Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Drought Vulnerability Characteristics and Risk Assessment Based on Information Distribution and Diffusion in Southwest China
Atmosphere 2018, 9(7), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9070239 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Drought vulnerability characteristics and risk assessment form the basis of drought risk management. In this study, the standardized precipitation index (SPI) and drought damage rates (DDR) were combined to analyze drought vulnerability characteristics and drought risk in Southwest China (SC). The information distribution
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Drought vulnerability characteristics and risk assessment form the basis of drought risk management. In this study, the standardized precipitation index (SPI) and drought damage rates (DDR) were combined to analyze drought vulnerability characteristics and drought risk in Southwest China (SC). The information distribution method was applied to estimate the probability density of the drought strength (DS) and the two-dimensional normal information diffusion method was used to construct the vulnerability relationships between DS and drought damage (DD). The risk was then evaluated by combining the probability function of the DS and the DD vulnerability curve. The results showed that the relationship between the DS and the DD was nonlinear in SC and its provinces. With the increase in DS, the degree of DD increased gradually, stabilized, or decreased toward the end. However, the vulnerability characteristics of the different provinces varied widely due to multiple risk-bearing bodies and abilities to resist disasters. The risk values obtained across the range of time scales of the SPI were not significantly different. The yielding probabilities will be reduced for the crop area by 10%, 30%, and 70% due to drought. Compared to a normal year in SC, the probability values were 16.04%, 10.29%, and 2.70%, respectively. These results have the potential to provide a reference for agricultural production and drought risk management. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Compositional and Mineralogical Effects on Ice Nucleation Activity of Volcanic Ash
Atmosphere 2018, 9(7), 238; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9070238 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Volcanic ash produced during explosive eruptions may serve as ice nuclei in the atmosphere, contributing to the occurrence of volcanic lightning due to tribocharging from ice–ice or ice–ash collisions. Here, different ash samples were tested using deposition-mode and immersion-mode ice nucleation experiments. Results
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Volcanic ash produced during explosive eruptions may serve as ice nuclei in the atmosphere, contributing to the occurrence of volcanic lightning due to tribocharging from ice–ice or ice–ash collisions. Here, different ash samples were tested using deposition-mode and immersion-mode ice nucleation experiments. Results show that bulk composition and mineral abundance have no measurable effect on depositional freezing at the temperatures tested, as all samples have similar ice saturation ratios. In the immersion mode, there is a strong positive correlation between K2O content and ice nucleation site density at −25 °C and a strong negative correlation between MnO and TiO2 content at temperatures from −35 to −30 °C. The most efficient sample in the immersion mode has the highest surface area, smallest average grain size, highest K2O content, and lowest MnO content. These results indicate that although ash abundance—which creates more available surface area for nucleation—has a significant effect on immersion-mode freezing, composition may also contribute. Consequently, highly explosive eruptions of compositionally evolved magmas create the necessary parameters to promote ice nucleation on grain surfaces, which permits tribocharging due to ice–ice or ice–ash collisions, and contribute to the frequent occurrence of volcanic lightning within the eruptive column and plume during these events. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Macro- and Microphysical Characteristics of Precipitating and Non-Precipitating Stratocumulus Clouds over Eastern China
Atmosphere 2018, 9(7), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9070237 -
Abstract
Stratocumulus (Sc) is the most common cloud type in China. Sc clouds may or may not be accompanied by various types of precipitation that are representative of different macro- and microphysical characteristics. The finely resolved CloudSat data products are used in this study
