Open AccessArticle
Practical Field Calibration of Portable Monitors for Mobile Measurements of Multiple Air Pollutants
Atmosphere 2017, 8(12), 231; doi:10.3390/atmos8120231 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
To reduce inaccuracies in the measurement of air pollutants by portable monitors it is necessary to establish quantitative calibration relationships against their respective reference analyser. This is usually done under controlled laboratory conditions or one-off static co-location alongside a reference analyser in the
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To reduce inaccuracies in the measurement of air pollutants by portable monitors it is necessary to establish quantitative calibration relationships against their respective reference analyser. This is usually done under controlled laboratory conditions or one-off static co-location alongside a reference analyser in the field, neither of which may adequately represent the extended use of portable monitors in exposure assessment research. To address this, we investigated ways of establishing and evaluating portable monitor calibration relationships from repeated intermittent deployment cycles over an extended period involving stationary deployment at a reference site, mobile monitoring, and completely switched off. We evaluated four types of portable monitors: Aeroqual Ltd. (Auckland, New Zealand) S500 O3 metal oxide and S500 NO2 electrochemical; RTI (Berkeley, CA, USA) MicroPEM PM2.5; and, AethLabs (San Francisco, CA, USA) AE51 black carbon (BC). Innovations in our study included: (i) comparison of calibrations derived from the individual co-locations of a portable monitor against its reference analyser or from all the co-location periods combined into a single dataset; and, (ii) evaluation of calibrated monitor estimates during transient measurements with the portable monitor close to its reference analyser at separate times from the stationary co-location calibration periods. Within the ~7 month duration of the study, ‘combined’ calibration relationships for O3, PM2.5, and BC monitors from all co-locations agreed more closely on average with reference measurements than ‘individual’ calibration relationships from co-location deployment nearest in time to transient deployment periods. ‘Individual’ calibrations relationships were sometimes substantially unrepresentative of the ‘combined’ relationships. Reduced quantitative consistency in field calibration relationships for the PM2.5 monitors may have resulted from generally low PM2.5 concentrations that were encountered in this study. Aeroqual NO2 monitors were sensitive to both NO2 and O3 and unresolved biases. Overall, however, we observed that with the ‘combined’ approach, ‘indicative’ measurement accuracy (±30% for O3, and ±50% for BC and PM2.5) for 1 h time averaging could be maintained over the 7-month period for the monitors evaluated here. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A High Resolution Spatiotemporal Model for In-Vehicle Black Carbon Exposure: Quantifying the In-Vehicle Exposure Reduction Due to the Euro 5 Particulate Matter Standard Legislation
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 230; doi:10.3390/atmos8110230 -
Abstract
Several studies have shown that a significant amount of daily air pollution exposure is inhaled during trips. In this study, car drivers assessed their own black carbon exposure under real-life conditions (223 h of data from 2013). The spatiotemporal exposure of the car
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Several studies have shown that a significant amount of daily air pollution exposure is inhaled during trips. In this study, car drivers assessed their own black carbon exposure under real-life conditions (223 h of data from 2013). The spatiotemporal exposure of the car drivers is modeled using a data science approach, referred to as “microscopic land-use regression” (µLUR). In-vehicle exposure is highly dynamical and is strongly related to the local traffic dynamics. An extensive set of potential covariates was used to model the in-vehicle black carbon exposure in a temporal resolution of 10 s. Traffic was retrieved directly from traffic databases and indirectly by attributing the trips through a noise map as an alternative traffic source. Modeling by generalized additive models (GAM) shows non-linear effects for meteorology and diurnal traffic patterns. A fitted diurnal pattern explains indirectly the complex diurnal variability of the exposure due to the non-linear interaction between traffic density and distance to the preceding vehicles. Comparing the strength of direct traffic attribution and indirect noise map-based traffic attribution reveals the potential of noise maps as a proxy for traffic-related air pollution exposure. An external validation, based on a dataset gathered in 2010–2011, quantifies the exposure reduction inside the vehicles at 33% (mean) and 50% (median). The EU PM Euro 5 PM emission standard (in force since 2009) explains the largest part of the discrepancy between the measurement campaign in 2013 and the validation dataset. The µLUR methodology provides a high resolution, route-sensitive, seasonal and meteorology-sensitive personal exposure estimate for epidemiologists and policy makers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation and Inter-Comparison of Oxygen-Based OC-EC Separation Methods for Radiocarbon Analysis of Ambient Aerosol Particle Samples
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 226; doi:10.3390/atmos8110226 -
Abstract
Radiocarbon analysis is a widely-used tool for source apportionment of aerosol particles. One of the big challenges of this method, addressed in this work, is to isolate elemental carbon (EC) for 14C analysis. In the first part of the study, we validate
