Open AccessReview
Insights from a Chronology of the Development of Atmospheric Composition Monitoring Networks Since the 1800s
Atmosphere 2016, 7(12), 160; doi:10.3390/atmos7120160 -
Abstract
Ground-based monitoring networks for evaluating atmospheric composition relevant to impacts on human health and the environment now exist worldwide (according to the United Nations Environment Programme, 48% of countries have an air quality monitoring system). Of course, this has not always been the
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Ground-based monitoring networks for evaluating atmospheric composition relevant to impacts on human health and the environment now exist worldwide (according to the United Nations Environment Programme, 48% of countries have an air quality monitoring system). Of course, this has not always been the case. Here, we analyse for the first time the key developments in network coordination and standardisation over the last 150 years that underpin the current implementations of city-scale to global monitoring networks for atmospheric composition. Examples include improvements in respect of site type and site representativeness, measurement methods, quality assurance, and data archiving. From the 1950s, these developments have progressed through two distinct types of network: those designed for the protection of human health, and those designed to increase scientific understanding of atmospheric composition and its interaction with the terrestrial environment. The step changes in network coordination and standardisation have increased confidence in the comparability of measurements made at different sites. Acknowledged limitations in the current state of monitoring networks include a sole focus on compliance monitoring. In the context of the unprecedented volumes of atmospheric composition data now being collected, we suggest the next developments in network standardisation should include more integrated analyses of monitor and other relevant data within “chemical climatology” frameworks that seek to more directly link the impacts, state and drivers of atmospheric composition. These approaches would also enhance the role of monitoring networks in the development and evaluation of air pollution mitigation strategies. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Systematic Review of Global Desert Dust and Associated Human Health Effects
Atmosphere 2016, 7(12), 158; doi:10.3390/atmos7120158 -
Abstract
Dust storms and sandy dust events originating in arid and semi-arid areas can transport particulate material, pollutants, and potential transport long distances from their sources. Exposure to desert dust particles is generally acknowledged to endanger human health. However, most studies have examined anthropogenic
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Dust storms and sandy dust events originating in arid and semi-arid areas can transport particulate material, pollutants, and potential transport long distances from their sources. Exposure to desert dust particles is generally acknowledged to endanger human health. However, most studies have examined anthropogenic particulate sources, with few studies considering contributions from natural desert dust. A systematic literature review was undertaken using the ISI Web of Knowledge and PubMed databases with the objective of identifying all studies presenting results on the potential health impact from desert dust particles across the world. This review reveals an imbalance between the areas most exposed to dust and the areas most studied in terms of health effects. Among the human health effects of dust storms are mortality and morbidity, arising from respiratory system, circulatory system, and other diseases. We summarize the quantitative results of current scientific health research and possible pathological mechanisms, and describe some of the many challenges related to understanding health effects from exposures to desert dust particles. Overall, for respiratory and circulatory mortality, both positive and negative associations have been reported for PM10 of desert dust, but only a positive relationship was reported between PM2.5–10 and mortality, and a positive relationship was also reported between PM2.5 and human mortality. Future pathological studies should continue to focus on those mechanisms causing the most harmful effect of desert dust on respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. More attention should also be paid to the association between desert dust and the morbidity of other diseases, such as those affecting the reproductive system and nervous system. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Feasibility Study of Rain Rate Monitoring from Polarimetric GNSS Propagation Parameters
Atmosphere 2016, 7(12), 159; doi:10.3390/atmos7120159 -
Abstract
In this work, the feasibility of estimating rain rate based on polarimetric Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) signals is explored in theory. After analyzing the cause of polarimetric signals, three physical-mathematical relation models between co-polar phase shift (KHH, KVV