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Stratocumulus (Sc) is the most common cloud type in China. Sc clouds may or may not be accompanied by various types of precipitation that are representative of different macro- and microphysical characteristics. The finely resolved CloudSat data products are used in this study to quantitatively investigate the macro- and microphysical characteristics of precipitating and non-precipitating Sc (PS and NPS, respectively) clouds over Eastern China (EC). Based on statistical information extracted from the CloudSat data, Sc clouds are highly likely to occur alone, in association with liquid precipitation, or in association with drizzle over 25% of EC. The cloud bases of NPS clouds are higher than those of PS clouds, although the latter display higher cloud top heights and thicker cloud thicknesses. The spatial distributions of microphysical characteristics differ between PS and NPS clouds. The magnitudes of microphysical characteristics in NPS clouds are relatively small, whereas the magnitudes of microphysical characteristics in PS clouds are relatively large and peak in response to certain circulation patterns and over certain terrain. In NPS clouds, condensation is the primary mechanism for hydrometeor particle growth, and the liquid water content and effective radius increase with height. Once the particles are too large to be supported by the updrafts, cloud droplets form raindrops. In PS clouds, raindrops increase continuously in size via collision-coalescence processes as they fall, leading to an increase in the liquid water content and effective radius from cloud top to cloud base. The CFRHDs (contoured frequency by relative height diagrams) of radar reflectivity in different cloud thickness indicate the cloud evolution and the precipitation formation process. In thinner clouds, downward particle growth by coalescence and upward particle growth by condensation occur in the upper and lower layers of clouds, respectively. With the increases in cloud thickness, the collision-coalescence process becomes apparent in all cloud layers, and the upward condensation process is less pronounced near the cloud base. Particles can grow for a long period of time and increase to larger sizes in thicker clouds, resulting in increased precipitation frequency. In clouds thicker than 1.92 km, the continuous transition from cloud to drizzle to rain by the collision-coalescence process takes place mostly in the upper layers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Ensemble Mean and Evaluation of Third Generation Global Climate Reanalysis Models
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060236 -
Abstract
We have produced a global ensemble mean of the four third-generation climate reanalysis models for the years 1981–2010. The reanalysis system models used in this study are National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), European Centre for Medium-Range Weather
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We have produced a global ensemble mean of the four third-generation climate reanalysis models for the years 1981–2010. The reanalysis system models used in this study are National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Reanalysis Interim (ERA-I), Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) 55-year Reanalysis (JRA-55), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA). Two gridded datasets are used as a baseline, for temperature the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), and for precipitation the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC). The reanalysis ensemble mean is used here as a comparison tool of the four reanalysis members. Meteorological fields investigated within the reanalysis models include 2-m air temperature, precipitation, and 500-hPa geopotential heights. Comparing the individual reanalysis models to the ensemble mean, we find that each perform similarly over large domains but exhibit significant differences over particular regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
East Asian Summer Monsoon Representation in Re-Analysis Datasets
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060235 -
Abstract
Eight current re-analyses—NCEP/NCAR Re-analysis (NCEPI), NCEP/DOE Re-analysis (NCEPII), NCEP Climate Forecast System Re-analysis (CFSR), ECMWF Interim Re-analysis (ERA-Interim), Japanese 55-year Re-analysis (JRA-55), NASA Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA), NOAA Twentieth Century Re-analysis (20CR), and ECMWF’s first atmospheric re-analysis of the
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Eight current re-analyses—NCEP/NCAR Re-analysis (NCEPI), NCEP/DOE Re-analysis (NCEPII), NCEP Climate Forecast System Re-analysis (CFSR), ECMWF Interim Re-analysis (ERA-Interim), Japanese 55-year Re-analysis (JRA-55), NASA Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA), NOAA Twentieth Century Re-analysis (20CR), and ECMWF’s first atmospheric re-analysis of the 20th century (ERA-20C)—are assessed to clarify their quality in capturing the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) rainfall structure and its associated general circulation. They are found to present similar rainfall structures in East Asia, whereas they illustrate some differences in rainfall intensity, especially at lower latitudes. The third generation of re-analysis shows a better estimate of rainfall structure than that in the first and extended generation of re-analysis. Given the fact that the rainfall is ingested by the data assimilation system, the re-analysis cannot improve its production of rainfall quality. The mean sea level pressure is generated by re-analysis, showing a significant uncertainty over the Tibetan Plateau and its surrounding area. In that region, the JRA-55 and MERRA have a negative bias (BIAS), while the other six re-analyses present a positive BIAS to the observed mean sea level pressure. The 20CR and the ERA-20C are ancillary datasets to analyse the EASM due to the fact that they only apply limit observations into the data assimilation system. These two re-analyses demonstrate a prominent difference from the observed winds in the upper-air. Although the upper level winds exhibit difference, the EASM index is consistent in the eight re-analyses, which are based upon the zonal wind over 850 hPa. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Velocity Dealiasing Algorithm on Frequency Diversity Pulse-Pair for Future Geostationary Spaceborne Doppler Weather Radar