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Radiocarbon analysis is a widely-used tool for source apportionment of aerosol particles. One of the big challenges of this method, addressed in this work, is to isolate elemental carbon (EC) for 14C analysis. In the first part of the study, we validate a two-step method (2stepCIO) to separate total carbon (TC) into organic carbon (OC) and EC against the EUSAAR_2 thermal-optical method regarding the recovered carbon concentrations. The 2stepCIO method is based on the combustion of OC in pure oxygen at two different temperature steps to isolate EC. It is normally used with a custom-built aerosol combustion system (ACS), but in this project, it was also implemented as a thermal protocol on a Sunset OC-EC analyzer. Results for the recovered EC mass concentration showed poor agreement between the 2stepCIO method on the ACS system and on the Sunset analyzer. This indicates that the EC recovery is sensitive not only to the temperature steps, but also to instrument-specific parameters, such as heating rates. We also found that the EUSAAR_2 protocol itself can underestimate the EC concentration on untreated samples compared to water-extracted samples. This is especially so for highly loaded filters, which are typical for 14C analysis. For untreated samples, the EC concentration on long-term filter samples (two to five days sampling time) was 20–45% lower than the sum of EC found on the corresponding 24-h filter samples. For water-extracted filter samples, there was no significant difference between long-term and the sum of daily filter samples. In the second part of this study, the 14C was measured on EC isolated by the 2stepCIO method and compared to methods from two other laboratories. The different methods agree well within their uncertainty estimates. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Optical Properties of Biomass Burning Aerosols: Comparison of Experimental Measurements and T-Matrix Calculations
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 228; doi:10.3390/atmos8110228 -
Abstract
The refractive index (RI) is an important parameter in describing the radiative impacts of aerosols. It is important to constrain the RI of aerosol components, since there is still significant uncertainty regarding the RI of biomass burning aerosols. Experimentally measured extinction cross-sections, scattering
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The refractive index (RI) is an important parameter in describing the radiative impacts of aerosols. It is important to constrain the RI of aerosol components, since there is still significant uncertainty regarding the RI of biomass burning aerosols. Experimentally measured extinction cross-sections, scattering cross-sections, and single scattering albedos for white pine biomass burning (BB) aerosols under two different burning and sampling conditions were modeled using T-matrix theory. The refractive indices were extracted from these calculations. Experimental measurements were conducted using a cavity ring-down spectrometer to measure the extinction, and a nephelometer to measure the scattering of size-selected aerosols. BB aerosols were obtained by burning white pine using (1) an open fire in a burn drum, where the aerosols were collected in distilled water using an impinger, and then re-aerosolized after several days, and (2) a tube furnace to directly introduce the BB aerosols into an indoor smog chamber, where BB aerosols were then sampled directly. In both cases, filter samples were also collected, and electron microscopy images were used to obtain the morphology and size information used in the T-matrix calculations. The effective radius of the particles collected on filter media from the open fire was approximately 245 nm, whereas it was approximately 76 nm for particles from the tube furnace burns. For samples collected in distilled water, the real part of the RI increased with increasing particle size, and the imaginary part decreased. The imaginary part of the RI was also significantly larger than the reported values for fresh BB aerosol samples. For the particles generated in the tube furnace, the real part of the RI decreased with particle size, and the imaginary part was much smaller and nearly constant. The RI is sensitive to particle size and sampling method, but there was no wavelength dependence over the range considered (500–680 nm). Our values for the RI of fresh (white pine) biomass burning aerosols ranged from 1.33 + i0.008 to 1.74 + i0.008 for 200-nm, 300-nm, and 400-nm diameter particles. These are within the range of RI values in the most recent study conducted during the Fire Laboratory at Missoula Experiments (FLAME I and II), which were 1.55 to 1.80 for the real part, and 0.01–0.50 for the imaginary part, for fresh BB aerosols with diameters of 200–570 nm. There is no clear trend on the dependence of the RI values on particle size. The RI values derived from measurements of aerosols produced from the combustion of hydrocarbons and diesel cannot be used for BB aerosols. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Atmospheric Processing and Variability of Biological Ice Nucleating Particles in Precipitation at Opme, France
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 229; doi:10.3390/atmos8110229 -
Abstract
Atmospheric ice nucleating particles (INPs) contribute to initiate precipitation. In particular, biological INPs act at warmer temperatures than other types of particles (>−10 °C) therefore potentially defining precipitation distribution. Here, in order to identify potential environmental drivers in the distribution and fate of