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In this work, the feasibility of estimating rain rate based on polarimetric Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) signals is explored in theory. After analyzing the cause of polarimetric signals, three physical-mathematical relation models between co-polar phase shift (KHH, KVV), specific differential phase shift (KDP), and rain rate (R) are respectively investigated. These relation models are simulated based on four different empirical equations of nonspherical raindrops and simulated Gamma raindrop size distribution. They are also respectively analyzed based on realistic Gamma raindrop size distribution and maximum diameter of raindrops under three different rain types: stratiform rain, cumuliform rain, and mixed clouds rain. The sensitivity of phase shift with respect to some main influencing factors, such as shape of raindrops, frequency, as well as elevation angle, is also discussed, respectively. The numerical results in this study show that the results by scattering algorithms T-matrix are consistent with those from Rayleigh Scattering Approximation. It reveals that they all have the possibility to estimate rain rate using the KHH-R, KVV-R or KDP-R relation. It can also be found that the three models are all affected by shape of raindrops and frequency, while the elevation angle has no effect on KHH-R. Finally, higher frequency L1 or B1 and lower elevation angle are recommended and microscopic characteristics of raindrops, such as shape and size distribution, are deemed to be important and required for further consideration in future experiments. Since phase shift is not affected by attenuation and not biased by ground clutter cancellers, this method has considerable potential in precipitation monitoring, which provides new opportunities for atmospheric research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sensitive versus Rough Dependence under Initial Conditions in Atmospheric Flow Regimes
Atmosphere 2016, 7(12), 157; doi:10.3390/atmos7120157 -
Abstract
In this work, we will identify the existence of “rough dependence on initial conditions” in atmospheric phenomena, a concept which is a problem for weather analysis and forecasting. Typically, two initially similar atmospheric states will diverge slowly over time such that forecasting the
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In this work, we will identify the existence of “rough dependence on initial conditions” in atmospheric phenomena, a concept which is a problem for weather analysis and forecasting. Typically, two initially similar atmospheric states will diverge slowly over time such that forecasting the weather using the Navier-Stokes equations is useless after some characteristic time scale. With rough dependence, two initial states diverge very quickly, implying forecasting may be impossible. Using previous research in atmospheric science, rough dependence is characterized by using quantities that can be calculated using atmospheric data and quantities. Rough dependence will be tested for and identified in atmospheric phenomena at different time scales using case studies. Data were provided for this project by archives outside the University of Missouri (MU) and by using the MU RADAR at the South Farm experiment station. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bias Correction for Retrieval of Atmospheric Parameters from the Microwave Humidity and Temperature Sounder Onboard the Fengyun-3C Satellite
Atmosphere 2016, 7(12), 156; doi:10.3390/atmos7120156 -
Abstract
The microwave humidity and temperature sounder (MWHTS) on the Fengyun (FY)-3C satellite measures the outgoing radiance from the Earth’s surface and atmospheric constituents. MWHTS, which makes measurements in the isolated oxygen absorption line near 118 GHz and the vicinity of the strong water
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The microwave humidity and temperature sounder (MWHTS) on the Fengyun (FY)-3C satellite measures the outgoing radiance from the Earth’s surface and atmospheric constituents. MWHTS, which makes measurements in the isolated oxygen absorption line near 118 GHz and the vicinity of the strong water vapor absorption line around 183 GHz, can provide fine vertical distribution structures of both atmospheric humidity and temperature. However, in order to obtain the accurate soundings of humidity and temperature by physical retrieval methods, the bias between the observed and simulated radiance calculated by the radiative transfer model from the background or first guess profiles must be corrected. In this study, two bias correction methods are developed through the correlation analysis between MWHTS measurements and air mass identified by the first guess profiles of the physical inversion; one is the linear regression correction (LRC), and the other is the neural network correction (NNC), representing the linear and nonlinear relationships between MWHTS measurements and air mass, respectively. The correction methods have been applied to MWHTS observed brightness temperatures over