Abstract: Dust storms have impacts on both human and physical environments, associated with an increase in atmospheric particulate matter (PM) concentrations. Most studies on exposure to PM have focused on the outdoor air, while information on indoor pollution, is still lacking. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of desert dust events on PM concentrations in indoor environments. A total of over 200 real time measurements of PM were conducted in houses in the Negev Desert during dust storms. Indoor and outdoor PM concentrations were characterized, as well as the relationships between the two datasets. The findings indicated that atmospheric PM10 concentrations can increase from 20–120 μg·m−3 on non-dust days to more than 1500 μg·m−3 during dust events. Indoor concentrations can reach as high as 1000 μg·m−3. The calculated indoor/outdoor (I/O) PM ratio ranged from 0.79 for low-level storms to 0.58 during stronger events. Indoor PM concentrations were found to be dependent on the dust storm intensity (low, medium, high) and duration with a time lag. The information obtained in this study is critical for assessment of policy interventions to reduce exposure risk and health effects due dust storms.
Abstract: High quality data of surface radiation is a prerequisite for climate monitoring (Earth radiation budget) and solar energy applications. A very common method to derive solar surface irradiance is the Heliosat method, a one channel approach for the retrieval of the effective cloud albedo (CAL). This information is then used to derive the solar surface irradiance by application of a clear sky model. The results of this study are based on radiative transfer modelling, visual inspection of satellite images and evaluation of satellite based solar surface radiation with ground measurements. The respective results provide evidence that variations in Aerosol Optical depth induced by desert storms and biomass burning events lead to a significant increase of the effective cloud albedo, thus, that certain aerosol events are interpreted as clouds by the method. For the estimation of the solar surface radiation aerosol information is needed as input for the clear sky model. As the aerosol effect is partly considered by CAL, there is a need to modify external aerosol information for the use within the clear sky model, e.g., by truncation of high aerosol loads. Indeed, it has been shown that a modified version of the Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate (MACC) aerosol information leads to better accuracy of the retrieved solar surface radiation than the original MACC data for the investigated 9 sites and time period (2006–2009). Further, the assumption of a constant aerosol optical depth of 0.18 provides also better accuracies of the estimated solar surface radiation than the original MACC data for the investigated sites and period. It is concluded that this is partly due to the consideration of scattering aerosols by the effective cloud albedo.
Abstract: Seasonal characteristics of PM2.5, organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) were studied in Taiyuan from 2009 to 2010. PM2.5 samples were collected by pre-baked quartz filters with high-volume air sampler, and then OC and EC were analyzed by thermal/optical reflectance method. The annual average concentrations of PM2.5, OC and EC were 220.2, 37.4 and 19.6 µg/m3 respectively, which were higher than those in most regions in China. Total carbonaceous aerosol (TCA) accounted for more than one third of the total PM2.5 mass. The levels of PM2.5, OC and EC were the highest in winter, followed by spring, fall and summer. OC and EC were well correlated in summer compared with other seasons, indicating the presence of other additional sources such as biomass burning in fall, coal combustion for heating in winter and dust in spring. Higher OC/EC ratios in winter might be primarily attributed to the significant increase of direct emission of OC as a result of coal and biomass combustion, and also cooling effect of carbonaceous aerosols due to low temperature and stagnated atmospheric condition. These results showed that the pollution of carbonaceous particles in Taiyuan was serious, and might be an inducing factor of dust haze, especially in winter.
Abstract: Multiple wind retrieval algorithms are performed to retrieve wind fields, based on which radar reflectivity is extrapolated to implement nowcasting. The frequently used nowcasting algorithm COTREC (continuity of tracking radar echo by correlation), based on the reflectivity and wind retrieval algorithm GVAD (gradient velocity azimuth display), based on radial velocity are used. The wind fields retrieved by the two methods are taken as motion vectors to give a 60-min forecast of radar reflectivity. Comparison analysis on precipitation events shows that GVAD can be used in operational nowcasting as COTREC performs and for stable precipitation duration, COTREC gives better nowcasting results than GVAD, while, for evolving precipitation duration, GVAD gives better nowcasting results than COTREC.
Abstract: Burning incense indoors is a common behavior in Southeast Asia. In this investigation, needle trap samplers (NTS), a novel, green analytical technology is used for sampling gaseous combustion by-products from sandalwood incense coils. To extract indoor volatile organic compounds (VOCs), two NTS are prepared, one using 60–80 mesh and the other using 100–120 mesh divinylbenzene (DVB) particles packed in 22-gauge stainless steel needles. This work compares extraction efficiency of an NTS and that of a commercially available 100 μm polydimethylsiloxane solid phase microextration (PDMS-SPME) fiber sampler. Experimental results indicated that the 100–120 mesh DVB-NTS performed best among all samplers during a 1 h sampling period. The main extracted compounds were toluene, ethylbenzene, propane, chloromethane, 1,3-butadiene, methanol and dichloromethane. The potential use of small badge-sized or pen-sized NTS for the indoor atmosphere and occupational hygiene applications is addressed.
Abstract: The Brazilian region of Pantanal is one of the largest wetlands in the world, characterized by a wet season, in which it is covered by a shallow water layer, and a dry season, in which the water layer disappears. The aim of this study is the estimation of the main parameters (drag coefficients and surface scale lengths) involved in modelling the surface atmosphere transfer of momentum, heat and water vapor from the dataset of the second Interdisciplinary Pantanal Experiment (IPE2). The roughness parameters and the stability correction parameters have been estimated in the framework of the similarity theory for the vertical profiles of wind speed and temperature. Thus, a previously-developed methodology was adapted to the available dataset from the IPE2 five-level mast. The results are in reasonable agreement with the available literature. An attempt to obtain the scalar transfer parameters for water vapor has been performed by a Penman–Monteith approach using a two-component surface resistance in parallel between a vegetation and a bare soil part. The parameters of the model have been calibrated using a non-linear regression method. The scalar drag coefficient retrieved in this way is in agreement with that calculated by the flux-gradient approach for the sensible heat flux. Eventually, an evaluation of the vegetation contribution to the total vapor flux is given.