PM (PM10) among four seasons showed significant differences; during winter, the concentration of PM2.5 and PM10 were both highest, and PM2.5 and PM10 concentration in summer were lowest. (2) To effectively reduce the PM2.5 pollution, the percentage of greenspace, the differences in areas among greenspace patches, and the edge complexity of greenspace patches should be increased at distances of 2 km and 3 km. To effectively reduce PM10, the percentage of greenspace at a distance of 4 km, the edge density at distances of 2 km and 4 km, and the average area of greenspace patches at a distance of 1 km should be increased. (3) Greenspace pattern significantly affected PM2.5 at a distance of 3 km, and PM10 at a distance of 4 km. From shorter distance to longer distance, the proportion of variance explained by greenspace showed a decline–increase–decline–increase trend for PM2.5, and a decline–increase–decline trend for PM10. At shorter distances, the composition of greenspace was more effective in reducing the PM pollution, and the configuration of greenspace played a more important role at longer distances. The results should lead to specific guidelines for more cost-effective and environmentally sound greenspace planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in China: Past, Present and Future)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of the ENVI-Met Vegetation Model of Four Common Tree Species in a Subtropical Hot-Humid Area
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050198
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 21 May 2018
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Abstract
Urban trees can significantly improve the outdoor thermal environment, especially in subtropical zones. However, due to the lack of fundamental evaluations of numerical simulation models, design and modification strategies for optimizing the thermal environment in subtropical hot-humid climate zones cannot be proposed accurately.
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Urban trees can significantly improve the outdoor thermal environment, especially in subtropical zones. However, due to the lack of fundamental evaluations of numerical simulation models, design and modification strategies for optimizing the thermal environment in subtropical hot-humid climate zones cannot be proposed accurately. To resolve this issue, this study investigated the physiological parameters (leaf surface temperature and vapor flux) and thermal effects (solar radiation, air temperature, and humidity) of four common tree species (Michelia alba, Mangifera indica, Ficus microcarpa, and Bauhinia blakeana) in both spring and summer in Guangzhou, China. A comprehensive comparison of the observed and modeled data from ENVI-met (v4.2 Science, a three-dimensional microclimate model) was performed. The results show that the most fundamental weakness of ENVI-met is the limitation of input solar radiation, which cannot be input hourly in the current version and may impact the thermal environment in simulation. For the tree model, the discrepancy between modeled and observed microclimate parameters was acceptable. However, for the physiological parameters, ENVI-met tended to overestimate the leaf surface temperature and underestimate the vapor flux, especially at midday in summer. The simplified calculation of the tree model may be one of the main reasons. Furthermore, the thermal effect of trees, meaning the differences between nearby treeless sites and shaded areas, were all underestimated in ENVI-met for each microclimate variable. This study shows that the tree model is suitable in subtropical hot-humid climates, but also needs some improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Design and City Microclimates)
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Open AccessArticle A High Resolution Coupled Fire–Atmosphere Forecasting System to Minimize the Impacts of Wildland Fires: Applications to the Chimney Tops II Wildland Event
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050197
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 19 May 2018
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Abstract
Wildland fires are responsible for large socio-economic impacts. Fires affect the environment, damage structures, threaten lives, cause health issues, and involve large suppression costs. These impacts can be mitigated via accurate fire spread forecast to inform the incident management team. We show that
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Wildland fires are responsible for large socio-economic impacts. Fires affect the environment, damage structures, threaten lives, cause health issues, and involve large suppression costs. These impacts can be mitigated via accurate fire spread forecast to inform the incident management team. We show that a fire forecast system based on a numerical weather prediction (NWP) model coupled with a wildland fire behavior model can provide this forecast. This was illustrated with the Chimney Tops II wildland fire responsible for large socio-economic impacts. The system was run at high horizontal resolution (111 m) over the region affected by the fire to provide a fine representation of the terrain and fuel heterogeneities and explicitly resolve atmospheric turbulence. Our findings suggest that one can use the high spatial resolution winds, fire spread and smoke forecast to minimize the adverse impacts of wildland fires. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fire and the Atmosphere)
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Open AccessArticle Accuracy of Simulated Diurnal Valley Winds in the Swiss Alps: Influence of Grid Resolution, Topography Filtering, and Land Surface Datasets
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050196
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 6 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
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Abstract
We evaluate the near-surface representation of thermally driven winds in the Swiss Alps in a numerical weather prediction model at km-scale resolution. In addition, the influence of grid resolution (2.2 km and 1.1 km), topography filtering, and land surface datasets on the accuracy
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We evaluate the near-surface representation of thermally driven winds in the Swiss Alps in a numerical weather prediction model at km-scale resolution. In addition, the influence of grid resolution (2.2 km and 1.1 km), topography filtering, and land surface datasets on the accuracy of the simulated valley winds is investigated. The simulations are evaluated against a comprehensive set of surface observations for an 18-day fair-weather summer period in July 2006. The episode is characterized by strong diurnal wind systems and the formation of shallow convection over the mountains, which transitions to precipitating convection in some areas. The near-surface winds (10 m above ground level) follow a typical diurnal pattern with strong daytime up-valley flow and weaker nighttime down-valley flow. At a 2.2 km resolution the valley winds are poorly simulated for most stations, while at a 1.1 km resolution the diurnal cycle of the valley winds is well represented in most large (e.g., Rhein valley at Chur and Rhone valley at Visp) and medium-sized valleys (e.g., Linth valley at Glarus). In the smaller valleys (e.g., Maggia valley at Cevio), the amplitude of the valley wind is still significantly underestimated, even at a 1.1 km resolution. Detailed sensitivity experiments show that the use of high-resolution land surface datasets, for both the soil characteristics as well as for the land cover, and reduced filtering of the topography are essential to achieve good performance at a 1.1 km resolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Processes over Complex Terrain)