the geographic area (180° W–180° E, 60° S–60° N). The corrected results are evaluated by the probability density function of the differences between corrected observations and simulated values and the root mean square errors (RMSE) with respect to simulated observations. The numerical results show that the NNC method has better performance, especially in MWHTS Channels 1 and 7–9, whose peak weight function heights are close to the surface. In order to assess the effects of bias correction methods proposed in this study on the retrieval accuracy, a one-dimensional variational system was built and applied to the MWHTS brightness temperatures to estimate the atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles. The retrieval results also show that NNC has better performance. An indication of the stability and robustness of the NNC method is given, which suggests that the NNC method has promising application perspectives in the physical retrieval. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bidimensional and Multidimensional Principal Component Analysis in Long Term Atmospheric Monitoring
Atmosphere 2016, 7(12), 155; doi:10.3390/atmos7120155 -
Abstract
Atmospheric monitoring produces huge amounts of data. Univariate and bivariate statistics are widely used to investigate variations in the parameters. To summarize information graphs are usually used in the form of histograms or tendency profiles (e.g., variable concentration vs. time), as well as
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Atmospheric monitoring produces huge amounts of data. Univariate and bivariate statistics are widely used to investigate variations in the parameters. To summarize information graphs are usually used in the form of histograms or tendency profiles (e.g., variable concentration vs. time), as well as bidimensional plots where two-variable correlations are considered. However, when dealing with big data sets at least two problems arise: a great quantity of numbers (statistics) and graphs are produced, and only two-variable interactions are often considered. The aim of this article is to show how the use of multivariate statistics helps in handling atmospheric data sets. Multivariate modeling considers all the variables simultaneously and returns the main results as bidimensional graphs that are easy-to-read. Principal Component Analysis (PCA; the most known multivariate method) and multiway-PCA (Tucker3) are compared from methodological and interpretative points of view. The article demonstrates the ability to emphasize different information depending on the data handling performed. The results and benefits achieved using a more complex model that allows for the simultaneous consideration of the entire variability of the system are compared with the results provided by the simpler but better-known model. Atmospheric monitoring (SO2, NOx, NO2, NO, and O3) data from the Lake Como Area (Italy) since 1992 to 2007 were chosen for consideration for the case study. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cloud Properties under Different Synoptic Circulations: Comparison of Radiosonde and Ground-Based Active Remote Sensing Measurements
Atmosphere 2016, 7(12), 154; doi:10.3390/atmos7120154 -
Abstract
In this study, long-term (10 years) radiosonde-based cloud data are compared with the ground-based active remote sensing product under six prevailing large-scale synoptic patterns, i.e., cyclonic center (CC), weak pressure pattern (WP), the southeast bottom of cyclonic center (CB), cold front (CF), anticyclone
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In this study, long-term (10 years) radiosonde-based cloud data are compared with the ground-based active remote sensing product under six prevailing large-scale synoptic patterns, i.e., cyclonic center (CC), weak pressure pattern (WP), the southeast bottom of cyclonic center (CB), cold front (CF), anticyclone edge (AE) and anticyclone center (AC) over the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site. The synoptic patterns are generated by applying the self-organizing map weather classification method to the daily National Centers for Environmental Protection mean sea level pressure records from the North American Regional Reanalysis. It reveals that the large-scale synoptic circulations can strongly influence the regional cloud formation, and thereby have impact on the consistency of cloud retrievals from the radiosonde and ground-based cloud product. The total cloud cover at the SGP site is characterized by the least in AC and the most in CF. The minimum and maximum differences between the two cloud methods are 10.3% for CC and 13.3% for WP. Compared to the synoptic patterns characterized by scattered cloudy and clear skies (AE and AC), the agreement of collocated cloud boundaries between the two cloud approaches tends to be better under the synoptic patterns dominated by overcast and cloudy skies (CC, WP and CB). The rainy and windy weather conditions in CF synoptic pattern influence the consistency of the two cloud retrieval methods associated with the limited capabilities inherent to the instruments. The cloud thickness distribution from the two cloud datasets compares favorably with each other in all synoptic patterns, with relative discrepancy of ≤0.3 km. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Seasonal Variations and Sources of 17 Aerosol Metal Elements in Suburban Nanjing, China