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Atmospheric ice nucleating particles (INPs) contribute to initiate precipitation. In particular, biological INPs act at warmer temperatures than other types of particles (>−10 °C) therefore potentially defining precipitation distribution. Here, in order to identify potential environmental drivers in the distribution and fate of biological INPs in the atmosphere, we conducted a mid-term study of the freezing characteristics of precipitation. A total of 121 samples were collected during a period of >1.5 years at the rural site of Opme (680 m a.s.l. (above sea level), France). INP concentration ranged over two orders of magnitude at a given temperature depending on the sample; there were <1 INPs mL−1 at ≥−5 °C, ~0.1 to 10 mL−1 between −5 °C and −8 °C, and ~1 to 100 mL−1 at colder temperatures. The data support the existence of an intimate natural link between biological INPs and hydrological cycles. In addition, acidification was strongly correlated with a decrease of the freezing characteristics of the samples, suggesting that human activities impact the role of INPs as triggers of precipitation. Water isotope ratio measurements and statistical comparison with aerosol and cloud water data confirmed some extent of INP partitioning in the atmosphere, with the INPs active at the warmest temperatures tending to be more efficiently precipitated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of the MODIS C6 Aerosol Optical Depth Products over Chongqing, China
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 227; doi:10.3390/atmos8110227 -
Abstract
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Collection 6 (C6) aerosol optical depth (AOD) products from the 10/3 km Dark Target (DT) and Deep Blue (DB) algorithms are firstly evaluated using ground observed AODs by the sun photometer in Chongqing, a mountainous mega-city in
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The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Collection 6 (C6) aerosol optical depth (AOD) products from the 10/3 km Dark Target (DT) and Deep Blue (DB) algorithms are firstly evaluated using ground observed AODs by the sun photometer in Chongqing, a mountainous mega-city in southwest China. The validation results show that MODIS AODs from 10/3 km DT algorithm are comparable with those of the sun photometer, although there are slight overestimations. However, the DB algorithm substantially underestimates MODIS AODs when comparing with those of the sun photometer. Error analyses imply that the bias of surface reflectance estimation is the main error source for both algorithms. The cloud screening scheme of the DT algorithm is more effective than the DB algorithm. The cloud vicinity effect should be considered in the quality control processes for both of the algorithms. A sensitivity test suggests that in complex terrain area, like Chongqing, the collocation method in the validation of satellite products should be carefully selected according to local circumstances. When comparing the monthly mean AODs of MODIS products with sun photometer observations, it shows that the Terra MODIS AOD products are valid to represent the mean statuses in summer and autumn, but the monthly mean of Aqua MODIS AODs are limited in Chongqing. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Trace Metals in Cloud Water Sampled at the Puy De Dôme Station
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 225; doi:10.3390/atmos8110225 -
Abstract
Concentrations of 33 metal elements were determined by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) analysis for 24 cloud water samples (corresponding to 10 cloud events) collected at the puy de Dôme station. Clouds present contrasted chemical composition with mainly marine and continental characteristics;
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Concentrations of 33 metal elements were determined by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) analysis for 24 cloud water samples (corresponding to 10 cloud events) collected at the puy de Dôme station. Clouds present contrasted chemical composition with mainly marine and continental characteristics; for some cloud events, a further anthropogenic source can be superimposed on the background level. In this context, measurements of trace metals may help to evaluate the impact of anthropogenic and natural sources on the cloud and to better discriminate the origin of the air masses. The metal concentrations in the samples are low (between 16.4 µg L−1 and 1.46 mg L−1). This could be explained by the remoteness of the puy de Dôme site from local sources. Trace metals are then used to confirm and refine a previous sample classification. A principal component analysis (PCA) using the pH value and the concentrations of Cl, NO3, SO42−, Na+ and NH4+ is performed considering 24 cloud samples. This first analysis shows that 18 samples are of marine origin and 6 samples are classified as continental. The same statistical approach is used adding trace metal concentration. Zn and Mg elements are the most abundant trace metals for all clouds. A higher concentration of Cd is mainly associated to clouds from marine origins. Cu, As, Tl and Sb elements are rather found in the continental samples than in the marine ones. Mg, V, Mn and Rb elements mainly found in soil particles are also more concentrated in the samples from continental air mass. This new PCA including trace metal confirms the classification between marine and continental air masses but also indicates that one sample presenting low pH and high concentrations of SO42−, Fe, Pb and Cu could be rather attributed to a polluted event. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Quantitatively Operational Judging Method for the Process of Large Regional Heavy Haze Event Based on Satellite Remote Sensing and Numerical Simulations
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 222; doi:10.3390/atmos8110222 -
Abstract