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Open AccessCommunication A Comparative Study on the Statutory and Technical Regulations for Controlling Indoor Volatile Organic Compounds in Taiwan and Japan
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050195
Received: 10 March 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
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Abstract
The objective of this paper was to offer a comparative analysis of currently implemented statutory and technical regulations in Taiwan and Japan for volatile organic compounds (VOC) in indoor atmospheres. The findings should help to manage indoor air quality (IAQ) based on public
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The objective of this paper was to offer a comparative analysis of currently implemented statutory and technical regulations in Taiwan and Japan for volatile organic compounds (VOC) in indoor atmospheres. The findings should help to manage indoor air quality (IAQ) based on public and occupational health considerations. The first part of the present study summarizes the Indoor Air Quality Management Act in Taiwan and related regulations for building materials. We further highlight that Taiwan became the second country in the world to enact an IAQ management law in 2011. In addition, the permissible exposure limits (PEL) are also addressed to recognize safe levels of VOC concentrations below which adverse health effects are not expected to occur in the workplace environment. In the second part of the paper, the statuses of statutory and voluntary regulations for IAQ issues in Japan are compiled from the official websites of the central ministries, including the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. This analysis shows that both countries have adopted similar processes to establish the IAQ standard/guideline values and low-emission building materials, despite slight differences in their methods and central ministries. In contrast, the VOCs regulated by these regulations differ completely, with the exception of formaldehyde. Although the IAQ standards in Taiwan seem to be more stringent than those in Japan, Japan’s longer experience shows a diversity of management tools and regulations based on the guideline values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution)
Open AccessArticle Multivariate Interpolation of Wind Field Based on Gaussian Process Regression
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050194
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
The resolution of the products of numerical weather prediction is limited by the resolution of numerical models and computing resources, which can be improved accurately by a well-chosen interpolation algorithm. This paper is intended to improve the accuracy of spatial interpolation towards wind
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The resolution of the products of numerical weather prediction is limited by the resolution of numerical models and computing resources, which can be improved accurately by a well-chosen interpolation algorithm. This paper is intended to improve the accuracy of spatial interpolation towards wind fields. A new composited multi-scale anisotropic kernel function for weather processes using two-dimensional space information is proposed. To fix the underfitting in this kernel caused by unilateral space information, multiple variables (wind direction, air temperature, and atmospheric pressure) are introduced, which generates a multivariate correction model based on the novel kernel function and Gaussian process regression. Focusing on different weather processes, two multivariate correction models are designed. The new models pave a new way to employ multi-scale local information, and extract the anisotropy and structure information. The experiments on 10 m wind fields for the weather processes without cyclones and for the weather processes with cyclones validate the efficiency. The mean RMSE of the multivariate correction model for the weather processes without cyclones is reduced by around 15% for the u wind component compared with that of a simple composited kernel. For the weather processes with cyclones, the mean RMSE of the novel model declines by around 55% compared to that of spline, and by about 95% compared to that of back propagation neural networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Propagation of Narrow Bipolar Pulses, Generated by Compact Cloud Discharges, over Finitely Conducting Ground
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050193
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
Propagation effects on the narrow bipolar pulses (NBPs) or the radiation fields generated by compact cloud discharges as they propagate over finitely conducting ground are presented. The results were obtained using a sample of NBPs recorded with high time resolution from close thunderstorms
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Propagation effects on the narrow bipolar pulses (NBPs) or the radiation fields generated by compact cloud discharges as they propagate over finitely conducting ground are presented. The results were obtained using a sample of NBPs recorded with high time resolution from close thunderstorms in Sri Lanka. The results show that the peak amplitude and the temporal features such as the full width at half maximum (FWHM), zero-crossing time, and the time derivative of NBPs can be significantly distorted by propagation effects. For this reason, the study of peak amplitudes and temporal features of NBPs and the remote sensing of current parameters of compact cloud discharges should be conducted using NBPs recorded under conditions where the propagation effects are minimal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Microclimate Variation and Estimated Heat Stress of Runners in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Marathon
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050192
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 10 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be held in July and August. As these are the hottest months in Tokyo, the risk of heat stress to athletes and spectators in outdoor sporting events is a serious concern. This study focuses on the marathon
