Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Particulate Matter (PM2.5 and PM10) Relating to a Coal Power Plant in the Boroughs of Springdale and Cheswick, PA
Atmosphere 2017, 8(10), 186; doi:10.3390/atmos8100186 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Ambient concentrations of both fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10 micron (PM10) were measured from 10 June 2015 to 13 July 2015 at three locations surrounding the Cheswick Power Plant, which
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Ambient concentrations of both fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10 micron (PM10) were measured from 10 June 2015 to 13 July 2015 at three locations surrounding the Cheswick Power Plant, which is located between the boroughs of Springdale and Cheswick, Pennsylvania. The average concentrations of PM10 observed during the periods were 20.5 ± 10.2 μg m−3 (Station 1), 16.1 ± 4.9 μg m−3 (Station 2) and 16.5 ± 7.1 μg m−3 (Station 3). The average concentrations of PM2.5 observed at the stations were 9.1 ± 5.1 μg m−3 (Station 1), 0.2 ± 0.4 μg m−3 (Station 2) and 11.6 ± 4.8 μg m−3 (Station 3). In addition, concentrations of PM2.5 measured by four Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection air quality monitors (all within a radius of 40 miles) were also analyzed. The observed average concentrations at these sites were 12.7 ± 6.9 μg m−3 (Beaver Falls), 11.2 ± 4.7 μg m−3 (Florence), 12.2 ± 5.3 μg m−3 (Greensburg) and 12.2 ± 5.5 μg m−3 (Washington). Elemental analysis for samples (blank – corrected) revealed the presence of metals that are present in coal (i.e., antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel and selenium). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Variability of Ozone Sensitivity to Anthropogenic Emissions with Biogenic Emissions Modeled by MEGAN and BEIS3
Atmosphere 2017, 8(10), 187; doi:10.3390/atmos8100187 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
In this study, we examined how modeled ozone concentrations respond to changes in anthropogenic emissions when different modeled emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are used. With biogenic emissions estimated by the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN)
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In this study, we examined how modeled ozone concentrations respond to changes in anthropogenic emissions when different modeled emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are used. With biogenic emissions estimated by the Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN) and the Biogenic Emissions Inventory System Version 3 (BEIS3), the Community Multi-scale Air Quality with the High-order Direct Decouple Method (CMAQ-HDDM) simulations were conducted to acquire sensitivity coefficients. For the case study, we chose 17–26 August 2007, when the Southern Korean peninsula experienced region-wide ozone standard exceedances. The results show that modeled local sensitivities of ozone to anthropogenic emissions in certain NOx-saturated places can differ significantly depending on the method used to estimate BVOC emission, with an opposite trend of ozone changes alongside NOx reductions often shown in model runs using MEGAN and BEIS3. Findings of increased ozone concentrations with one model and decreased ozone concentrations with the other model implies that estimating BVOCs emissions is an important element in predicting variability in ozone concentration and determining the responses of ozone concentrations to emission changes, a discovery that may lead to different policy decisions related to air quality improvement. Quantitatively, areas in the 3-km modeling domain that experienced daily maximum one-hour ozone concentrations greater than 120 ppb (MDA1O3) showed differences of over 20 ppb in MDA1O3 values between model runs with MEGAN and BEIS3. For selected monitoring sites, the maximum difference in relative daily maximum eight-hour ozone concentrations (MDA8O3) response between the methods to model BVOCs was 4.2 ppb in MDA8O3 when we adopted a method similar to the Relative Reduction Factor used by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Full article
Open AccessReview
Air Pollution and Public Health: A PRISMA-Compliant Systematic Review
Atmosphere 2017, 8(10), 183; doi:10.3390/atmos8100183 -
Abstract
(1) Background: Particulate matter increases the risk of respiratory, allergic and oncological diseases in both exposed workers and the general population due to its toxic compounds (e.g., PAHs, gases, heavy metals, microorganisms). The aim of this review is to show the results obtained