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060234 -
Abstract
Velocity ambiguity is one of the main challenges in accurately measuring velocity for the future Geostationary Spaceborne Doppler Weather Radar (GSDWR) due to its short wavelength. The aim of this work was to provide a novel velocity dealiasing method for frequency diversity for
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Velocity ambiguity is one of the main challenges in accurately measuring velocity for the future Geostationary Spaceborne Doppler Weather Radar (GSDWR) due to its short wavelength. The aim of this work was to provide a novel velocity dealiasing method for frequency diversity for the future implementation of GSDWR. Two different carrier frequencies were transmitted on the adjacent pulse-pair and the order of the pulse-pair was exchanged during the transmission of the next pulse-pair. The Doppler phase shift between these two adjacent pulses was estimated based on the technique of the frequency diversity pulse-pair (FDPP), and Doppler velocity was estimated on the sum of the Doppler phase within the adjacent pulse repetition time (PRT). From the theoretical result, the maximum unambiguous velocity estimated by FDPP is only decided by the interval time of the two adjacent pulses and radar wavelength. An echo signal model on frequency diversity was established to simulate echo signals of the GSDWR to verify the extension of the maximum unambiguous velocity and the accuracy of the velocity estimation for FDPP used on GSDWR. The study demonstrates that the FDPP algorithm can extend the maximum unambiguous velocity greater than the Stagger PRT method and the unambiguous range and velocity are no longer limited by the chosen value of pulse repetition frequency (PRF). In the Ka band, the maximum unambiguous velocity can be extended to 105 m/s when the interval time is 10 μs and most velocity estimation biases are less than 0.5 m/s. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Snow Level Characteristics and Impacts of a Spring Typhoon-Originating Atmospheric River in the Sierra Nevada, USA
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060233 -
Abstract
On 5–7 April 2018, a landfalling atmospheric river resulted in widespread heavy precipitation in the Sierra Nevada of California and Nevada. Observed snow levels during this event were among the highest snow levels recorded since observations began in 2002 and exceeded 2.75 km
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On 5–7 April 2018, a landfalling atmospheric river resulted in widespread heavy precipitation in the Sierra Nevada of California and Nevada. Observed snow levels during this event were among the highest snow levels recorded since observations began in 2002 and exceeded 2.75 km for 31 h in the northern Sierra Nevada and 3.75 km for 12 h in the southern Sierra Nevada. The anomalously high snow levels and over 80 mm of precipitation caused flooding, debris flows, and wet snow avalanches in the upper elevations of the Sierra Nevada. The origin of this atmospheric river was super typhoon Jelawat, whose moisture remnants were entrained and maintained by an extratropical cyclone in the northeast Pacific. This event was notable due to its April occurrence, as six other typhoon remnants that caused heavy precipitation with high snow levels (mean = 2.92 km) in the northern Sierra Nevada all occurred during October. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
PM1 Chemical Characterization during the ACU15 Campaign, South of Mexico City
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060232 -
Abstract
The “Aerosoles en Ciudad Universitaria 2015” (ACU15) campaign was an intensive experiment measuring chemical and optical properties of aerosols in the winter of 2015, from 19 January to 19 March on a site in the south of Mexico City. The mass concentration and
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The “Aerosoles en Ciudad Universitaria 2015” (ACU15) campaign was an intensive experiment measuring chemical and optical properties of aerosols in the winter of 2015, from 19 January to 19 March on a site in the south of Mexico City. The mass concentration and chemical composition of the non-refractory submicron particulate matter (NR-PM1) was determined using an Aerodyne Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM). The total NR-PM1 mass concentration measured was lower than reported in previous campaigns that took place north and east of the city. This difference might be explained by the natural variability of the atmospheric conditions, as well as the different sources impacting each site. However, the composition of the aerosol indicates that the aerosol is more aged (a larger fraction of the mass corresponds to sulfate and to low-volatility organic aerosol (LV-OOA)) in the south than the north and east areas; this is consistent with the location of the sources of PM and their precursors in the city, as well as the meteorological patterns usually observed in the metropolitan area. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Climate Change and Human Health—The Links to the UN Landmark Agreement on Disaster Risk Reduction