Atmosphere 2016, 7(12), 153; doi:10.3390/atmos7120153 -
Abstract
In this work, the seasonal variations and sources of trace metal elements in atmospheric fine aerosols (PM2.5) were investigated for a year-long field campaign from July 2012 to June 2013, conducted in suburban Nanjing, eastern China, at a site adjacent to
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In this work, the seasonal variations and sources of trace metal elements in atmospheric fine aerosols (PM2.5) were investigated for a year-long field campaign from July 2012 to June 2013, conducted in suburban Nanjing, eastern China, at a site adjacent to an industry zone. The PM2.5 samples collected across four seasons were analyzed for 17 metal elements, namely, Sodium (Na), Magnesium (Mg), Aluminum (Al), Vanadium (V), Chromium (Cr), Manganese (Mn), Nickel (Ni), Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Arsenic (As), Selenium (Se), Strontium (Sr), Cadmium (Cd), Barium (Ba), Lead (Pb), Molybdenum (Mo), and Antimony (Sb) using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). We found that the total concentration of all 17 metal elements was 1.23 μg/m3, on average accounting for 1.0% of the total PM2.5 mass. For our data, mass concentrations of Al, Cd, Ba were highest in summer, Mg, Cu, Zn, Se, Pb peaked in autumn, Cr, Mn, Ni, As, Sr, Sb increased significantly in winter, while the concentrations of Na, V, Mo were at their highest levels in spring. Air mass back trajectory analysis suggested that air parcels that arrived at the site originated from four dominant regions (Japan, yellow sea and bohai; Southeast of China, the Pacific Ocean; Southwest of Jiangsu and Anhui province; Northern Asia inland and Mongolia region), in particular, the one from Northern Asia inland and Mongolia contained the highest concentrations of As, Sb, Sr, and was predominant in winter. Positive matrix factorization (PMF) analyses revealed that the industrial emission is the largest contributor (34%) of the observed metal elements, followed by traffic (25%), soil dust (19%), coal combustion (10%), incineration of electronic waste (9%), and a minor unknown source (3%). In addition, we have also investigated the morphology and composition of particles by using the scanning electron microscopy (SEM)/energy-dispersive spectrometry (EDS) techniques, and identified particles from coal burning sources, etc., similar to the PMF results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On the Momentum Transported by the Radiation Field of a Long Transient Dipole and Time Energy Uncertainty Principle
Atmosphere 2016, 7(11), 151; doi:10.3390/atmos7110151 -
Abstract
The paper describes the net momentum transported by the transient electromagnetic radiation field of a long transient dipole in free space. In the dipole a current is initiated at one end and propagates towards the other end where it is absorbed. The results
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The paper describes the net momentum transported by the transient electromagnetic radiation field of a long transient dipole in free space. In the dipole a current is initiated at one end and propagates towards the other end where it is absorbed. The results show that the net momentum transported by the radiation is directed along the axis of the dipole where the currents are propagating. In general, the net momentum P transported by the electromagnetic radiation of the dipole is less than the quantity U/c, where U is the total energy radiated by the dipole and c is the speed of light in free space. In the case of a Hertzian dipole, the net momentum transported by the radiation field is zero because of the spatial symmetry of the radiation field. As the effective wavelength of the current decreases with respect to the length of the dipole (or the duration of the current decreases with respect to the travel time of the current along the dipole), the net momentum transported by the radiation field becomes closer and closer to U/c, and for effective wavelengths which are much shorter than the length of the dipole, PU/c. The results show that when the condition PU/c is satisfied, the radiated fields satisfy the condition ΔtΔUh/4π where Δt is the duration of the radiation, ΔU is the uncertainty in the dissipated energy and h is the Plank constant. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Satellite-Observed Transport of Dust to the East China Sea and the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre: Contribution of Dust to the Increase in Chlorophyll during Spring 2010
Atmosphere 2016, 7(11), 152; doi:10.3390/atmos7110152 -
Abstract
Multiple data sets were combined to investigate five dust storm events over East Asia in spring 2010 and their impacts on chlorophyll in the East China Sea (ECS) and the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG). Satellite-observed column aerosol images were able to show