In recent years, large-area heavy haze pollution cases occur frequently in eastern China, especially evident in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and the surrounding regions. In order to operationally monitor the process of larger regional heavy haze events, a type of quantitative method based on satellite remote
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In recent years, large-area heavy haze pollution cases occur frequently in eastern China, especially evident in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and the surrounding regions. In order to operationally monitor the process of larger regional heavy haze events, a type of quantitative method based on satellite remote sensing and numerical simulations was first established and applied in multiple heavy haze processes in the research area. First, this study proposed the operational haze aerosol optical depth (HOD) method by combining Terra, Aqua satellite and WRF-NAQPM numerical simulation in haze days. Second, based on the coupled HOD data, we proposed the quantitative method for obtaining the process and severity degree for larger regional heavy haze events. Finally, this study used the method applying it to several typical heavy pollution events which occurred in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and its three surrounding provinces in the winter season from 1 November 2015 to 4 January 2016. The validation for HOD retrieval results showed that the couple HOD from this study have good accuracy, the linear correlation coefficient between retrieval HOD and the AERONET Beijing station data reached over 0.8, and the linear correlation coefficient between the retrieval HOD and the regional ground monitoring station PM2.5 data reached over 0.7. The applied results showed that the method in this study is feasible to reflect the whole process of heavy haze events. Analysis of the typical heavy haze pollution events showed that the set of quantitative haze judging method in this study was consistent with the meteorological conditions in haze days also verifying that the method for haze inversion and the process analysis is reliable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Trends and Variability in Aerosol Optical Depth over North China from MODIS C6 Aerosol Products during 2001–2016
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 223; doi:10.3390/atmos8110223 -
Abstract
This study analyzed the variability and trend in aerosol optical depth (AOD) over North China using the latest MODIS/Terra C6 merged Dark Target/Deep Blue AOD monthly data at 550 nm from 2001 to 2016. The spatial distribution of the annual mean AOD was
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This study analyzed the variability and trend in aerosol optical depth (AOD) over North China using the latest MODIS/Terra C6 merged Dark Target/Deep Blue AOD monthly data at 550 nm from 2001 to 2016. The spatial distribution of the annual mean AOD was generally characterized by two prominent high-value centers located in the industrially and economically developed areas of the North China Plain and East China, and the dust aerosol-dominated areas of southern Xinjiang. The seasonally averaged AOD reached its maximum in spring (0.430 ± 0.049), followed by summer (0.356 ± 0.035) and winter (0.282 ± 0.039), with the minimum occurring in autumn (0.219 ± 0.022). There were notable long-term annual trends in AOD in different regions over North China during 2001–2016: a decreasing AOD trend was found in Qinghai Tibet (−0.015 ± 0.010/decade), Northwest China (−0.059 ± 0.013/decade at 99% confidence level), and the North China Plain (−0.007 ± 0.021/decade), but a positive increasing trend was identified in northern Xinjiang (0.01 ± 0.006/decade), southern Xinjiang (0.002 ± 0.013/decade), East China (0.053 ± 0.042/decade), and Northeast China (0.016 ± 0.029/decade). Seasonal patterns in the AOD regional long-term trend were evident. The AODs in spring over all the study regions, except East China, exhibited a decreasing trend, with the maximum trend value observed in Northwest China (−0.099 ± 0.029/decade at 99% confidence level); whereas AODs in autumn, except in Northwest China, showed an increasing trend, with the maximum trend value occurring in East China (0.073 ± 0.038/decade). Geographically, we also examined the annual and seasonal spatial patterns of AOD trends over North China. The annual spatial trends in AOD revealed a dominance of positive trends in most regions over the whole of North China from 2001 to 2016, but especially in East and Northeast China (AOD trend value of about 0.16/decade); whereas a negative trend was observed over northern Inner Mongolia (AOD trend value of about −0.12/decade). In addition, seasonal spatial trend analyses indicated that a continual clear upward trend occurred in East China in the autumn and winter seasons during the study period, with the maximum average increase occurring in winter (about 0.20/decade). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Summers 2003 and 2015 in South-West Germany: Heat Waves and Heat-Related Mortality in the Context of Climate Change
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 224; doi:10.3390/atmos8110224 -
Abstract
After 2003, another hot summer took place in Western and Central Europe in 2015. In this study, we compare the characteristics of the two major heat waves of these two summers and their effect on the heat related mortality. The analysis is performed