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(1) Background: Particulate matter increases the risk of respiratory, allergic and oncological diseases in both exposed workers and the general population due to its toxic compounds (e.g., PAHs, gases, heavy metals, microorganisms). The aim of this review is to show the results obtained by our department regarding air pollution’s contributions to health damage in both occupationally and non-occupationally exposed people. (2) Methods: This review was performed according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, searching articles on PubMed, using eligibility criteria, extracting data independently from reports to reduce bias and considering the accuracy of the statistical analyses. (3) Results: Of fifteen papers, only three respected the abovementioned criteria. A total of 453 cases (174 occupationally exposed and 279 non-occupationally exposed individuals) were included in the review. Qualitative analysis showed that among workers, occupational exposure to air pollution increased the risk of allergic and pulmonary diseases, whereas environmental exposure to PM increased heavy metal intake, the last of which was characterized by well-known carcinogenic effects. 4) Conclusion: The use of personal protective equipment, a meticulous health surveillance program and specific environmental protection policies are needed to protect public health from damages due to air pollution. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Empirical Subseasonal Prediction of Summer Rainfall Anomalies over the Middle and Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River Basin Based on Atmospheric Intraseasonal Oscillation
Atmosphere 2017, 8(10), 185; doi:10.3390/atmos8100185 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River basin (MLRYB) are prone to flooding because their orientation is parallel to the East Asian summer monsoon rain belt. Since the East Asian summer monsoon presents pronounced intraseasonal variability, the subseasonal prediction of summer
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The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River basin (MLRYB) are prone to flooding because their orientation is parallel to the East Asian summer monsoon rain belt. Since the East Asian summer monsoon presents pronounced intraseasonal variability, the subseasonal prediction of summer precipitation anomalies in the MLRYB region is an imperative demand nationwide. Based on rotated empirical orthogonal function analysis, 48 stations over the MLRYB with coherent intraseasonal (10–80-day) rainfall variability are identified. Power spectrum analysis of the MLRYB rainfall index, defined as the 48-station-averaged intraseasonal rainfall anomaly, presents two dominant modes with periods of 20–30 days and 40–60 days, respectively. Therefore, the intraseasonal (10–80-day) rainfall variability is divided into 10–30-day and 30–80-day components, and their predictability sources are detected separately. Spatial-temporal projection models (STPM) are then conducted using these predictability sources. The forecast skill during the period 2003–2010 indicates that the STPM is able to capture the 30–80-day rainfall anomalies 5–30 days in advance, but unable to reproduce the 10–30-day rainfall anomalies over MLRYB. The year-to-year fluctuation in forecast skill might be related to the tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies. High forecasting skill tends to appear after a strong El Niño or strong La Niña when the summer seasonal mean rainfall over the MLRYB is enhanced, whereas low skill is apparent after neutral conditions or a weak La Niña when the MLRYB summer seasonal mean rainfall is weakened. Given the feasibility of STPM, the application of this technique is recommended in the real-time operational forecasting of MLRYB rainfall anomalies during the summer flooding season. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Interpreting Mobile and Handheld Air Sensor Readings in Relation to Air Quality Standards and Health Effect Reference Values: Tackling the Challenges
Atmosphere 2017, 8(10), 182; doi:10.3390/atmos8100182 -
Abstract
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies face a number of challenges in interpreting and reconciling short-duration (seconds to minutes) readings from mobile and handheld air sensors with the longer duration averages (hours to days) associated with the National Ambient
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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies face a number of challenges in interpreting and reconciling short-duration (seconds to minutes) readings from mobile and handheld air sensors with the longer duration averages (hours to days) associated with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for the criteria pollutants-particulate matter (PM), ozone, carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur oxides. Similar issues are equally relevant to the hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) where chemical-specific health effect reference values are the best indicators of exposure limits; values which are often based on a lifetime of continuous exposure. A multi-agency, staff-level Air Sensors Health Group (ASHG) was convened in 2013. ASHG represents a multi-institutional collaboration of Federal agencies devoted to discovery and discussion of sensor technologies, interpretation of sensor data, defining the state of sensor-related science across each institution, and provides consultation on how sensors might effectively be used to meet a wide range of research and decision support needs. ASHG focuses on several fronts: improving the understanding of what hand-held sensor technologies may be able to deliver; communicating what hand-held sensor readings can provide to a number of audiences; the challenges of how to integrate data generated by multiple entities using new and unproven technologies; and defining best practices in communicating health-related messages to various audiences. This review summarizes the challenges, successes, and promising tools of those initial ASHG efforts and Federal agency progress on crafting similar products for use with other NAAQS pollutants and the HAPs. NOTE: The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessary represent the opinions of their Federal Agencies or the US Government. Mention of product names does not constitute endorsement. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of N Fertilizer Application on Soil N2O Emissions and CH4 Uptake: A Two-Year Study in an Apple Orchard in Eastern China