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Multiple data sets were combined to investigate five dust storm events over East Asia in spring 2010 and their impacts on chlorophyll in the East China Sea (ECS) and the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG). Satellite-observed column aerosol images were able to show the spatial distribution of the transport of dust from the source regions to the two seas for some of the dust storm events. The CALIPSO satellite showed the vertical structure of dust aerosol for a greater number of dust storm events, including some weak events. This was confirmed by simulations of dust deposition and backward trajectories traced to dust source regions. The simulated dust deposition flux for five dust storms ranged from 13.0 to 145.6 mg·m−2·d−1 in the ECS and from 0.6 to 5.5 mg·m−2·d−1 in the NPSG, suggesting that the highest deposition was about one order of magnitude higher than the lowest. The estimated nutrients from dust showed that dust containing iron had the greatest effect on phytoplankton growth in both seas; the iron deposited by one dust storm event accounted for at least 5% of growth and satisfied the increase in demand required for chlorophyll a concentration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Stratospheric Volcanic Aerosols on Age-of-Air and Transport of Long-Lived Species
Atmosphere 2016, 7(11), 149; doi:10.3390/atmos7110149 -
Abstract
The radiative perturbation associated to stratospheric aerosols from major explosive volcanic eruptions may induce significant changes in stratospheric dynamics. The aerosol heating rates warm up the lower stratosphere and cause a westerly wind anomaly, with additional tropical upwelling. Large scale transport of stratospheric
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The radiative perturbation associated to stratospheric aerosols from major explosive volcanic eruptions may induce significant changes in stratospheric dynamics. The aerosol heating rates warm up the lower stratosphere and cause a westerly wind anomaly, with additional tropical upwelling. Large scale transport of stratospheric trace species may be perturbed as a consequence of this intensified Brewer–Dobson circulation. The radiatively forced changes of the stratospheric circulation during the first two years after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo (June 1991) may help explain the observed trend decline of long-lived greenhouse gases at surface stations (approximately −8 and −0.4 ppbv/year for CH4 and N2O, respectively). This decline is partly driven by the increased mid- to high-latitude downward flux at the tropopause and also by an increased isolation of the tropical pipe in the vertical layer near the tropopause, with reduced horizontal eddy mixing. Results from a climate-chemistry coupled model are shown for both long-lived trace species and the stratospheric age-of-air. The latter results to be younger by approximately 0.5 year at 30 hPa for 3–4 years after the June 1991 Pinatubo eruption, as a result of the volcanic aerosols radiative perturbation and is consistent with independent estimates based on long time series of in situ profile measurements of SF6 and CO2. Younger age of air is also calculated after Agung, El Chichón and Ruiz eruptions, as well as negative anomalies of the N2O growth rate at the extratropical tropopause layer. This type of analysis is made comparing the results of two ensembles of model simulations (1960–2005), one including stratospheric volcanic aerosols and their radiative interactions and a reference case where the volcanic aerosols do not interact with solar and planetary radiation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Patterns of Dekadal Rainfall Variation Over a Selected Region in Lake Victoria Basin, Uganda
Atmosphere 2016, 7(11), 150; doi:10.3390/atmos7110150 -
Abstract
Understanding variations in rainfall in tropical regions is important due to its impacts on water resources, health and agriculture. This study assessed the dekadal rainfall patterns and rain days to determine intra-seasonal rainfall variability during the March–May season using the Mann–Kendall (M
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Understanding variations in rainfall in tropical regions is important due to its impacts on water resources, health and agriculture. This study assessed the dekadal rainfall patterns and rain days to determine intra-seasonal rainfall variability during the March–May season using the Mann–Kendall (MK) trend test and simple linear regression (SLR) over the period 2000–2015. Results showed an increasing trend of both dekadal rainfall amount and rain days (third and seventh dekads). The light rain days (SLR = 0.181; MK = 0.350) and wet days (SLR = 0.092; MK = 0.118) also depict an increasing trend. The rate of increase of light rain days and wet days during the third dekad (light rain days: SLR = 0.020; MK = 0.279 and wet days: SLR = 0.146; MK = 0.376) was slightly greater than during the seventh dekad (light rain days: SLR = 0.014; MK = 0.018 and wet days: SLR = 0.061; MK = 0.315) dekad. Seventy-four percent accounted for 2–4 consecutive dry days, but no significant trend was detected. The extreme rainfall was increasing over the third (MK = 0.363) and seventh (MK = 0.429) dekads. The rainfall amount and rain days were highly correlated (r: 0.43–0.72). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Methodology to Reduce the Computational Effort in the Evaluation of the Lightning Performance of Distribution Networks