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060231 -
Open AccessArticle
Thermochemical Properties of PM2.5 as Indicator of Combustion Phase of Fires
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060230 -
Abstract
Past studies suggest that certain properties of fire emitted particulate matter (PM) relate to the combustion phase (flaming, smoldering) of biomass burning, but to date there has been little consideration of such properties for use as combustion phase indicators. We studied the thermochemical
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Past studies suggest that certain properties of fire emitted particulate matter (PM) relate to the combustion phase (flaming, smoldering) of biomass burning, but to date there has been little consideration of such properties for use as combustion phase indicators. We studied the thermochemical properties of PM2.5 emitted from experimental and prescribed fires using multi-element scanning thermal analysis (MESTA). Resulting thermograms show that the carbon from PM2.5 generally can be grouped into three temperature categories: low (peak ~180 °C), medium (peak between 180–420 °C), and high (peak > 420 °C) temperature carbons. PM2.5 from smoldering phase combustion is composed of much more low-temperature carbon (fraction of total carbon = 0.342 ± 0.067, n = 9) than PM2.5 from the flaming phase (fraction of total carbon = 0.065 ± 0.018, n = 9). The fraction of low-temperature carbon of the PM2.5 correlates well with modified combustion efficiency (MCE; r2 = 0.76). Therefore, this MESTA thermogram method can potentially be used as a combustion phase indicator solely based on the property of PM2.5. Since the MESTA thermogram of PM2.5 can be determined independently of MCE, we have a second parameter to describe the combustion condition of a fire, which may refine our understanding of fire behavior and improve the accuracy of emission factor determinations. This PM2.5 indicator should be useful for discerning differential diffusion between PM2.5 and gases and providing insight into the impact of PM emission on atmospheric environment and the public health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influences of the North Pacific Victoria Mode on the South China Sea Summer Monsoon
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060229 -
Abstract
Using the reanalysis data and the numerical experiments of a coupled general circulation model (CGCM), we illustrated that perturbations in the second dominant mode (EOF2) of springtime North Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) variability, referred to as the Victoria mode (VM), are closely
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Using the reanalysis data and the numerical experiments of a coupled general circulation model (CGCM), we illustrated that perturbations in the second dominant mode (EOF2) of springtime North Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) variability, referred to as the Victoria mode (VM), are closely linked to variations in the intensity of the South China Sea summer monsoon (SCSSM). The underlying physical mechanism through which the VM affects the SCSSM is similar to the seasonal footprinting mechanism (SFM). Thermodynamic ocean–atmosphere coupling helps the springtime SST anomalies in the subtropics associated with the VM to persist into summer and to develop gradually toward the equator, leading to a weakened zonal SST gradient across the western North Pacific (WNP) to central equatorial Pacific, which in turn induces an anomalous cyclonic flow over the WNP and westerly anomalies in the western equatorial Pacific that tend to strengthen the WNP summer monsoon (WNPSM) as well as the SCSSM. The VM influence on both the WNPSM and SCSSM is intimately tied to its influence on ENSO through westerly anomalies in the western equatorial Pacific. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Closure Study of Total Scattering Using Airborne In Situ Measurements from the Winter Phase of TCAP
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060228 -
Abstract
We examine the performance of our approach for calculating the total scattering coefficient of both non-absorbing and absorbing aerosol at ambient conditions from aircraft data. Our extended examination involves airborne in situ data collected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Gulf Stream