Atmosphere 2017, 8(10), 181; doi:10.3390/atmos8100181 -
Abstract
Land use changes from cropland to orchards in Eastern China have raised serious concerns about the regional nitrogen (N) cycle and greenhouse gas balance. We measured soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and methane (CH4) uptake using manual static chambers
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Land use changes from cropland to orchards in Eastern China have raised serious concerns about the regional nitrogen (N) cycle and greenhouse gas balance. We measured soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and methane (CH4) uptake using manual static chambers in an apple orchard. The primary aims were to assess the effect of N fertilizer application on gas fluxes and quantify the site-specific N2O emission factor (EFd). Field experiments were arranged in a randomized block design with three N input rates (0, 800 and 2600/2000 kg N ha−1 year−1). We found that orchard soils were a negligible CH4 sink (−1.1 to −0.4 kg C ha−1 year−1). Annual N2O emissions responded positively to N input rates, ranging from 34.1 to 60.3 kg N ha−1 year−1. EFd ranged from 1.00% to 1.65% with a mean of 1.34%. The extremely large background emissions of N2O (34.1–34.3 kg N ha−1 year−1) most likely originated from nitrate accumulation in the soil profile because of historical overuse of N fertilizer. We conclude that (1) site-specific EFd is suitable for assessing regional direct N2O emissions from upland orchards; and (2) conventional fertilization regimes must be avoided, and reduced N input rates are recommended in the study region. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Madden-Julian Oscillation: A Tool for Regional Seasonal Precipitation Outlooks?
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 180; doi:10.3390/atmos8090180 -
Abstract
The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is an important intraseasonal climate signal which circles the global tropics, but also impacts extratropical weather regimes. Few studies have investigated whether the MJO is a source of regional seasonal climate predictability. The present objective is to determine the
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The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is an important intraseasonal climate signal which circles the global tropics, but also impacts extratropical weather regimes. Few studies have investigated whether the MJO is a source of regional seasonal climate predictability. The present objective is to determine the extent to which the season and phase (geographic location) of MJO contribute to the frequency of global rainfall anomalies in ensuing seasons. Indices of June-July-August and December-January-February MJO activity for each phase and the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) were correlated to three-month averages of rainfall up to a six-month lead time. Field significance was calculated and patterns of the relationships were described. In general, MJO shows some skill in regional seasonal precipitation prediction, but to a lesser extent than ENSO. However, the presence of MJO in the western Indian Ocean and near the date line did reveal a persistent and significant relationship with regional seasonal rainfall, especially over Northern Hemisphere land areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Natural Ventilation Potential for Residential Buildings across Different Climate Zones in Australia
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 177; doi:10.3390/atmos8090177 -
Abstract
In this study, the natural ventilation potential of residential buildings was numerically investigated based on a typical single-story house in the three most populous climate zones in Australia. Simulations using the commercial simulation software TRNSYS (Transient System Simulation Tool) were performed for all
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In this study, the natural ventilation potential of residential buildings was numerically investigated based on a typical single-story house in the three most populous climate zones in Australia. Simulations using the commercial simulation software TRNSYS (Transient System Simulation Tool) were performed for all seasons in three representative cities, i.e., Darwin for the hot humid summer and warm winter zone, Sydney for the mild temperate zone, and Melbourne for the cool temperate zone. A natural ventilation control strategy was generated by the rule-based decision-tree method based on the local climates. Natural ventilation hour (NVH) and satisfied natural ventilation hour (SNVH) were employed to evaluate the potential of natural ventilation in each city considering local climate and local indoor thermal comfort requirements, respectively. The numerical results revealed that natural ventilation potential was related to the local climate. The greatest natural ventilation potential for the case study building was