Atmosphere 2016, 7(11), 147; doi:10.3390/atmos7110147 -
Abstract
The estimation of the lightning performance of a power distribution network is of great importance to design its protection system against lightning. An accurate evaluation of the number of lightning events that can create dangerous overvoltages requires a huge computational effort, as it
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The estimation of the lightning performance of a power distribution network is of great importance to design its protection system against lightning. An accurate evaluation of the number of lightning events that can create dangerous overvoltages requires a huge computational effort, as it implies the adoption of a Monte Carlo procedure. Such a procedure consists of generating many different random lightning events and calculating the corresponding overvoltages. The paper proposes a methodology to deal with the problem in two computationally efficient ways: (i) finding out the minimum number of Monte Carlo runs that lead to reliable results; and (ii) setting up a procedure that bypasses the lightning field-to-line coupling problem for each Monte Carlo run. The proposed approach is shown to provide results consistent with existing approaches while exhibiting superior Central Processing Unit (CPU) time performances. Full article
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Open AccessShort Note
Short-Term Effects of Drying and Rewetting on CO2 and CH4 Emissions from High-Altitude Peatlands on the Tibetan Plateau
Atmosphere 2016, 7(11), 148; doi:10.3390/atmos7110148 -
Abstract
This study used mesocosms to examine the effects of alternate drying and rewetting on CO2 and CH4 emissions from high-altitude peatlands on the Tibetan Plateau. The drying and rewetting experiment conducted in this study included three phases: a 10-day predrying phase,
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This study used mesocosms to examine the effects of alternate drying and rewetting on CO2 and CH4 emissions from high-altitude peatlands on the Tibetan Plateau. The drying and rewetting experiment conducted in this study included three phases: a 10-day predrying phase, a 32-day drying phase, and an 18-day rewetting phase. During the experiment, the water table varied between 0 and 50 cm with respect to the reference peat column where the water table stayed constant at 0 cm. The study found that drying and rewetting had no significant effect on CO2 emissions from the peatland, while CH4 emissions decreased. The cumulative CH4 emissions in the control group was 2.1 times higher than in the drying and rewetting treatment over the study period. Moreover, CO2 and CH4 emissions were positively correlated with soil temperature, and the drying process increased the goodness of fit of the regression models predicting the relationships between CO2 and CH4 emissions and temperature. These results indicate that small-scale water table variation has a limited effect on CO2 emissions, but might reduce CH4 emissions in high-altitude peatlands on the Tibetan Plateau. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characteristics of PM10 Chemical Source Profiles for Geological Dust from the South-West Region of China
Atmosphere 2016, 7(11), 146; doi:10.3390/atmos7110146 -
Abstract
Ninety-six particulate matter (PM10) chemical source profiles for geological sources in typical cities of southwest China were acquired from Source Profile Shared Service in China. Twenty-six elements (Na, Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu,
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Ninety-six particulate matter (PM10) chemical source profiles for geological sources in typical cities of southwest China were acquired from Source Profile Shared Service in China. Twenty-six elements (Na, Mg, Al, Si, K, Ca, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Sr, Cd, Sn, Sb, Ba, Be, Tl and Pb), nine ions (F, Cl, SO42−, NO3, Na+, NH4+, K+, Mg2+ and Ca2+), and carbon-containing species (organic carbon and elemental carbon) were determined to construct these profiles. Individual source profiles were averaged and compared to quantify similarities and differences in chemical abundances using the profile-compositing method. Overall, the major components of PM10 in geological sources were crustal minerals and undefined fraction. Different chemical species could be used as tracers for various types of geological dust in the region that resulted from different anthropogenic influence. For example, elemental carbon, V and Zn could be used as tracers for urban paved road dust; Al, Si, K+ and NH4+ for agricultural soil; Al and Si for natural soil; and SO42− for urban resuspended dust. The enrichment factor analysis showed that Cu, Se, Sr and Ba were highly enriched by human activities in geological dust samples from south-west China. Elemental ratios were taken to highlight the features of geological dust from south-west China by comparing with northern urban fugitive dust, loess and desert samples. Low Si/Al and Fe/Al ratios can be used as markers to trace geological sources from southwestern China. High Pb/Al and Zn/Al ratios observed in urban areas demonstrated that urban geological dust was influenced seriously by non-crustal sources. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Optimized WRF Precipitation Forecast over a Complex Topography Region during Flood Season
Atmosphere 2016, 7(11), 145; doi:10.3390/atmos7110145 -
Abstract
In recent years, the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model has been utilized to generate quantitative precipitation forecasts with higher spatial and temporal resolutions. However, factors including horizontal resolution, domain size, and the physical parameterization scheme have a strong impact on the dynamic
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In recent years, the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model has been utilized to generate quantitative precipitation forecasts with higher spatial and temporal resolutions. However, factors including horizontal resolution, domain size, and the physical parameterization scheme have a strong impact on the dynamic downscaling ability of the WRF model. In this study, the influence of these factors has been analyzed in precipitation forecasting for the Xijiang Basin, southern China—a region with complex topography. The results indicate that higher horizontal resolutions always result in higher Critical Success Indexes (CSI), but higher biases as well. Meanwhile, the precipitation forecast skills are also influenced by the combination of microphysics parameterization scheme and cumulus convective parameterization scheme. On the basis of these results, an optimized configuration of the WRF model is built in which the horizontal resolution is 10 km, the microphysics parameterization is the Lin scheme, and the cumulus convective parameterization is the Betts–Miller–Janjic scheme. This configuration is then evaluated by simulating the daily weather during the 2013–2014 flood season. The high Critical Success Index scores and low biases at various thresholds and lead times confirm the high accuracy of the optimized WRF model configuration for Xijiang Basin. However, the performance of the WRF model varies from different sub-basins due to the complexity of the mesoscale convective system (MCS) over this region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Freezing Drizzle, Sleet and Snow on Microphysical Characteristics of Supercooled Fog during the Icing Process in a Mountainous Area
Atmosphere 2016, 7(11), 143; doi:10.3390/atmos7110143 -
Abstract
Both the similar and different effects of freezing drizzle, sleet and snow on microphysical properties of supercooled fog were analyzed for fourteen events during a comprehensive wire icing, fog, and precipitation observation experiment conducted at Enshi radar station (30°17′N, 109°16′E; 1722 m a.s.l.)
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Both the similar and different effects of freezing drizzle, sleet and snow on microphysical properties of supercooled fog were analyzed for fourteen events during a comprehensive wire icing, fog, and precipitation observation experiment conducted at Enshi radar station (30°17′N, 109°16′E; 1722 m a.s.l.) on a hilltop in Shibanling, Hubei, China. Liquid precipitation is in a relatively stable form in mountainous areas. Short-term precipitation (1–3 h) is dominant with temperature below 0 °C. The wet scavenging effect of freezing drizzle on small fog droplets with a size range less than 6–12 μm is weak but is stronger for fog droplets with a larger size, which is opposite to the effects of solid precipitation, broadening the fog droplet spectra significantly. As the fog droplet diameter increases, the distributions of droplet spectra change from leptokurtosis to platykurtosis and from positive skewness to negative skewness. Occurrence of freezing drizzle would improve the positive correlation of N-r in dissipation and oscillation periods, resulting in the N-r relationship having a weak negative correlation in the maturity period, and resulting in the transition of the N-L and N-r relationships into positive correlations in the development period. Meanwhile, the emergence of solid precipitation particles would result in negative values for the correlation coefficients of N-L and N-r. The change in relationships among the microphysical properties was caused by the occurrence of different phase precipitation, showing the influence on the main microphysical mechanisms of supercooled fog. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Removal of Low-Molecular Weight Aldehydes by Selected Houseplants under Different Light Intensities and CO2 Concentrations