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The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be held in July and August. As these are the hottest months in Tokyo, the risk of heat stress to athletes and spectators in outdoor sporting events is a serious concern. This study focuses on the marathon races, which are held outside for a prolonged time, and evaluates the potential heat stress of marathon runners using the COMFA (COMfort FormulA) Human Heat Balance (HBB) Model. The study applies a four-step procedure: (a) measure the thermal environment along the marathon course; (b) estimate heat stress on runners by applying COMFA; (c) identify locations where runners may be exposed to extreme heat stress; and (d) discuss measures to mitigate the heat stress on runners. On clear sunny days, the entire course is rated as ‘dangerous’ or ‘extremely dangerous’, and within the latter half of the course, there is a 10-km portion where values continuously exceed the extremely dangerous level. Findings illustrate which stretches have the highest need for mitigation measures, such as starting the race one hour earlier, allowing runners to run in the shade of buildings or making use of urban greenery including expanding the tree canopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Design and City Microclimates)
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Open AccessArticle Multi-Year Continuous PM2.5 Measurements with the Federal Equivalent Method SHARP 5030 and Comparisons to Filter-Based and TEOM Measurements in Ontario, Canada
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050191
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 13 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
Continuous monitoring of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is important to provide near-real-time air quality information for public health protection, especially when ambient levels are elevated. The Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance (TEOM), operated at 30 °C with a sample equilibration system (SES),
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Continuous monitoring of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is important to provide near-real-time air quality information for public health protection, especially when ambient levels are elevated. The Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance (TEOM), operated at 30 °C with a sample equilibration system (SES), was used to measure PM2.5 hourly concentrations from 2002 to 2012 in Ontario, Canada. In January 2013, the Federal Equivalent Method (FEM) Synchronized Hybrid Ambient Real-time Particulate (SHARP) model 5030 monitors replaced the TEOM devices at all monitoring stations across the province to improve measurements in cold months. Continuous PM2.5 measurements from 2013 to 2016 showed good reliability of the SHARP 5030 with an average 98% valid hourly data reported to the public. Collocated measurements indicated that 24 h averages of the SHARP 5030 were comparable to those by the filter-based integrated samplers including the Federal Reference Method (FRM), and the FEM dichotomous (Dichot) and Speciation samplers. The slope and intercept of the linear regression between the SHARP 5030 and the FRM results generally met the acceptance limits for PM2.5 Class III FEM designation, and the ratio of FEM/FRM was 1.0 or 1.1. Twenty-four-hour averages of the SHARP 5030 also correlated well with the collocated 24 h Dichot and Speciation results. The difference percentages between SHARP 5030 and 24 h integrated results were found to be larger at low rather than at high PM2.5 levels, but not dependent on seasons. Absolute differences ranged from 0 to 16 µg/m3 and root mean square differences ranged from 2.0 to 2.3 µg/m3 when the SHARP 5030 was compared with the FRM, Dichot, and Speciation samplers. A simplified approach was further developed to correct historical TEOM data for cold months to continue long-term trend analyses based on collocated measurements at eight stations where PM2.5 emission sources varied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Particulate Matters: Composition, Sources, and Exposure)
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Open AccessArticle Estimating the Influence of Housing Energy Efficiency and Overheating Adaptations on Heat-Related Mortality in the West Midlands, UK
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050190
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
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Abstract
Mortality rates rise during hot weather in England, and projected future increases in heatwave frequency and intensity require the development of heat protection measures such as the adaptation of housing to reduce indoor overheating. We apply a combined building physics and health model
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Mortality rates rise during hot weather in England, and projected future increases in heatwave frequency and intensity require the development of heat protection measures such as the adaptation of housing to reduce indoor overheating. We apply a combined building physics and health model to dwellings in the West Midlands, UK, using an English Housing Survey (EHS)-derived stock model. Regional temperature exposures, heat-related mortality risk, and space heating energy consumption were estimated for 2030s, 2050s, and 2080s medium emissions climates prior to and following heat mitigating, energy-efficiency, and occupant behaviour adaptations. Risk variation across adaptations, dwellings, and occupant types were assessed. Indoor temperatures were greatest in converted flats, while heat mortality rates were highest in bungalows due to the occupant age profiles. Full energy efficiency retrofit reduced regional domestic space heating energy use by 26% but increased summertime heat mortality 3–4%, while reduced façade absorptance decreased heat mortality 12–15% but increased energy consumption by 4%. External shutters provided the largest reduction in heat mortality (37–43%), while closed windows caused a large increase in risk (29–64%). Ensuring adequate post-retrofit ventilation, targeted installation of shutters, and ensuring operable windows in dwellings with heat-vulnerable occupants may save energy and significantly reduce heat-related mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle FY-3A Microwave Data Assimilation Based on the POD-4DEnVar Method
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050189
Received: 6 March 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
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Abstract
A four-dimensional ensemble variational assimilation system for FY-3A satellite data is constructed using the Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD)-based ensemble four-dimensional variational (4DVar) assimilation method (referred to as POD-4DEnVar Satellite Assimilation System). Using the community radiative transfer model (CRTM) as the observation operator for