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We examine the performance of our approach for calculating the total scattering coefficient of both non-absorbing and absorbing aerosol at ambient conditions from aircraft data. Our extended examination involves airborne in situ data collected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Gulf Stream 1 aircraft during winter over Cape Cod and the western North Atlantic Ocean as part of the Two-Column Aerosol Project (TCAP). The particle population represented by the winter dataset, in contrast with its summer counterpart, contains more hygroscopic particles and particles with an enhanced ability to absorb sunlight due to the larger fraction of black carbon. Moreover, the winter observations are characterized by more frequent clouds and a larger fraction of super-micron particles. We calculate model total scattering coefficient at ambient conditions using size spectra measured by optical particle counters (OPCs) and ambient complex refractive index (RI) estimated from measured chemical composition and relative humidity (RH). We demonstrate that reasonable agreement (~20% on average) between the observed and calculated scattering can be obtained under subsaturated ambient conditions (RH < 80%) by applying both screening for clouds and chemical composition data for the RI-based correction of the OPC-derived size spectra. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Statistical Analysis of Tropical Cyclones in the Solomon Islands
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060227 -
Abstract
This study examines tropical cyclone (TC) activity around the Solomon Islands (SIs) using best track data from the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre, Brisbane, and the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre, Nadi. Analysis of long-term trends showed that the frequency of TCs has decreased in
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This study examines tropical cyclone (TC) activity around the Solomon Islands (SIs) using best track data from the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre, Brisbane, and the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre, Nadi. Analysis of long-term trends showed that the frequency of TCs has decreased in this region, while the average TC intensity has increased. Datasets were classified according to the phase of Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) and the index of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), provided by Bureau of Meteorology. The MJO significantly influenced TC activity in the SIs, with TC genesis occurring most frequently in phases 6–8. In contrast, TC genesis occurred less frequently in phase 5. ENSO also influenced TC genesis; more TCs were generated in El Niño periods. The TC genesis locations during El Niño (La Niña) periods were significantly displaced to the north (south) over the SIs. TCs generated during El Niño conditions tended to be strong. This study also explores the modulation of TCs in terms of the seasonal climatic variability of large-scale environmental variables such as sea surface temperature (SST), low-level relative vorticity, vertical wind shear, and upper level divergence. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Survey of Regional-Scale Blocking Patterns and Effects on Air Quality in Ontario, Canada
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060226 -
Abstract
Blocking weather patterns cause persistent weather situations that alter typical wind and circulation patterns which may result in stagnant weather conditions at the surface and potentially adverse conditions that affect society, such as extended warmth, drought, precipitation or fog. One problem that may
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Blocking weather patterns cause persistent weather situations that alter typical wind and circulation patterns which may result in stagnant weather conditions at the surface and potentially adverse conditions that affect society, such as extended warmth, drought, precipitation or fog. One problem that may develop is adverse concentrations of air pollutants in populated regions that may persist for several days or longer. This study looks for possible correlation between blocking patterns and air quality episodes in southern Ontario, Canada. The method used was examination of various cases of air quality episodes. The meteorological details of these examples were examined to determine possible correlations with blocking patterns. Results of the comparisons revealed that various types of blocking patterns correlated with worsening air quality episodes in various regions of southern Ontario. The conclusion is that some large-scale as well as regional-scale blocking patterns may cause adverse air quality in different cities or regions of the province during any month, and forecasters need to be vigilant for these patterns. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
The Similarity of the Action of Franklin and ESE Lightning Rods under Natural Conditions
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060225 -
Abstract
In the lightning rods categorized as Early Streamer Emission (ESE) types, an intermittent voltage impulse is applied to the lightning rod to modulate the electric field at its tip in an attempt to speed up the initiation of a connecting leader from the