observed in Darwin with an annual 4141 SNVH out of 4728 NVH, while the least natural ventilation potential was found in the Melbourne case. Moreover, summer and transition seasons (spring and autumn) were found to be the optimal periods to sustain indoor thermal comfort by utilising natural ventilation in Sydney and Melbourne. By contrast, natural ventilation was found applicable over the whole year in Darwin. In addition, the indoor operative temperature results demonstrated that indoor thermal comfort can be maintained only by utilising natural ventilation for all cases during the whole year, except for the non-natural ventilation periods in summer in Darwin and winter in Melbourne. These findings could improve the understanding of natural ventilation potential in different climates, and are beneficial for the climate-conscious design of residential buildings in Australia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Variability of Precipitation in Arid Climates Using the Wavelet Approach: Case Study of Watershed of Gabes in South-East Tunisia
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 178; doi:10.3390/atmos8090178 -
Abstract
This study examines the variability of precipitation in the south-east of Tunisia through the analysis of data about annual and monthly precipitation at five stations in the Watershed of Gabes, from 1977 to 2015. Standardized precipitation ratio, wavelet and coherence wavelet analyses were
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This study examines the variability of precipitation in the south-east of Tunisia through the analysis of data about annual and monthly precipitation at five stations in the Watershed of Gabes, from 1977 to 2015. Standardized precipitation ratio, wavelet and coherence wavelet analyses were applied to examine the temporal variability of monthly and annual precipitation and to determine the effect of climatic fluctuations on rainfall variability. Results of wavelet analysis showed varied energy bands at the studied stations at annual and inter-annual scales. The depicted bands spread according to intervals of 1-, 2- to 4-, 4- to 8- and 8- to 12-year cycles, obviously influenced by regional factors including altitude, proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and global fluctuations. Eventually, an analysis of wavelet coherence showed a strong correlation between precipitation and Mediterranean Oscillation (MO) in Gabes Watershed at different temporal scales. Contribution of the MO ranged between 51% and 93% of fluctuations (8–12 years) in the different examined rainfall stations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Year (2013–2016) PM2.5 Wildfire Pollution Exposure over North America as Determined from Operational Air Quality Forecasts
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 179; doi:10.3390/atmos8090179 -
Abstract
FireWork is an on-line, one-way coupled meteorology–chemistry model based on near-real-time wildfire emissions. It was developed by Environment and Climate Change Canada to deliver operational real-time forecasts of biomass-burning pollutants, in particular fine particulate matter (PM2.5), over North America. Such forecasts
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FireWork is an on-line, one-way coupled meteorology–chemistry model based on near-real-time wildfire emissions. It was developed by Environment and Climate Change Canada to deliver operational real-time forecasts of biomass-burning pollutants, in particular fine particulate matter (PM2.5), over North America. Such forecasts provide guidance for early air quality alerts that could reduce air pollution exposure and protect human health. A multi-year (2013–2016) analysis of FireWork forecasts over a five-month period (May to September) was conducted. This work used an archive of FireWork outputs to quantify wildfire contributions to total PM2.5 surface concentrations across North America. Different concentration thresholds (0.2 to 28 µg/m3) and averaging periods (24 h to five months) were considered. Analysis suggested that, on average over the fire season, 76% of Canadians and 69% of Americans were affected by seasonal wildfire-related PM2.5 concentrations above 0.2 µg/m3. These effects were particularly pronounced in July and August. Futhermore, the analysis showed that fire emissions contributed more than 1 µg/m3 of daily average PM2.5 concentrations on more than 30% of days in the western USA and northwestern Canada during the fire season. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Vertical Sampling Scales for Atmospheric Boundary Layer Measurements from Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS)
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 176; doi:10.3390/atmos8090176 -
Abstract
The lowest portion of the Earth’s atmosphere, known as the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL), plays an important role in the formation of weather events. Simple meteorological measurements collected from within the ABL, such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and wind velocity, are key to