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A four-dimensional ensemble variational assimilation system for FY-3A satellite data is constructed using the Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD)-based ensemble four-dimensional variational (4DVar) assimilation method (referred to as POD-4DEnVar Satellite Assimilation System). Using the community radiative transfer model (CRTM) as the observation operator for satellite data, ensemble samples are mapped to the observation space and observation perturbations are generated. The observation perturbations matrix of satellite data is then decomposed to obtain the orthogonal eigenvectors and the eigenvalues for the observation perturbations matrix. The observation perturbations matrix and model perturbations matrix are transformed using orthogonal eigenvectors as basis functions and an explicit expression for the analysis increment is obtained. The expression includes the flow-dependent background error covariance and avoids the difficulty of solving the adjoint model for four-dimensional variational assimilation. In order to evaluate the capability of POD-4DEnVar Satellite Assimilation System, single observation experiments and observation system simulation experiments (OSSEs) for FY-3A MWHS and MWTS sensor data were designed to simulate a large-scale precipitation event occurring over the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The results of single observation experiments show that POD-4DEnVar Satellite Assimilation System can assimilate satellite data correctly, and the background error covariance of POD-4DEnVar Satellite Assimilation System has obvious flow-dependent characteristics. The results of the OSSEs show that the root-mean-square errors (RMSEs) of the assimilation analysis field with respect to the “true” field are lower than those of the background field, which indicates that the POD-4DEnVar Satellite Assimilation System can assimilate satellite data effectively. The sensitivity of the POD-4DEnVar Satellite Assimilation System to the percentage of truncated eigenvalues, the number of ensemble members, assimilation time window length, and the horizontal localization scale (which are key parameters for POD-4DEnVar Satellite Assimilation System) was tested in sensitivity experiments. These experiments show that if the percentage of truncated eigenvalues for POD decomposition is more than 80%, POD-4DEnVar Satellite Assimilation System has strong assimilation skill. Increasing the number of initial ensemble members has little influence on the assimilation ability of POD-4DEnVar Satellite Assimilation System. But, increasing the number of the physical ensemble members can clearly increase the assimilation ability. The assimilation skill of POD-4DEnVar Satellite Assimilation System is optimal when the length of the assimilation time window is 5 h or 3 h and the horizontal localization scale is 500 km or above. The assimilation ability of POD-4DEnVar Satellite Assimilation System is preliminarily tested by single observation experiments and OSSEs. The results show that it is feasible to assimilate satellite data using the POD-4DEnVar method. In the future, a variety of real satellite data and a variety of mesoscale weather cases will be used to further verify the stability of POD-4DEnVar Satellite Assimilation System. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle Extreme Precipitation Events in Serbia: Defining the Threshold Criteria for Emergency Preparedness
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050188
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 4 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 15 May 2018
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Abstract
Considering recent weather events in Serbia (especially the floods in 2014), a need has arisen for research that would help in identifying extreme weather phenomena. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to determine the thresholds above which intense precipitation can be considered
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Considering recent weather events in Serbia (especially the floods in 2014), a need has arisen for research that would help in identifying extreme weather phenomena. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to determine the thresholds above which intense precipitation can be considered as extreme precipitation events in Serbia. In this study, we determined the frequency of precipitation occurring at an intensity above the threshold of an extreme phenomenon (1961–2015), as well as the frequency of precipitation occurring at or above the absolute daily maximum in the reference period (1961–1990). The study sample included daily rainfall observations from 28 stations from the national meteorological network in Serbia. Applying a decile method, all the stations recording precipitation above the threshold of dangerous phenomena on the same day are classified into the corresponding decile. The threshold value was determined as the average value of the extreme annual precipitation in the analyzed period. The cases that are due to the high prevalence listed in the last decile are considered extreme. The results showed that the critical number of observation points above which an event is considered extreme precipitation event is 6.21, and a warning of the danger could be ensured only in the case of neighboring stations in the network. The threshold of extreme precipitation events for the individual stations ranges up to 130 mm. The obtained results might be used to mitigate the effects of extreme precipitation events in Serbia in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Atmospheric Physics: Selected Papers from CEST2017)
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Open AccessArticle Projected Changes in Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature under Alternative Climate Scenarios
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050187
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 14 May 2018 / Published: 15 May 2018
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Abstract
The increased levels of Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs) in the atmosphere will result in increased near-surface air temperature and absolute humidity. These two factors increasingly pose a risk of heat stress to humans. The Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) is a widely used and validated
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The increased levels of Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs) in the atmosphere will result in increased near-surface air temperature and absolute humidity. These two factors increasingly pose a risk of heat stress to humans. The Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) is a widely used and validated index for assessing the environmental heat stress. Using the output from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) simulations of the four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), we calculated the global and regional changes in WBGT. Globally, the WBGT is projected to increase by 0.6–1.7 °C for RCP 2.6 and 2.37–4.4 °C for RCP 8.5. At the regional scale, our analysis suggests a disproportionate increase in the WBGT over northern India, China, northern Australia, Africa, Central America and Southeast Asia. An increase in WBGT has consequences not only on human health but also on social and economic factors. These consequences may be exacerbated in developing economies, which are less able to adapt to the changing environmental conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle Microclimate Metrics Linked to the Use and Perception of Public Spaces: The Case of Chillán City, Chile
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050186
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 14 May 2018
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Abstract
This paper presents research carried out in the city of Chillán, a medium size city located on the southern limit of the Chilean Mediterranean domain, at 36°36′s south latitude. Chillán provides a good representative example of warm summers in central and southern Chilean