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In the lightning rods categorized as Early Streamer Emission (ESE) types, an intermittent voltage impulse is applied to the lightning rod to modulate the electric field at its tip in an attempt to speed up the initiation of a connecting leader from the lightning rod when it is under the influence of a stepped leader moving down from the cloud. In this paper, it is shown that, due to the stepping nature of the stepped leader, there is a natural modulation of the electric field at the tip of any lightning rod exposed to the lightning stepped leaders and this modulation is much more intense than any artificial modulation that is possible under practical conditions. Based on the results, it is concluded that artificial modulation of the electric field at the tip of lightning rods by applying voltage pulses is an unnecessary endeavor because the nature itself has endowed the tip of the lightning rod with a modulating electric field. Therefore, as far as the effectiveness of artificial modulation of the tip electric field is concerned, there could be no difference in the lightning attachment efficiency between ESE and Franklin lightning rods. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Application of Intelligent Dynamic Bayesian Network with Wavelet Analysis for Probabilistic Prediction of Storm Track Intensity Index
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060224 -
Abstract
The effective prediction of storm track (ST) is greatly beneficial for analyzing the development and anomalies of mid-latitude weather systems. For the non-stationarity, nonlinearity, and uncertainty of ST intensity index (STII), a new probabilistic prediction model was proposed based on dynamic Bayesian network
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The effective prediction of storm track (ST) is greatly beneficial for analyzing the development and anomalies of mid-latitude weather systems. For the non-stationarity, nonlinearity, and uncertainty of ST intensity index (STII), a new probabilistic prediction model was proposed based on dynamic Bayesian network (DBN) and wavelet analysis (WA). We introduced probability theory and graph theory for the first time to quantitatively describe the nonlinear relationship and uncertain interaction of the ST system. Then a casual prediction network (i.e., DBN) was constructed through wavelet decomposition, structural learning, parameter learning, and probabilistic inference, which was used for expression of relation among predictors and probabilistic prediction of STII. The intensity prediction of the North Pacific ST with data from 1961–2010 showed that the new model was able to give more comprehensive prediction information and higher prediction accuracy and had strong generalization ability and good stability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Estimation of the Impact of Ozone on Four Economically Important Crops in the City Belt of Central Mexico
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060223 -
Abstract
In this work, we report the economic impact of exposure to high ozone concentrations on four important crops in the area of influence of the Mexico City Megalopolis. Estimated yield losses were as follows: maize: 3%; oats: 26%; beans: 14%; sorghum: 15%. The
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In this work, we report the economic impact of exposure to high ozone concentrations on four important crops in the area of influence of the Mexico City Megalopolis. Estimated yield losses were as follows: maize: 3%; oats: 26%; beans: 14%; sorghum: 15%. The information needed to estimate the impact of air pollution in Mexico is decidedly deficient. Regarding ozone, the coverage provided by the monitoring networks is strongly focused on urban monitoring and its consistency over time is highly irregular. Apart from the Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) and less than a handful of other cities, the quality of the data is poor. Ozone in rural areas can be estimated with air quality models. However, these models depend on a high-resolution emissions inventory, which has only been done through validation processes in the MCMA. With these limitations, we set out to estimate the economic impact of exposure to ozone in these crops with a varying degree of sensitivity to ozone in the city belt of Central Mexico. To this end, we developed a procedure that makes optimal use of the sparse information available for construction of AOT40 (accumulated exposure over the threshold of 40 ppb) exceedance maps for the 2011 growing season. We believe that, due to the way in which we dealt with the sparse information and the uncertainty regarding the available data, our findings lie on the safe side of having little knowledge such that they may be useful to decision-makers. We believe that this procedure can be extended to the rest of the country, and that it may be useful to developing countries with similar monitoring and modeling capacities. In addition, these impacts are not evenly distributed in the region and sometimes they were greater in municipalities that have a higher index of poverty. Air pollution arriving from urban areas increases the social inequalities to which these already vulnerable populations are exposed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Cold Surge Occurrence over East Asia in the Future: Role of Thermal Structure
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060222 -
Abstract
The occurrence of wintertime cold surges (CSs) over East Asia is largely controlled by the surface air temperature (SAT) distribution at high latitudes and thermal advection in the lower troposphere. The thermodynamic background state over northeastern Asia is associated with the strength of