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The lowest portion of the Earth’s atmosphere, known as the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL), plays an important role in the formation of weather events. Simple meteorological measurements collected from within the ABL, such as temperature, pressure, humidity, and wind velocity, are key to understanding the exchange of energy within this region, but conventional surveillance techniques such as towers, radar, weather balloons, and satellites do not provide adequate spatial and/or temporal coverage for monitoring weather events. Small unmanned aircraft, or aerial, systems (sUAS) provide a versatile, dynamic platform for atmospheric sensing that can provide higher spatio-temporal sampling frequencies than available through most satellite sensing methods. They are also able to sense portions of the atmosphere that cannot be measured from ground-based radar, weather stations, or weather balloons and have the potential to fill gaps in atmospheric sampling. However, research on the vertical sampling scales for collecting atmospheric measurements from sUAS and the variabilities of these scales across atmospheric phenomena (e.g., temperature and humidity) is needed. The objective of this study is to use variogram analysis, a common geostatistical technique, to determine optimal spatial sampling scales for two atmospheric variables (temperature and relative humidity) captured from sUAS. Results show that vertical sampling scales of approximately 3 m for temperature and 1.5–2 m for relative humidity were sufficient to capture the spatial structure of these phenomena under the conditions tested. Future work is needed to model these scales across the entire ABL as well as under variable conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Stomatal and Non-Stomatal Turbulent Deposition Flux of Ozone to a Managed Peatland
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 175; doi:10.3390/atmos8090175 -
Abstract
Ozone is a key trace gas in the troposphere; because it is a greenhouse gas, it is very reactive, and it is potentially toxic to humans, fauna, and vegetation. The main sink processes for ozone are chemical reactions and the turbulent deposition flux
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Ozone is a key trace gas in the troposphere; because it is a greenhouse gas, it is very reactive, and it is potentially toxic to humans, fauna, and vegetation. The main sink processes for ozone are chemical reactions and the turbulent deposition flux to the earth’s surface. The deposition process itself is rather complex: The interactions between co-varying drivers such as the tropospheric ozone concentration, turbulence, and chemical reactions are not well understood. In the case of ozone deposition to vegetation, another aspect that must be studied is the role of stomatal regulation for a wide range of conditions. Therefore, we measured turbulent deposition fluxes of ozone with the eddy covariance technique during the peak of the growing season in 2014 over a managed, rewetted peatland in NW Germany. The deposition flux was large during the day (up to −15 nmol m−2 s−1) and relatively small during the night (between −1 and −2 nmol m−2 s−1). Flux partitioning by applying the surface resistance analogy and further analysis showed that the stomatal uptake was smaller than non-stomatal deposition. The correction of stomatal conductance with the gross primary production (GPP) improved the estimation of day- and nighttime stomatal deposition fluxes. Statistical analysis confirmed that the friction velocity (u*) was the single most important driver of non-stomatal ozone deposition and that relationships with other environmental drivers are not linear and highly variable. Further research is needed to develop a better process understanding of non-stomatal ozone deposition, to quantify the role of surface deposition to the ozone budget of the atmospheric boundary layer, and to estimate uncertainties associated with the partitioning of ozone deposition into stomatal and non-stomatal fluxes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Data Assimilation in Air Contaminant Dispersion Using a Particle Filter and Expectation-Maximization Algorithm
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 170; doi:10.3390/atmos8090170 -
Abstract
The accurate prediction of air contaminant dispersion is essential to air quality monitoring and the emergency management of contaminant gas leakage incidents in chemical industry parks. Conventional atmospheric dispersion models can seldom give accurate predictions due to inaccurate input parameters. In order to
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The accurate prediction of air contaminant dispersion is essential to air quality monitoring and the emergency management of contaminant gas leakage incidents in chemical industry parks. Conventional atmospheric dispersion models can seldom give accurate predictions due to inaccurate input parameters. In order to improve the prediction accuracy of dispersion models, two data assimilation methods (i.e., the typical particle filter & the combination of a particle filter and expectation-maximization algorithm) are proposed to assimilate the virtual Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) observations with measurement error into the atmospheric dispersion model. Two emission cases with different dimensions of state parameters are considered. To test the performances of the proposed methods, two numerical experiments corresponding to the two emission cases are designed and implemented. The results show that the particle filter can effectively estimate the model parameters and improve the accuracy of model predictions when the dimension of state parameters is relatively low. In contrast, when the dimension of state parameters becomes higher, the method of particle filter combining the expectation-maximization algorithm performs better in terms of the parameter estimation accuracy. Therefore, the proposed data assimilation methods are able to effectively support air quality monitoring and emergency management in chemical industry parks. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Elemental Mixing State of Aerosol Particles Collected in Central Amazonia during GoAmazon2014/15