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This paper presents research carried out in the city of Chillán, a medium size city located on the southern limit of the Chilean Mediterranean domain, at 36°36′s south latitude. Chillán provides a good representative example of warm summers in central and southern Chilean cities. Five public spaces were selected, representing different typologies and relating to different urban background conditions. Users in these public spaces were observed, counted and photographed five times a day (12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 h, local time) during a heat wave event in the summer of 2016, while meteorological parameters were measured at different points within the public space. The variables evaluated were impervious surfaces, sky view factor, H/W, azimuth, shadow, and radiation. Local public environmental management should pay attention to the complex relations between urban climate, public spaces and thermal comfort since they affect the quality of life of the most vulnerable sectors of the population. This is particularly important given the increasing episodes of elevated temperatures and intense heat waves which have occurred in the city of Chillán in recent summers, which are related to urban heat islands and climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Design and City Microclimates)
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Open AccessReview A Review of Community Smoke Exposure from Wildfire Compared to Prescribed Fire in the United States
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050185
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 12 May 2018
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Abstract
Prescribed fire, intentionally ignited low-intensity fires, and managed wildfires—wildfires that are allowed to burn for land management benefit—could be used as a land management tool to create forests that are resilient to wildland fire. This could lead to fewer large catastrophic wildfires in
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Prescribed fire, intentionally ignited low-intensity fires, and managed wildfires—wildfires that are allowed to burn for land management benefit—could be used as a land management tool to create forests that are resilient to wildland fire. This could lead to fewer large catastrophic wildfires in the future. However, we must consider the public health impacts of the smoke that is emitted from wildland and prescribed fire. The objective of this synthesis is to examine the differences in ambient community-level exposures to particulate matter (PM2.5) from smoke in the United States in relation to two smoke exposure scenarios—wildfire fire and prescribed fire. A systematic search was conducted to identify scientific papers to be included in this review. The Web of Science Core Collection and PubMed, for scientific papers, and Google Scholar were used to identify any grey literature or reports to be included in this review. Sixteen studies that examined particulate matter exposure from smoke were identified for this synthesis—nine wildland fire studies and seven prescribed fire studies. PM2.5 concentrations from wildfire smoke were found to be significantly lower than reported PM2.5 concentrations from prescribed fire smoke. Wildfire studies focused on assessing air quality impacts to communities that were nearby fires and urban centers that were far from wildfires. However, the prescribed fire studies used air monitoring methods that focused on characterizing exposures and emissions directly from, and next to, the burns. This review highlights a need for a better understanding of wildfire smoke impact over the landscape. It is essential for properly assessing population exposure to smoke from different fire types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fire and the Atmosphere)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluating Uncertainties in Marine Biogeochemical Models: Benchmarking Aerosol Precursors
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050184
Received: 5 April 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 12 May 2018
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Abstract
The effort to accurately estimate global radiative forcing has long been hampered by a degree of uncertainty in the tropospheric aerosol contribution. Reducing uncertainty in natural aerosol processes, the baseline of the aerosol budget, thus becomes a fundamental task. The appropriate representation of
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The effort to accurately estimate global radiative forcing has long been hampered by a degree of uncertainty in the tropospheric aerosol contribution. Reducing uncertainty in natural aerosol processes, the baseline of the aerosol budget, thus becomes a fundamental task. The appropriate representation of aerosols in the marine boundary layer (MBL) is essential to reduce uncertainty and provide reliable information on offsets to global warming. We developed an International Ocean Model Benchmarking package to assess marine biogeochemical process representations in Earth System Models (ESMs), and the package was employed to evaluate surface ocean concentrations and the sea–air fluxes of dimethylsulfide (DMS). Model performances were scored based on how well they captured the distribution and variability contained in high-quality observational datasets. Results show that model-data biases increased as DMS enters the MBL, but unfortunately over three-quarters of the models participating in the fifth Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) did not have a dynamic representation of DMS. When it is present, models tend to over-predict sea surface concentrations in the productive region of the eastern tropical Pacific by almost a factor of two, and the sea–air fluxes by a factor of three. Systematic model-data benchmarking as described here will help to identify such deficiencies and subsequently lead to improved subgrid-scale parameterizations and ESM development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ocean Contributions to the Marine Boundary Layer Aerosol Budget)
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Open AccessArticle Simulation and Analysis of the Initiation of a Squall Line within a Meiyu Frontal System in East China
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050183
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 28 April 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
Based on the ARPS (Advanced Regional Prediction System) at 2 km grid spacing, the convective initiation (CI) of cells that evolved into a squall line on the southern flank of a Meiyu front in East China is investigated. The initiations of four convective