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The occurrence of wintertime cold surges (CSs) over East Asia is largely controlled by the surface air temperature (SAT) distribution at high latitudes and thermal advection in the lower troposphere. The thermodynamic background state over northeastern Asia is associated with the strength of the East Asian winter monsoon and the variation of Arctic Oscillation. This study assesses the importance of the SAT structure with thermal advection in determining the frequency of CS occurrences over East Asia through the analysis of nine atmosphere–ocean coupled global climate models participating in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5. The historical simulations can reproduce the observed typical characteristics of CS development. On the basis of this model performance, ensemble-averaged future simulations under the representative concentration pathway 8.5 project a reduction in CS frequency by 1.1 yr−1 in the late 21st century (2065–2095) compared to the present-day period (1975–2005). The major reason for less frequent CSs in the future is the weakened cold advection, caused by notable SAT warming over the northern part of East Asia. These results suggest that changes in the meridional SAT structure and the associated changes in thermal advection would play a more substantial role than local warming in determining future changes in the frequency of CS occurrences over East Asia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Making Administrative Systems Adaptive to Emerging Climate Change-Related Health Effects: Case of Estonia
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060221 -
Abstract
To facilitate resilience to a changing climate, it is necessary to go beyond quantitative studies and take an in-depth look at the functioning of health systems and the variety of drivers shaping its effectiveness. We clarify the factors determining the effectiveness of the
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To facilitate resilience to a changing climate, it is necessary to go beyond quantitative studies and take an in-depth look at the functioning of health systems and the variety of drivers shaping its effectiveness. We clarify the factors determining the effectiveness of the Estonian health system in assessing and managing the health risks of climate change. Document analyses, expert interviews with key informants from health systems whose responsibilities are relevant to climate change, and analysis of a population-based survey conducted in 2015, indicate that the health effects of climate change have not been mainstreamed into policy. Therefore, many of the potential synergistic effects of combining information on health systems, environment, and vulnerable populations remain unexploited. The limited uptake of the issue of climate change-related health risks may be attributed to the lack of experience with managing extreme weather events; limited understanding of how to incorporate projections of longer-term health risks into policies and plans; unclear divisions of responsibility; and market liberal state approaches. Minority groups and urban dwellers are placing strong pressure on the health system to address climate change-related risks, likely due to their lower levels of perceived control over their physical wellbeing. The results have implications for national, community, and individual resilience in upper-middle income countries in Eastern Europe. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Forecasting the Impacts of Prescribed Fires for Dynamic Air Quality Management
Atmosphere 2018, 9(6), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9060220 -
Abstract
Prescribed burning (PB) is practiced throughout the USA, most extensively in the southeast, for the purpose of maintaining and improving the ecosystem and reducing wildfire risk. However, PB emissions contribute significantly to trace gas and particulate matter loads in the atmosphere. In places
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Prescribed burning (PB) is practiced throughout the USA, most extensively in the southeast, for the purpose of maintaining and improving the ecosystem and reducing wildfire risk. However, PB emissions contribute significantly to trace gas and particulate matter loads in the atmosphere. In places where air quality is already stressed by other anthropogenic emissions, PB can lead to major health and environmental problems. We developed a PB impact forecasting system to facilitate the dynamic management of air quality by modulating PB activity. In our system, a new decision tree model predicts burn activity based on the weather forecast and historic burning patterns. Emission estimates for the forecast burn activity are input into an air quality model, and simulations are performed to forecast the air quality impacts of the burns on trace gas and particulate matter concentrations. An evaluation of the forecasts for two consecutive burn seasons (2015 and 2016) showed that the modeling system has promising forecasting skills that can be further improved with refinements in burn area and plume rise estimates. Since 2017, air quality and burn impact forecasts are being produced daily with the ultimate goal of incorporating them into the management of PB operations. Full article
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