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After 2003, another hot summer took place in Western and Central Europe in 2015. In this study, we compare the characteristics of the two major heat waves of these two summers and their effect on the heat related mortality. The analysis is performed with focus on South-West Germany (Baden–Württemberg). With an additional mean summer mortality of +7.9% (2003) and +5.8% (2015) both years mark the top-two records of the summer mortality in the period 1968–2015. In each summer, one major heat wave contributed strongly to the excess summer mortality: In August 2003, daily mortality reached anomalies of +70% and in July 2015 maximum deviations of +56% were observed. The August 2003 heat wave was very long-lasting and characterized by exceptional high maximum and minimum temperatures. In July 2015, temperatures were slightly lower than in 2003, however, the high air humidity during the day and night, lead to comparable heat loads. Furthermore, the heat wave occurred earlier during the summer, when the population was less acclimated to heat stress. Using regional climate models we project an increasing probability for future 2003- and 2015-like heat waves already in the near future (2021–2050), with a 2015-like event occurring about every second summer. In the far future (2070–2099) pronounced increases with more than two 2015-like heat waves per summer are possible. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Study on Extension of Standard Meteorological Data for Cities in South Korea Using ISO 15927-4
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 220; doi:10.3390/atmos8110220 -
Abstract
Accurate standard meteorological data sets for each city are essential elements to assess and analyze high-performance buildings quantitatively in order to ensure that they comply with energy saving policies of the nation. ECO2, which is an assessment program of building energy in Korea,
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Accurate standard meteorological data sets for each city are essential elements to assess and analyze high-performance buildings quantitatively in order to ensure that they comply with energy saving policies of the nation. ECO2, which is an assessment program of building energy in Korea, has employed meteorological data of the closest city to the target location from 13 urban meteorological data references; the employment of this program has demonstrated the ability to reflect climatic differences between cities. The present study expanded urban meteorological data to ISO TRY (International Organization for Standard Test Reference Year), an international standard methodology that can calculate the data in a relatively simple manner using observed data in Korea, as much as possible in order to reflect meteorological data, including the air temperature relevant for heating and cooling energy as well as solar radiation (cooling/heating energy) for each city, that affected the assessment of building energy the most. In the present study, existing data is expanded to a show the standard meteorological data of 66 cities that can be put into the Korean assessment program (ECO2). This data considered valid meteorological data (minimum statistical period, air temperature, relative humidity, wind, and solar radiation, etc.) among manned and unmanned observational data obtained from 479 locations from 2001 to 2010. For cities other than the 66 aforementioned cities, zoning was conducted to separate cities that had and did not have the standard meteorological data using a cumulative temperature density graph. In this way, meteorological data can be available in all cities, which will enable more accurate simulation assessments on building energy. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Contribution from Selected Organic Species to PM2.5 Aerosol during a Summer Field Campaign at K-Puszta, Hungary
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 221; doi:10.3390/atmos8110221 -
Abstract
A summer field campaign was conducted at the forested background site of K-puszta in Hungary. The main aim was to assess the contribution of terpene-derived particulate organic compounds to the PM2.5 organic carbon (OC) and of the secondary organic carbon (SOC) from
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A summer field campaign was conducted at the forested background site of K-puszta in Hungary. The main aim was to assess the contribution of terpene-derived particulate organic compounds to the PM2.5 organic carbon (OC) and of the secondary organic carbon (SOC) from α-pinene to the OC. The study lasted from 24 May to 29 June 2006; the first half the weather was cold, while the second half was warm. Separate daytime and night-time PM2.5 samples were collected with a high-volume sampler and the samples were analysed by several analytical techniques, including ion chromatography (IC) and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC/MS). The latter technique was used for measuring the terpene-derived species. Ancillary high time resolution measurements of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were made with proton-transfer reaction–mass spectrometry. The temporal and diurnal variability of the particulate compounds and VOCs and interrelationships were examined. It was found that the monoterpenes and a number of terpene-derived particulate compounds, such as cis-pinic and cis-caric acid, exhibited a strong day/night difference during the warm period, with about 10 times higher levels during the night-time. During the warm period, the IC compounds and LC/MS compounds accounted, on average, for 3.1% and 2.0%, respectively, of the OC, whereas the contribution of SOC from α-pinene to the OC was estimated at a minimum of 7.1%. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Regional Impact Assessment of Monsoon Variability on Wind Power Availability and Optimization in Asia
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 219; doi:10.3390/atmos8110219 -
Abstract
