Atmosphere2014, 5(4), 775-787; doi:10.3390/atmos5040775 - published 28 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Urban forest parks play important roles in improving environments, protecting biodiversity and even public welfare. Aerosols, including total suspended particles (TSP) and particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5), were simultaneously collected in an urban forest park (Dafushan) at Guangzhou, southern China, from January 2012 to December 2013. The concentrations of 12 metals (Al, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Se, and Zn) in both TSP and PM2.5 were quantified using an inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer. The origins and possible sources of the studied metals in the PM2.5 and TSP were evaluated using the crustal enrichment factors and the principal component analysis, respectively. The results showed that Dafushan urban forest park was polluted by PM2.5 rather than by TSP. The PM2.5 and TSP in the forest park exhibited seasonal patterns with significantly higher contents in the dry season compared with the rainy season. The metals Al, Zn, Pb were the most abundant, while Hg was the lowest metals in the aerosols. The ratios of PM2.5/TSP ratio indicated that the metals were predominant in the finer particles (PM2.5). The crustal enrichment factors indicated that Cd, Cu, Mo, Pb, Se and Zn in the aerosols originated from anthropogenic sources, while Al and Mn were mainly of crustal origin. The principal component analysis implied that industrial activities, traffic-related emissions, and soil dust were the main possible sources of the metals in both PM2.5 and TSP in Dafushan forest park.
Atmosphere2014, 5(4), 755-774; doi:10.3390/atmos5040755 - published 21 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A recent re-evaluation of urban heat island (UHI) studies has suggested that the urban effect may be expressed more meaningfully as a difference between Local Climate Zones (LCZ), defined as areas with characteristic dimensions of between one and several kilometers that have distinct effects on climate at both micro-and local-scales (city streets to neighborhoods), rather than adopting the traditional method of comparing urban and rural air temperatures. This paper reports on a UHI study in Dublin (Ireland) which maps the urban area into LCZ and uses these as a basis for carrying out a UHI study. The LCZ map for Dublin is derived using a widely available land use/cover map as a basis. A small network of in-situ stations is deployed into different LCZ across Dublin and additional mobile temperature traverses carried out to examine the thermal characteristics of LCZ following mixed weather during a 1 week period in August 2010. The results show LCZ with high impervious/building coverage were on average >4 °C warmer at night than LCZ with high pervious/vegetated coverage during conditions conducive to strong UHI development. The distinction in mean LCZ nocturnal temperature allows for the generation of a heat map across the entire urban area.
Atmosphere2014, 5(4), 737-754; doi:10.3390/atmos5040737 - published 17 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Potential evapotranspiration (PET) is an important indicator of atmospheric evaporation demand and has been widely used to characterize hydrological change. However, sparse observations of pan evaporation (EP) prohibit the accurate characterization of the spatial and temporal patterns of PET over large spatial scales. In this study, we have estimated PET of China using the Penman-Monteith (PM) method driven by gridded reanalysis datasets to analyze the spatial and decadal variations of PET in China during 1982–2010. The results show that the estimated PET has decreased on average by 3.3 mm per year (p< 0.05) over China during 1982–1993, while PET began to increase since 1994 by 3.4 mm per year (p< 0.05). The spatial pattern of the linear trend in PET of China illustrates that a widely significant increasing trend in PET appears during 1982–2010 in Northwest China, Central China, Northeast China and South China while there are no obvious variations of PET in other regions. Our findings illustrate that incident solar radiation (Rs) is the largest contributor to the variation of PET in China, followed by vapor pressure deficit (VPD), air temperature (Tair) and wind speed (WS). However, WS is the primary factor controlling inter-annual variation of PET over Northwest China.
Atmosphere2014, 5(4), 720-736; doi:10.3390/atmos5040720 - published 15 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The state-of-the-art of atmospheric contaminant transport modeling provides accurate estimation of chemical concentrations. However, existing complex models, sophisticated in terms of process description and potentially highly accurate, may entail expensive setups and require very detailed input data. In contexts where detailed predictions are not needed (e.g., for regulatory risk assessment or life cycle impact assessment of chemicals), simple models allowing quick evaluation of contaminants may be preferable. The goal of this paper is to illustrate and critically discuss the use of a simple equation proposed by Pistocchi and Galmarini (2010), which can be implemented through basic GIS functions, to predict atmospheric concentrations of lindane (γ-HCH) in Europe from both local and remote sources. Concentrations were computed for 1995 and 2005 assuming different modes of use of lindane and consequently different spatial patterns of emissions. Results were compared with those from the well-established MSCE-POP model (2005) developed within EMEP (European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme), and with available monitoring data, showing acceptable correspondence in terms of the orders of magnitude and spatial distribution of concentrations, especially when the background effect of emissions from extracontinental sources, estimated using the same equation, is added to European emissions.
Atmosphere2014, 5(4), 699-719; doi:10.3390/atmos5040699 - published 15 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A severe haze episode that occurred in Wuhan, central China, from 6–14 June 2012 was investigated using ground-based and satellite-derived observations, from which the optical properties and vertical distribution of the aerosols were obtained. The mass concentrations of PM2.5 and black carbon (BC) were 9.9 (332.79 versus 33.66 μg∙m−3) and 3.2 times (9.67 versus 2.99 μg∙m−3) greater, respectively, on haze days than during normal weather. The large aerosol loading contributed to the high values of the scattering (2.32 km−1) and absorption coefficients (0.086 km−1). Particle size became larger, consistent with the reduced scattering Ångström exponent. The high asymmetry parameter (0.65) and single scattering albedo (SSA) (0.97) observed in the haze, which coincided with the relatively low backscatter ratio (0.11) and up-scatter fraction (0.23), were related to the increased particle size, and could have had a heating effect on the atmosphere. Aerosols accumulated primarily below 3 km and according to CALIPSO, were regular in their shapes. At the surface, the aerosol extinction coefficient detected by satellite remained at ~1 km−1, very close to the ground-based observations. Aerosol optical properties measured at this downtown site could help further the understanding of the effects of aerosols on the air quality, city environment, and radiation balance.
Atmosphere2014, 5(3), 686-698; doi:10.3390/atmos5030686 - published 24 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.