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 173; doi:10.3390/atmos8090173 -
Abstract
Two complementary techniques, Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy/Near Edge Fine Structure spectroscopy (STXM/NEXAFS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDX), have been quantitatively combined to characterize individual atmospheric particles. This pair of techniques was applied to particle samples at three sampling sites (ATTO,
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Two complementary techniques, Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy/Near Edge Fine Structure spectroscopy (STXM/NEXAFS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDX), have been quantitatively combined to characterize individual atmospheric particles. This pair of techniques was applied to particle samples at three sampling sites (ATTO, ZF2, and T3) in the Amazon basin as part of the Observations and Modeling of the Green Ocean Amazon (GoAmazon2014/5) field campaign during the dry season of 2014. The combined data was subjected to k-means clustering using mass fractions of the following elements: C, N, O, Na, Mg, P, S, Cl, K, Ca, Mn, Fe, Ni, and Zn. Cluster analysis identified 12 particle types across different sampling sites and particle sizes. Samples from the remote Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO, also T0a) exhibited less cluster variety and fewer anthropogenic clusters than samples collected at the sites nearer to the Manaus metropolitan region, ZF2 (also T0t) or T3. Samples from the ZF2 site contained aged/anthropogenic clusters not readily explained by transport from ATTO or Manaus, possibly suggesting the effects of long range atmospheric transport or other local aerosol sources present during sampling. In addition, this data set allowed for recently established diversity parameters to be calculated. All sample periods had high mixing state indices (χ) that were >0.8. Two individual particle diversity (Di) populations were observed, with particles <0.5 µm having a Di of ~2.4 and >0.5 µm particles having a Di of ~3.6, which likely correspond to fresh and aged aerosols, respectively. The diversity parameters determined by the quantitative method presented here will serve to aid in the accurate representation of aerosol mixing state, source apportionment, and aging in both less polluted and more developed environments in the Amazon Basin. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Alternative Multi-Model Ensemble Forecast for Tropical Cyclone Tracks in the Western North Pacific
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 174; doi:10.3390/atmos8090174 -
Abstract
This study introduces an unequally weighted technique for Multi-model Ensemble (MME) forecasting for western North Pacific Tropical Cyclone (TC) tracks. Weights are calculated by partial least square regression, and members are selected by paired t-test. The performances for shorter forecast time ranges,
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This study introduces an unequally weighted technique for Multi-model Ensemble (MME) forecasting for western North Pacific Tropical Cyclone (TC) tracks. Weights are calculated by partial least square regression, and members are selected by paired t-test. The performances for shorter forecast time ranges, such as 24, 48 and 72 h, are examined in order to improve the MME model, in which the weights for members are equally assigned. For longer forecast time ranges, such as 96 and 120 h, weights for MME members are thought to be less reliable, since the modeling is more likely to be influenced by the climate variability in the data period. A combination of both techniques for the shorter and the longer forecast time ranges is suggested as an alternative MME forecast procedure in operational meteorological agencies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Validation of MODIS-Aqua Aerosol Products C051 and C006 over the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 172; doi:10.3390/atmos8090172 -
Abstract
The recently released MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers (MODIS) Collection 6(C006) includes several significant improvements, which are expected to do well in analyzing aerosols and using the observations for air pollution application. The C006 Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) retrievals should be validated completely before