Recent developments have emphasized the global impacts of climate change and have renewed commitments in renewable energy and energy meteorology. Wind energy depends largely on prevailing meteorological conditions on both local and large scales, thus, wind power optimization should aid its assessment and
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Recent developments have emphasized the global impacts of climate change and have renewed commitments in renewable energy and energy meteorology. Wind energy depends largely on prevailing meteorological conditions on both local and large scales, thus, wind power optimization should aid its assessment and development. This study uses ERA-Interim daily data from 1979 to 2014 to investigate the impact of the East Asian Monsoon on wind power in Asia. Wind power increase in the Bay of Bengal region as wind vectors strengthened from winter (DJF, December-January-February) to summer (JJA, June-July-August), while the predominant direction shifted to southwesterly. The influence of the South China Sea on South East Asia resulted in increased wind power that peaked in winter. Probability distribution functions for four sub-regions revealed higher probabilities of relatively lower wind speeds in JJA, except for the South East region, where most probable wind speeds were reached in winter. The capacity factor also varied by region and by season. Power generation was lowest in JJA for all the regions except the South West. The South East region also had the highest power generated over the domain. This variation of wind power impacts the amount of energy that must be supplied by non-wind sources, termed Demand Net Wind (DNW). Knowledge of DNW fluctuations thus becomes an important consideration for optimization of power plants, grid networking and reliability, and energy markets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evolution of Multispectral Aerosol Absorption Properties in a Biogenically-Influenced Urban Environment during the CARES Campaign
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 217; doi:10.3390/atmos8110217 -
Abstract
We present the evolution of multispectral optical properties through urban aerosols that have aged and interacted with biogenic emissions, resulting in stronger short wavelength absorption and the formation of moderately brown secondary organic aerosols. Ground-based aerosol measurements were made in June 2010 within
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We present the evolution of multispectral optical properties through urban aerosols that have aged and interacted with biogenic emissions, resulting in stronger short wavelength absorption and the formation of moderately brown secondary organic aerosols. Ground-based aerosol measurements were made in June 2010 within the Sacramento urban area (site T0) and at a 40-km downwind location (site T1) in the forested Sierra Nevada foothills area. Data on black carbon (BC) and non-refractory aerosol mass and composition were collected at both sites. In addition, photoacoustic (PA) instruments with integrating nephelometers were used to measure spectral absorption and scattering coefficients for wavelengths ranging from 355 to 870 nm. The daytime absorption Ångström exponent (AAE) indicated a modest wavelength-dependent enhancement of absorption at both sites throughout the study. From 22 to 28 June 2010, secondary organic aerosol mass increased significantly at both sites, which was due to increased biogenic emissions coupled with intense photochemical activity and air mass recirculation in the area. During this period, the median BC mass-normalized absorption cross-section (MAC) values for 405 nm and 532 nm at T1 increased by ~23% and ~35%, respectively, compared with the relatively less aged urban emissions at the T0 site. In contrast, the average MAC values for the 870 nm wavelength were similar for both sites. These results suggest the formation of moderately brown secondary organic aerosols in biogenically-influenced urban air. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Air-Sea Nitrous Oxide Flux along Cruise Tracks to the Arctic Ocean and Southern Ocean
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 216; doi:10.3390/atmos8110216 -
Abstract
Nitrous oxide is a trace gas with two global environmental effects: it depletes stratospheric ozone and contributes to the greenhouse effect. Oceans are one of the most significant nitrous oxide sources; however, there are ocean areas whose contributions to the nitrous oxide budget
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Nitrous oxide is a trace gas with two global environmental effects: it depletes stratospheric ozone and contributes to the greenhouse effect. Oceans are one of the most significant nitrous oxide sources; however, there are ocean areas whose contributions to the nitrous oxide budget are not yet well studied. The Southern Ocean and the Arctic Ocean feature strong winds and portions that are covered by sea ice. These intense environmental conditions and the remoteness of these regions hamper fieldwork; hence, very limited data are available on the distributions and the source and sink characteristics of nitrous oxide. Using data from the 4th Chinese National Arctic Research Expedition and the 27th Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition, the first global-scale investigation of the surface water N2O distribution pattern, the factors influencing the N2O distribution and the air-sea N2O flux are discussed in this study. The results show that the tropical and subtropical regions (30° N–30° S) exhibit significant source characteristics, with a maximum air-sea flux of approximately 21.0 ± 3.9 μmol·m−2·d−1. The high air-sea flux may result from the coastal influences and high wind speeds in certain areas. The distribution patterns of N2O in the sub-polar regions (30° N–60° N, 30° S–60° S) transition from oversaturated to approximate equilibrium with the