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Based on the ARPS (Advanced Regional Prediction System) at 2 km grid spacing, the convective initiation (CI) of cells that evolved into a squall line on the southern flank of a Meiyu front in East China is investigated. The initiations of four convective cells, denoted CI-A through CI-D, are reasonably captured in the simulation. For CI-A and CI-B, locally enhanced convergence bands associated with boundary layer horizontal convective rolls (HCRs) play a crucial role in determining the exact locations of CIs, whereas a cold outflow boundary from earlier frontal precipitation contributes to additional convergence forcing. For CI-C, initiation occurs directly over the gust front, with the frontal convergence providing the main forcing. CI-D occurs south of and sufficiently far from the gust front, and is mainly forced by the HCR circulations. With surface heat flux turned off in the model, CI is much delayed. Therefore, surface heating increases the convective instability of air south of the front and causes the development of HCRs; it also enhances the gust front convergence by mixing higher southwesterly momentum toward the surface. When the condensation process is turned off, HCRs and/or gust frontal forcing are still able to lift the low-level air to super-saturation where CI is expected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle Ambulance Service Resource Planning for Extreme Temperatures: Analysis of Ambulance 999 Calls during Episodes of Extreme Temperature in London, UK
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050182
Received: 18 March 2018 / Revised: 2 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 11 May 2018
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Abstract
The association between episodes of extreme temperature and ambulance 999 calls has not yet been properly quantified. In this study we propose a statistical physics-based method to estimate the true mean number of ambulance 999 calls during episodes of extreme temperatures. Simple arithmetic
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The association between episodes of extreme temperature and ambulance 999 calls has not yet been properly quantified. In this study we propose a statistical physics-based method to estimate the true mean number of ambulance 999 calls during episodes of extreme temperatures. Simple arithmetic mean overestimates the true number of calls during such episodes. Specifically, we apply the physics-based framework of nonextensive statistical mechanics (NESM) for estimating the probability distribution of extreme events to model the positive daily variation of ambulance calls. In addition, we combine NESM with the partitioned multiobjective method (PMRM) to determine the true mean of the positive daily difference of calls during periods of extreme temperature. We show that the use of the standard mean overestimates the true mean number of ambulance calls during episodes of extreme temperature. It is important to correctly estimate the mean value of ambulance 999 calls during such episodes in order for the ambulance service to efficiently manage their resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health)
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Open AccessEditorial Carbonaceous Aerosols in the Atmosphere
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050181
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 10 May 2018
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Abstract
Scientific understanding of the processes involving carbonaceous aerosols in atmosphere is extremely important for both the climate and human health. This explains the increasing scientific interest in characterising these chemical species [1,2].[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbonaceous Aerosols in Atmosphere)
Open AccessArticle Summertime Aerosol Radiative Effects and Their Dependence on Temperature over the Southeastern USA
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050180
Received: 12 April 2018 / Revised: 7 May 2018 / Accepted: 8 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract
Satellite data suggest that summertime aerosol optical depth (AOD) over the southeastern USA depends on the air/land surface temperature, but the magnitude of the radiative effects caused by this dependence remains unclear. To quantify these radiative effects, we utilized several remote sensing datasets
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Satellite data suggest that summertime aerosol optical depth (AOD) over the southeastern USA depends on the air/land surface temperature, but the magnitude of the radiative effects caused by this dependence remains unclear. To quantify these radiative effects, we utilized several remote sensing datasets and ECMWF reanalysis data for the years 2005–2011. In addition, the global aerosol–climate model ECHAM-HAMMOZ was used to identify the possible processes affecting aerosol loads and their dependence on temperature over the studied region. The satellite-based observations suggest that changes in the total summertime AOD in the southeastern USA are mainly governed by changes in anthropogenic emissions. In addition, summertime AOD exhibits a dependence on southerly wind speed and land surface temperature (LST). Transport of sea salt and Saharan dust is the likely reason for the wind speed dependence, whereas the temperature-dependent component is linked to temperature-induced changes in the emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) over forested regions. The remote sensing datasets indicate that the biogenic contribution increases AOD with increasing temperature by approximately (7 ± 6) × 10−3 K−1 over the southeastern USA. In the model simulations, the increase in summertime AOD due to temperature-enhanced BVOC emissions is of a similar magnitude, i.e., (4 ± 1) × 10−3 K−1. The largest source of BVOC emissions in this region is broadleaf trees, thus if the observed temperature dependence of AOD is caused by biogenic emissions the dependence should be the largest in the vicinity of forests. Consequently, the analysis of the remote sensing data shows that over mixed forests the biogenic contribution increases AOD by approximately (27 ± 13) × 10−3 K−1, which is over four times higher than the value for over the whole domain, while over other land cover types in the study region (woody savannas and cropland/natural mosaic) there is no clear temperature dependence. The corresponding clear-sky direct radiative effect (DRE) of the observation-based biogenic AOD is −0.33 ± 0.29 W/m2/K for the whole domain and −1.3 ± 0.7 W/m2/K over mixed forests only. The model estimate of the regional clear-sky DRE for biogenic aerosols is similar to the observational estimate for the whole domain: −0.29 ± 0.09 W/m2/K. Furthermore, the model simulations showed that biogenic emissions have a significant effective radiative forcing (ERF) in this region: −1.0 ± 0.5 W/m2/K. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aerosols)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of a Detailed Vegetation Database on Simulated Meteorological Fields, Biogenic VOC Emissions, and Ambient Pollutant Concentrations over Japan
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050179
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 29 April 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 9 May 2018
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Abstract
Regional air quality simulations provide powerful tools for clarifying mechanisms of heavy air pollution and for considering effective strategies for better air quality. This study introduces a new vegetation database for Japan, which could provide inputs for regional meteorological modeling, and estimating emissions