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The recently released MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometers (MODIS) Collection 6(C006) includes several significant improvements, which are expected to do well in analyzing aerosols and using the observations for air pollution application. The C006 Aerosol Optical Depth (AOD) retrievals should be validated completely before they will be applied to specific research. However, the validation of C006 AOD retrievals at a regional scale is limited. Therefore, this study evaluated the performance of the MODIS-Aqua Collection 51 (C051) and C006 AOD retrievals over the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in China from 2006 to 2015 using ground-based Sun photometers. The algorithms of the AOD product include Dark Target (DT) and Deep Blue (DB). The results indicated that the improvements in DT C006 were slight, as the expected error (EE) increased by almost 9% over the two sites, and the DT C051 and DT C006 AOD were overestimated for both sites. DB C006 presented an improvement over DB C051, and a better correlation was observed between the collocated DB C006 retrievals and Sun photometer data (R ranged from 0.9343–0.9383). There was an increase in the frequency from DT C051 to DT C006, in the range 0.6–1.5, over the two sites; moreover, the AOD from the DB retrievals had a very narrow range (0.1–0.3). The spatial distribution of the AOD values was high (AOD > 0.7) over the southeastern region and low (AOD < 0.3) over the northwestern region. Changes in the DT C006 algorithm resulted in an increased AOD (0.085) for the region. The AOD values in spring and summer were higher than those in fall and winter. By subtracting the C051 AOD from the corresponding C006 values, greater positive changes (~0.2) were found in the southeastern areas during summer, presumably as the updated cloud-masking allowed heavy smoke retrievals. The accuracy of the AOD retrievals depended on the assumptions of surface reflectance and the selection of the aerosol model. The use of the DB C006 algorithm is recommended for the Beijing and Xianghe sites. Because of the limitations of the DT algorithm over sparsely vegetated surfaces, the DT C006 product is recommended for Xianghe. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Remote Ocean Response to the Madden–Julian Oscillation during the DYNAMO Field Campaign: Impact on Somali Current System and the Seychelles–Chagos Thermocline Ridge
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 171; doi:10.3390/atmos8090171 -
Abstract
During the CINDY/DYNAMO field campaign, exceptionally large upper ocean responses to strong westerly wind events associated with the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) were observed in the central equatorial Indian Ocean. Strong eastward equatorial currents in the upper ocean lasted more than one month from
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During the CINDY/DYNAMO field campaign, exceptionally large upper ocean responses to strong westerly wind events associated with the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) were observed in the central equatorial Indian Ocean. Strong eastward equatorial currents in the upper ocean lasted more than one month from late November 2011 to early January 2012. The remote ocean response to these unique MJO events are investigated using a high resolution (1/25°) global ocean general circulation model along with the satellite altimeter data. The local ocean response to the MJO events are realistically simulated by the global model based on the comparison with the data collected during the field campaign. The satellite altimeter data show that anomalous sea surface height (SSH) associated with the strong eastward jets propagated eastward as an equatorial Kelvin wave. The positive SSH anomalies then partly propagate westward as a reflected Rossby wave. The SSH anomalies associated with the reflected Rossby wave in the southern hemisphere propagate all the way to the western boundary. These remote ocean responses are well simulated by the global model. The analysis of the model simulation indicates the significant influence of reflected Rossby waves on sub-seasonal variability of Somali current system near the equator. The analysis further suggests that the reflected Rossby wave causes a substantial change in the structure of the Seychelles–Chagos thermocline ridge, which contributes to significant SST anomalies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impacts of Urban Layouts and Open Space on Urban Ventilation Evaluated by Concentration Decay Method
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 169; doi:10.3390/atmos8090169 -
Abstract
Previous researchers calculated air change rate per hour (ACH) in the urban canopy layers (UCL) by integrating the normal component of air mean velocity (convection) and fluctuation velocity (turbulent diffusions) across UCL boundaries. However they are usually greater than the actual
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Previous researchers calculated air change rate per hour (ACH) in the urban canopy layers (UCL) by integrating the normal component of air mean velocity (convection) and fluctuation velocity (turbulent diffusions) across UCL boundaries. However they are usually greater than the actual ACH induced by flow rates flushing UCL and never returning again. As a novelty, this paper aims to verify the exponential concentration decay history occurring in UCL models and applies the concentration decay method to assess the actual UCL ACH and predict the urban age of air at various points. Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations with the standard k-ε models are successfully validated by wind tunnel data. The typical street-scale UCL models are studied under neutral atmospheric conditions. Larger urban size attains smaller ACH. For square overall urban form (Lx = Ly = 390 m), the parallel wind (θ = 0°) attains greater ACH than non-parallel wind (θ = 15°, 30°, 45°), but it experiences smaller ACH than the rectangular urban form (Lx = 570 m, Ly = 270 m) under most wind directions (θ = 30° to 90°). Open space increases ACH more effectively under oblique wind (θ = 15°, 30°, 45°) than parallel wind. Although further investigations are still required, this paper provides an effective approach to quantify the actual ACH in urban-like geometries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Unstable Stratification on Ventilation in Hong Kong