atmosphere, and the boundaries generally correspond with frontal structures. The distributions of N2O in the high-latitude Southern Ocean and Arctic Ocean (>60° N and 60° S) exhibit contrasting patterns. With the exception of the continental shelf hotspot, the Arctic Ocean surface water is undersaturated with N2O; in contrast, the high-latitude Southern Ocean along the cruise track is oversaturated with N2O. The high-latitude Southern Ocean may act as a N2O source, with a maximum air-sea N2O flux of approximately 9.8 ± 0.5 μmol·m−2·d−1 at approximately 60° S, whereas the air-sea N2O flux of the Arctic Ocean is close to zero due to the low wind speed conditions at these latitudes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Multi-Wavelength Absorption Analyzer (MWAA) Model as a Tool for Source and Component Apportionment Based on Aerosol Absorption Properties: Application to Samples Collected in Different Environments
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 218; doi:10.3390/atmos8110218 -
Abstract
The multi-wavelength absorption analyzer model (MWAA model) was recently proposed to provide a source (fossil fuel combustion vs. wood burning) and a component (black carbon BC vs. brown carbon BrC) apportionment of babs measured at different wavelengths, and to provide the BrC
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The multi-wavelength absorption analyzer model (MWAA model) was recently proposed to provide a source (fossil fuel combustion vs. wood burning) and a component (black carbon BC vs. brown carbon BrC) apportionment of babs measured at different wavelengths, and to provide the BrC Ångström Absorption exponent (αBrC). This paper shows MWAA model performances and issues when applied to samples impacted by different sources. To this aim, the MWAA model was run on samples collected at a rural (Propata) and an urban (Milan) site in Italy during the winter period. Lower uncertainties on αBrC and a better correlation of the BrC absorption coefficient (babsBrC) with levoglucosan (tracer for wood burning) were obtained in Propata (compared to Milan). Nevertheless, the correlation previously mentioned improved, especially in Milan, when providing a priori information on αBrC to MWAA. Possible reasons for this improvement could be the more complex mixture of sources present in Milan and the aging processes, which can affect aerosol composition, particle mixing, and size distribution. OC and EC source apportionment showed that wood burning was the dominating contributor to the carbonaceous fractions in Propata, whereas a more complex situation was detected in Milan. Simultaneous babs(BC) apportionment and EC measurements allowed MAC determination, which gave analogous results at the two sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Onshore Wind Speed Modulates Microbial Aerosols along an Urban Waterfront
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 215; doi:10.3390/atmos8110215 -
Abstract
Wind blowing over aquatic and terrestrial surfaces produces aerosols, which include microbial aerosols. We studied the effect of onshore wind speeds on aerosol concentrations as well as total and culturable microbial aerosols (bacterial and viral) at an urban waterfront (New York, NY, United
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Wind blowing over aquatic and terrestrial surfaces produces aerosols, which include microbial aerosols. We studied the effect of onshore wind speeds on aerosol concentrations as well as total and culturable microbial aerosols (bacterial and viral) at an urban waterfront (New York, NY, United States of America). We used two distinct methods to characterize microbial aerosol responses to wind speed: A culture-based exposure-plate method measuring viable bacterial deposition near-shore (CFU accumulation rate); and a culture-independent aerosol sampler-based method measuring total bacterial and viral aerosols (cells m−3 air). While ambient coarse (>2 µm) and fine (0.3–2 µm) aerosol particle number concentrations (regulated indicators of air quality) decreased with increasing onshore wind speeds, total and depositing culturable bacterial aerosols and total viral aerosols increased. Taxonomic identification of the 16S rDNA of bacterial aerosol isolates suggested both terrestrial and aquatic sources. Wind appears to increase microbial aerosol number concentrations in the near-shore environment by onshore transport at low wind speeds (<4 m s−1), and increased local production and transport of new microbial aerosols from adjacent water surfaces at higher wind speeds (>4 m s−1). This study demonstrates a wind-modulated microbial connection between water and air in the coastal urban environment, with implications for public health management and urban microbial ecology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Spatial and Temporal Variation of Temperature in the Qinghai-Xizang (Tibetan) Plateau during 1971–2015
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 214; doi:10.3390/atmos8110214 -
Abstract
The Tibetan Plateau (TP), which is well known as “The Third Pole”, is of great importance to climate change in East Asia, and even the whole world. In this paper, we selected the monthly temperature (including the monthly mean and the maximum and