Atmosphere 2016, 7(11), 144; doi:10.3390/atmos7110144 -
Abstract
The removal of five low-molecular weight aldehydes by two houseplants (Schefflera octophylla (Lour.) Harms and Chamaedorea elegans) were investigated in a laboratory simulation environment with short-term exposure to different low light intensities and CO2 concentrations. Under normal circumstances, the C
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The removal of five low-molecular weight aldehydes by two houseplants (Schefflera octophylla (Lour.) Harms and Chamaedorea elegans) were investigated in a laboratory simulation environment with short-term exposure to different low light intensities and CO2 concentrations. Under normal circumstances, the C1–C5 aldehyde removal rates of Schefflera octophylla (Lour.) Harms and Chamaedorea elegans (Lour.) Harms ranged from 0.311 μmol/m2/h for valeraldehyde to 0.677 μmol/m2/h for formaldehyde, and 0.526 μmol/m2/h for propionaldehyde to 1.440 μmol/m2/h for formaldehyde, respectively. However, when the light intensities varied from 0 to 600 lx, a significant correlation between the aldehyde removal rate and the light intensity was found. Moreover, the CO2 experiments showed that the total aldehyde removal rates of Schefflera octophylla (Lour.) Harms and Chamaedorea elegans (Lour.) Harms decreased 32.0% and 43.2%, respectively, with increasing CO2 concentrations from 350 ppmv to 1400 ppmv. This might be explained by the fact that the excessive CO2 concentration decreased the stomatal conductance which limited the carbonyl uptake from the stomata. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bacterial and Fungal Aerosols in Rural Nursery Schools in Southern Poland
Atmosphere 2016, 7(11), 142; doi:10.3390/atmos7110142 -
Abstract
This study aimed to characterize airborne bacteria and fungi populations present in rural nursery schools in the Upper Silesia region of Poland during winter and spring seasons through quantification and identification procedures. Bacterial and fungal concentration levels and size distributions were obtained by
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This study aimed to characterize airborne bacteria and fungi populations present in rural nursery schools in the Upper Silesia region of Poland during winter and spring seasons through quantification and identification procedures. Bacterial and fungal concentration levels and size distributions were obtained by the use of a six-stage Andersen cascade impactor. Results showed a wide range of indoor bioaerosols levels. The maximum level of viable bacterial aerosols indoors was about 2600 CFU·m−3, two to three times higher than the outdoor level. Fungi levels were lower, from 82 to 1549 CFU·m−3, with indoor concentrations comparable to or lower than outdoor concentrations. The most prevalent bacteria found indoors were Gram-positive cocci (>65%). Using the obtained data, the nursery school exposure dose (NSED) of bioaerosols was estimated for both the children and personnel of nursery schools. The highest dose for younger children was estimated to range: 327–706 CFU·kg−1 for bacterial aerosols and 31–225 CFU·kg−1 for fungal aerosols. These results suggest an elevated risk of adverse health effects on younger children. These findings may contribute to the promotion and implementation of preventative public health programs and the formulation of recommendations aimed at providing healthier school environments. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Particulate Matter Emission Factors for Biomass Combustion
Atmosphere 2016, 7(11), 141; doi:10.3390/atmos7110141 -
Abstract
Emission factor is a relative measure and can be used to estimate emissions from multiple sources of air pollution. For this reason, data from literature on particulate matter emission factors from different types of biomass were evaluated in this paper. Initially, the main
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Emission factor is a relative measure and can be used to estimate emissions from multiple sources of air pollution. For this reason, data from literature on particulate matter emission factors from different types of biomass were evaluated in this paper. Initially, the main sources of particles were described, as well as relevant concepts associated with particle measurements. In addition, articles about particle emissions were classified and described in relation to the sampling environment (open or closed) and type of burned biomass (agricultural, garden, forest, and dung). Based on this analysis, a set of emission factors was presented and discussed. Important observations were made about the main emission sources of particulate matter. Combustion of compacted biomass resulted in lower particulate emission factors. PM2.5 emissions were predominant in the burning of forest biomass. Emission factors were more elevated in laboratory burning, followed by burns in the field, residences and combustors. Full article
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