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 168; doi:10.3390/atmos8090168 -
Abstract
Ventilation in cities is crucial for the well being of their inhabitants. Therefore, local governments require air ventilation assessments (AVAs) prior to the construction of new buildings. In a standard AVA, however, only neutral stratification is considered, although diabatic and particularly unstable conditions
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Ventilation in cities is crucial for the well being of their inhabitants. Therefore, local governments require air ventilation assessments (AVAs) prior to the construction of new buildings. In a standard AVA, however, only neutral stratification is considered, although diabatic and particularly unstable conditions may be observed more frequently in nature. The results presented here indicate significant changes in ventilation within most of the area of Kowloon City, Hong Kong, included in the study. A new definition for calculating ventilation was introduced, and used to compare the influence of buildings on ventilation under conditions of neutral and unstable stratification. The overall ventilation increased due to enhanced vertical mixing. In the vicinity of exposed buildings, however, ventilation was weaker for unstable stratification than for neutral stratification. The influence on ventilation by building parameters, such as the plan area index, was altered when unstable stratification was considered. Consequently, differences in stratification were shown to have marked effects on ventilation estimates, which should be taken into consideration in future AVAs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Emission Inventory of On-Road Transport in Bangkok Metropolitan Region (BMR) Development during 2007 to 2015 Using the GAINS Model
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 167; doi:10.3390/atmos8090167 -
Abstract
Bangkok Metropolitan Region (BMR), including the capital city and five adjacent provinces, constitutes one of the top 10 megacities experiencing serious traffic congestion in the world, leading to air quality problems with significant adverse human health risks. Previously, there have been many operations
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Bangkok Metropolitan Region (BMR), including the capital city and five adjacent provinces, constitutes one of the top 10 megacities experiencing serious traffic congestion in the world, leading to air quality problems with significant adverse human health risks. Previously, there have been many operations planned to influence the fuel consumption and emissions from the on-road transport sector in the BMR area. It is necessary to estimate emissions using detailed information in order to thoroughly understand the reason for changes in emission levels and their impact on air quality. This paper aims to determine the successful implementation of energy and air pollution control policies in Thailand through an investigation of the emissions inventory of on-road transport in BMR, including ozone precursors (CO, NOX, Non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) ), greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O), acidic substances (SO2 and NH3), and particulate matters (PM2.5, PM10, Black Carbon (BC), Organic Carbon (OC)) during the period from 2007 to 2015, using the Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution Interactions and Synergies (GAINS) model based on the country-specific activity data together with the emission factor from the GAINS-Asia database. This study found that the amount of exhaust emissions over the BMR area in the year 2015 (and the trend during the period from 2007 to 2015) is approximately 139 kt of CO (−7.9%), 103 kt of NOX (−4.1%), 19.9 kt of NMVOC (−6.7%), 15 kt of CO2 (+1.6%), 8.6 kt of CH4 (+6.8%), 0.59 kt of N2O (+1.3%), 0.87 kt of SO2 (−25.8%), 1.1 kt of NH3 (+7.8%), 4.9 kt of PM2.5 (−5.5%), 5.1 kt of PM10 (−7.9%), 3.1 kt of BC (−2.5%), and 1.4 kt of OC (−7.7%). The change in emissions in each pollutant is a result of the more stringent control of fuel and engine standards, the shift in the fuel type used, and the effects of controlling some emissions. Light duty car gasoline fuel is identified as a major contributor of CO, NH3, N2O, and NMVOC, whereas trucks are the greatest emitters of NOX, SO2, and particulate matter. This study suggests that the most powerful implementation plan for the continuous, significant reduction of ozone precursor, SO2, and particulate matter emissions is the more stringent enforcement of fuel and vehicle standard levels, especially concerning light duty vehicles. Full article
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