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The Tibetan Plateau (TP), which is well known as “The Third Pole”, is of great importance to climate change in East Asia, and even the whole world. In this paper, we selected the monthly temperature (including the monthly mean and the maximum and minimum temperature) during 1971–2015 from 88 meteorological stations on the TP. The data were tested and corrected by using Penalized Maximal F Test (PMFT) based on RHtest. Afterwards, based on the Mann-Kendall test, we analyzed the seasonal and time-interval characteristics on each station in detail. The results show that the TP has experienced significant warming during 1971–2015. When comparing the selected elements, the warming rate of minimum temperature (Tmin) is the largest, the mean temperature (Tmean) comes second, and the maximum temperature (Tmax) is the smallest. The warming trends in four seasons are significant, and the highest warming rate occurs in winter. The warming trend on the TP has a prominent spatial difference, with a large warming rate on the eastern parts and a small one on the central regions. In different seasons, the warming trends on the TP have different characteristics in the time interval. Since 1998, the warming rate in spring increased markedly, spring has displaced winter as the season with the highest warming rate recently. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Sources and Formation Processes of Short-Chain Saturated Diacids (C2–C4) in Inhalable Particles (PM10) from Huangshi City, Central China
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 213; doi:10.3390/atmos8110213 -
Abstract
PM10 samples were collected from Huangshi (HS) city, Central China during April 2012 to March 2013, and were analyzed for short-chain saturated dicarboxylic acids (diacids) using a capillary gas chromatograph (GC). We found that oxalic acid (C2, 318 ± 104
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PM10 samples were collected from Huangshi (HS) city, Central China during April 2012 to March 2013, and were analyzed for short-chain saturated dicarboxylic acids (diacids) using a capillary gas chromatograph (GC). We found that oxalic acid (C2, 318 ± 104 ng·m−3) was the most abundant diacid species, followed by malonic acid (C3, 25.4 ± 9.11 ng·m−3) and succinic acid (C4, 2.09 ± 0.52 ng·m−3). The concentrations of C2 and C4 diacids were highest in winter, followed by summer and spring, and lowest in autumn. C3 diacid was decreased in the order of summer > winter > autumn > spring. Further, the seasonal variations of WSOC (water-soluble organic carbon)- and OC (organic carbon)-normalized diacid concentrations were similar to those of diacid concentrations, suggesting that both primary emission and secondary production are important sources for diacids in Huangshi (HS) aerosols. Strong correlations were found among C2 diacid and the three ions SO42−, NO3, and NH4+ in summer and winter, suggesting that the species could undergo a similar secondary oxidation processing. C2 had good correlation with K+ in summer and autumn, which indicates an enhanced contribution of combustion sources for C2 diacid. Moreover, according to the ratio of C2/K+, we can conclude that C2 diacid should be formed by a secondary reaction of biomass combustion in HS aerosols, especially in summer and autumn. The ratios of C2/C4 and C3/C4 were compared with those reported in other sites, and the results suggest that HS aerosols should be more photochemically aged than at other urban areas. Principal component analysis of diacids and selected water-soluble inorganic ions over four seasons suggests that HS aerosols are influenced not only from primary emission, but also from secondary reaction. According to the linear relation between C2 and C3 diacids, the results indicate that C2 diacid is formed from the oxidation of hydrocarbon compounds in spring, while it is from the oxidation of C3 and C4 diacids in summer, autumn, and winter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Numerical Simulations of the Impacts of Mountain on Oasis Effects in Arid Central Asia
Atmosphere 2017, 8(11), 212; doi:10.3390/atmos8110212 -
Abstract
The oases in the mountain-basin systems of Central Asia are extremely fragile. Investigating oasis effects and oasis-desert interactions is important for understanding the ecological stability of oases. However, previous studies have been performed only in oasis-desert environments and have not considered the impacts
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The oases in the mountain-basin systems of Central Asia are extremely fragile. Investigating oasis effects and oasis-desert interactions is important for understanding the ecological stability of oases. However, previous studies have been performed only in oasis-desert environments and have not considered the impacts of mountains. In this study, oasis effects were explored in the context of mountain effects in the northern Tianshan Mountains (NTM) using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Four numerical simulations are performed. The def simulation uses the default terrestrial datasets provided by the WRF model. The mod simulation uses actual terrestrial datasets from satellite products. The non-oasis simulation is a scenario simulation in which oasis areas are replaced by desert conditions, while all other conditions are the same as the mod simulation. Finally, the non-mountain simulation is a scenario simulation in which the elevation values of all grids are set to a constant value of 300 m, while all other conditions are the same as in the mod simulation. The mod simulation agrees well with near-surface measurements of temperature, relative humidity and latent heat flux. The Tianshan Mountains exert a cooling and wetting effects in the NTM region. The oasis breeze circulation (OBC) between oases and the deserts is counteracted by the stronger background circulation. Thus, the self-supporting mechanism of oases originating from the OBC plays a limited role in maintaining the ecological stability of oases in this mountain-basin system. However, the mountain wind causes the “cold-wet’’ island effects of the oases to extend into the oasis-desert transition zone at night, which is beneficial for plants in the transition region. Full article
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