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Regional air quality simulations provide powerful tools for clarifying mechanisms of heavy air pollution and for considering effective strategies for better air quality. This study introduces a new vegetation database for Japan, which could provide inputs for regional meteorological modeling, and estimating emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), both of which are essential components of simulations. It includes newly developed emission factors (EFs) of BVOCs for major vegetation types in Japan, based on existing literature. The new database contributes to improved modeling of meteorological fields due to its updated representation of larger urban areas. Using the new vegetation and EF database, lower isoprene and monoterpene, and higher sesquiterpene emissions are estimated for Japan than those derived from previously available default datasets. These slightly reduce the overestimation of ozone concentrations obtained by a regional chemical transport model, whereas their effects on underestimated secondary organic aerosol (SOA) concentrations are marginal. Further work is necessary, not only on BVOC emissions but also the other simulation components, to further improve the modeling of ozone and SOA concentrations in Japan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regional Scale Air Quality Modelling)
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Open AccessArticle A Simulation Study of Global Evapotranspiration Components Using the Community Land Model
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 178; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050178
Received: 6 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
The Qian atmospheric forcing dataset is used to drive the Community Land Model, version 4.0 and 4.5 (CLM4 and CLM4.5) in off-line simulation tests. Based on flux network (FLUXNET) data and reanalysis data provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Climate
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The Qian atmospheric forcing dataset is used to drive the Community Land Model, version 4.0 and 4.5 (CLM4 and CLM4.5) in off-line simulation tests. Based on flux network (FLUXNET) data and reanalysis data provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), the simulation results of CLM4.5 on the global evaporation of intercepted water from the vegetation canopy (Ec), vegetation transpiration (Et), evaporation of soil (Es) and latent heat flux are evaluated. Subsequently, the improvement in the simulation results of CLM4.5 compared with CLM4.0 is tested and analyzed. The results show that the simulated spatial distribution of Ec, Et and latent heat flux in CLM4.5 are closer to the reanalysis data than Es. The simulated annual means of Et, Es and latent heat flux in CLM4.5 are larger than the reanalysis data, but Ec is smaller. The spatial distribution of the simulation bias of latent heat flux in CLM4.5 is mainly determined by the bias distribution of Es. There is a significant difference in the simulation of Et, Es and latent heat flux between CLM4.5 and CLM4.0. These differences are mainly present near the equator and in the middle and high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. In general, compared with CLM4.0, the simulation bias of Et, Es, and latent heat flux have been reduced in CLM4.5, and the simulated means are more consistent with the reanalysis data. Although there is a significant improvement in the simulation of the spatial distribution of Et and Es in CLM4.5 compared with CLM4.0, the ability of CLM4.5 to simulate the spatial distribution of global latent heat flux shows little improvement relative to CLM4.0. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosphere/Hydrosphere/Land - Atmosphere Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle Quantitative Evaluation of the Haines Index’s Ability to Predict Fire Growth Events
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050177
Received: 17 April 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 8 May 2018
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Abstract
The Haines Index is intended to provide information on how midtropospheric conditions could lead to large or erratic wildfires. Only a few studies have evaluated its performance and those are primarily single fire studies. This study looks at 47 fires that burned in
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The Haines Index is intended to provide information on how midtropospheric conditions could lead to large or erratic wildfires. Only a few studies have evaluated its performance and those are primarily single fire studies. This study looks at 47 fires that burned in the United States from 2004 to 2017, with sizes from 9000 ha up to 218,000 ha based on daily fire management reports. Using the 0-h analysis of the North American Model (NAM) 12 km grid, it examines the performance of the start-day Haines Index, as Haines (1988) originally discussed. It then examines performance of daily Haines Index values as an indicator of daily fire growth, using contingency tables and four statistical measures: true positive ratio, miss ratio, Peirce skill score, and bias. In addition to the original Haines Index, the index’s individual stability and moisture components are examined. The use of a positive trend in the index is often cited by operational forecasters, so the study also looks at how positive trend, or positive trend leading to an index of 6, perform. The Continuous Haines Index, a related measure, is also examined. Results show a positive relationship between start day index and peak fire daily growth or number of large growth events, but not final size or duration. The daily evaluation showed that, for a range of specified growth thresholds defining a growth event, the Continuous Haines Index scores were more favorable than the original Haines Index scores, and the latter were more favorable than the use of index trends. The maximum Peirce skill score obtained for these data was 0.22, when a Continuous Haines Index of 8.7 or more was used to indicate a growth event, 1000 ha/day or more would occur. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fire and the Atmosphere)
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Open AccessArticle Atmospheric Processes in the South Baikal Basin and Their Role in Relief Formation
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050176
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
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Climatic conditions and the solar and circulation features in the Lake Baikal basin are analyzed. The relationship between the heat balance and surface temperature of slopes is shown, taking into account each features’ physical state. The dependence of the heat balance values and
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Climatic conditions and the solar and circulation features in the Lake Baikal basin are analyzed. The relationship between the heat balance and surface temperature of slopes is shown, taking into account each features’ physical state. The dependence of the heat balance values and the underlying surface temperature were revealed. The quantitative material allowed us to reveal regional patterns of geomorphological regimes, seasonal rhythm, and the dynamics of processes. In Cisbaikalia, within the denudation cycle, semi-humid states under water erosion and aeolian processes of moderate intensity predominate. The semi-arid state manifests itself under decreasing humidification. In these years, the probability of extreme manifestations of aeolian processes is high. The humid states occur in 1% of cases, primarily in extremely wet years, when fluvial processes are dramatically activated. In Cisbaikalia, climate warming and an increase in mean annual temperature have been observed in recent years. Depending on the moisture amplitude and heat availability, the intensity and direction of water erosion and aeolian processes is changing now. The dynamics of relief-forming processes cause an increase in loose substance in the lake and the exacerbation of the ecological situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Processes over Complex Terrain)
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Open AccessArticle Global Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations Simulated by GEOS-Chem: Comparison with GOSAT, Carbon Tracker and Ground-Based Measurements
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050175
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
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Abstract
Accurate quantification of the distribution and variability of atmospheric CO2 is crucial for a better understanding of global carbon cycle characteristics and climate change. Model simulation and observations are only two ways to globally estimate CO2 concentrations and fluxes. However, large
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Accurate quantification of the distribution and variability of atmospheric CO2 is crucial for a better understanding of global carbon cycle characteristics and climate change. Model simulation and observations are only two ways to globally estimate CO2 concentrations and fluxes. However, large uncertainties still exist. Therefore, quantifying the differences between model and observations is rather helpful for reducing their uncertainties and further improving model estimations of global CO2 sources and sinks. In this paper, the GEOS-Chem model was selected to simulate CO2 concentration and then compared with the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) observations, CarbonTracker (CT) and the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) measurements during 2009–2011 for quantitatively evaluating the uncertainties of CO2 simulation. The results revealed that the CO2 simulated from GEOS-Chem is in good agreement with other CO2 data sources, but some discrepancies exist including: (1) compared with GOSAT retrievals, modeled XCO2 from GEOS-Chem is somewhat overestimated, with 0.78 ppm on average; (2) compared with CT, the simulated XCO2 from GEOS-Chem is slightly underestimated at most regions, although their time series and correlation show pretty good consistency; (3) compared with the TCCON sites, modeled XCO2 is also underestimated within 1 ppm at most sites, except at Garmisch, Karlsruhe, Sodankylä and Ny-Ålesund. Overall, the results demonstrate that the modeled XCO2 is underestimated on average, however, obviously overestimated XCO2 from GEOS-Chem were found at high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere in summer. These results are helpful for understanding the model uncertainties as well as to further improve the CO2 estimation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Greenhouse Gases: Measurements and Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle Variability and Trends in Global Precipitable Water Vapor Retrieved from COSMIC Radio Occultation and Radiosonde Observations
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050174
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
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The spatial and temporal variations in global precipitable water (PW) derived from satellite and radiosonde observations during 2007–2016 are compared and analyzed in this study. The two observations show a good agreement in global spatiotemporal distributions and trends in PW. Generally, PW shows
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The spatial and temporal variations in global precipitable water (PW) derived from satellite and radiosonde observations during 2007–2016 are compared and analyzed in this study. The two observations show a good agreement in global spatiotemporal distributions and trends in PW. Generally, PW shows apparent latitudinal and seasonal variations. The averaged PW peaks in the tropical region, with the value of 40 mm or higher, and then decreases apparently to the polar region, less than 10 mm. PWs are larger in warm seasons and smaller in cold seasons for both hemispheres. It is indicated that the spatial and seasonal variabilities of PW are highly related to water vapor source and surface temperature as a direct heat source. The global PWs have changed in the past 60 years and, to some extent, strongly in the recent 10 years. It is found that PWs at Australian stations present statistically significant decreasing trends in last 60 years, while PWs at most stations in the United States have increasing trends. According to the global observations, it is found that PWs show uptrends over land and downtrends over the ocean in last 10 years, implying the widespread increase of water vapor in the troposphere over land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle Lidar Measurements of Dust Aerosols during Three Field Campaigns in 2010, 2011 and 2012 over Northwestern China
Atmosphere 2018, 9(5), 173; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9050173
Received: 19 February 2018 / Revised: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 5 May 2018
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Abstract
Ground-based measurements were carried out during field campaigns in April–June of 2010, 2011 and 2012 over northwestern China at Minqin, the Semi-Arid Climate and Environment Observatory of Lanzhou University (SACOL) and Dunhuang. In this study, three dust cases were examined, and the statistical
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Ground-based measurements were carried out during field campaigns in April–June of 2010, 2011 and 2012 over northwestern China at Minqin, the Semi-Arid Climate and Environment Observatory of Lanzhou University (SACOL) and Dunhuang. In this study, three dust cases were examined, and the statistical results of dust occurrence, along with physical and optical properties, were analyzed. The results show that both lofted dust layers and near-surface dust layers were characterized by extinction coefficients of 0.25–1.05 km−1 and high particle depolarization ratios (PDRs) of 0.25–0.40 at 527 nm wavelength. During the three campaigns, the frequencies of dust occurrence retrieved from the lidar observations were all higher than 88%, and the highest frequency was in April. The vertical distributions revealed that the maximum height of dust layers typically reached 7.8–9 km or higher. The high intensity of dust layers mostly occurred within the planetary boundary layer (PBL). The monthly averaged PDRs decreased from April to June, which implies a dust load reduction. A comparison of the relationship between the aerosol optical depth at 500 nm (AOD500) and the Angstrom exponent at 440–870 nm (AE440–870) confirms that there is a more complex mixture of dust aerosols with other types of aerosols when the effects of human activities become significant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aerosol Optical Properties: Models, Methods & Measurements)
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