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Atmosphere, Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Particle number size distributions have been measured in Rochester, NY since 2002, along with [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Interannual Variability of Spring Extratropical Cyclones over the Yellow, Bohai, and East China Seas and Possible Causes
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010040 - 21 Jan 2019
Viewed by 718
Abstract
Interannual variability of cyclones that are generated over the eastern Asian continent and passed over the Yellow, Bohai, and East China seas (YBE cyclones) in spring is analyzed using reanalysis datasets for the period of 1979–2017. Possible causes for the variability are also [...] Read more.
Interannual variability of cyclones that are generated over the eastern Asian continent and passed over the Yellow, Bohai, and East China seas (YBE cyclones) in spring is analyzed using reanalysis datasets for the period of 1979–2017. Possible causes for the variability are also discussed. Results show that the number of YBE cyclones exhibits significant interannual variability with a period of 4–5 years. Developing cyclones are further classified into two types: rapidly developing cyclones and slowly developing cyclones. The number of rapidly developing cyclones is highly related to the underlying sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies (SSTA) and the atmospheric baroclinicity from Lake Baikal to the Japan Sea. The number of slowly developing cyclones, however, is mainly affected by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) in the preceding winter (DJF); it works through the upper-level jet stream over Japan and the memory of ocean responses to the atmosphere. Positive NAO phase in winter is associated with the meridional tripole pattern of SSTA in the North Atlantic Ocean, which persists from winter to the following spring (MAM) due to the thermal inertia of the ocean. The SSTA in the critical mid-latitude Atlantic region in turn act to affect the overlying atmosphere via sensible and latent heat fluxes, leading to an increased frequency of slowly developing cyclones via exciting an anomalous eastward-propagating Rossby wave train. These results are confirmed by several numerical simulations using an atmospheric general circulation model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle
Measurements and Modeling of the Full Rain Drop Size Distribution
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010039 - 19 Jan 2019
Viewed by 1017
Abstract
The raindrop size distribution (DSD) is fundamental for quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) and in numerical modeling of microphysical processes. Conventional disdrometers cannot capture the small drop end, in particular the drizzle mode which controls collisional processes as well as evaporation. To overcome this [...] Read more.
The raindrop size distribution (DSD) is fundamental for quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) and in numerical modeling of microphysical processes. Conventional disdrometers cannot capture the small drop end, in particular the drizzle mode which controls collisional processes as well as evaporation. To overcome this limitation, the DSD measurements were made using (i) a high-resolution (50 microns) meteorological particle spectrometer to capture the small drop end, and (ii) a 2D video disdrometer for larger drops. Measurements were made in two climatically different regions, namely Greeley, Colorado, and Huntsville, Alabama. To model the DSDs, a formulation based on (a) double-moment normalization and (b) the generalized gamma (GG) model to describe the generic shape with two shape parameters was used. A total of 4550 three-minute DSDs were used to assess the size-resolved fidelity of this model by direct comparison with the measurements demonstrating the suitability of the GG distribution. The shape stability of the normalized DSD was demonstrated across different rain types and intensities. Finally, for a tropical storm case, the co-variabilities of the two main DSD parameters (normalized intercept and mass-weighted mean diameter) were compared with those derived from the dual-frequency precipitation radar onboard the global precipitation mission satellite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Applications of Weather Radar Data)
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Open AccessArticle
A Turbulence-Oriented Approach to Retrieve Various Atmospheric Parameters Using Advanced Lidar Data Processing Techniques
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010038 - 18 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 849
Abstract
The article is aimed at presenting a semi-empirical model coded and computed in the programming language Python, which utilizes data gathered with a standard biaxial elastic lidar platform in order to calculate the altitude profiles of the structure coefficients of the atmospheric refraction [...] Read more.
The article is aimed at presenting a semi-empirical model coded and computed in the programming language Python, which utilizes data gathered with a standard biaxial elastic lidar platform in order to calculate the altitude profiles of the structure coefficients of the atmospheric refraction index C N 2 ( z ) and other associated turbulence parameters. Additionally, the model can be used to calculate the PBL (Planetary Boundary Layer) height, and other parameters typically employed in the field of astronomy. Solving the Fernard–Klett inversion by correlating sun-photometer data obtained through our AERONET site with lidar data, it can yield the atmospheric extinction and backscatter profiles α ( z ) and β ( z ) , and thus obtain the atmospheric optical depth. Finally, several theoretical notions of interest that utilize the solved parameters are presented, such as approximated relations between C N 2 ( z ) and the atmospheric temperature profile T ( z ) , and between the scintillation of backscattered lidar signal and the average wind speed profile U ( z ) . These obtained profiles and parameters also have several environmental applications that are connected directly and indirectly to human health and well-being, ranging from understanding the transport of aerosols in the atmosphere and minimizing the errors in measuring it, to predicting extreme, and potentially-damaging, meteorological events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Aerosols)
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Open AccessArticle
Heterogeneous Freezing of Liquid Suspensions Including Juices and Extracts from Berries and Leaves from Perennial Plants
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010037 - 17 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 645
Abstract
Heterogeneous ice nucleation in the atmosphere is not fully understood. In particular, our knowledge of biological materials and their atmospheric ice nucleation properties remains scarce. Here, we present the results from systematic investigations of the ice nucleation activity of plant materials using cryo-microscopy. [...] Read more.
Heterogeneous ice nucleation in the atmosphere is not fully understood. In particular, our knowledge of biological materials and their atmospheric ice nucleation properties remains scarce. Here, we present the results from systematic investigations of the ice nucleation activity of plant materials using cryo-microscopy. We examined berry juices, frozen berries, as well as extracts of leaves and dried berries of plants native to boreal regions. All of our samples possess reasonable ice nucleation activity. Their ice nucleating particle concentrations per unit of water volume vary between 9.7 × 105 and 9.2 × 109 cm−3 when examined within temperatures of −12 to −34 °C. Mean freezing temperatures ranged from −18.5 to −45.6 °C. We show that all samples contained ice nuclei in a size range below 0.2 µm and remain active if separated from coarse plant tissue. The results of examining ice nucleation properties of leaves and dry berry extracts suggests that their ice-nucleating components can be easily suspended in water. Sea buckthorn and black currant were analyzed using subtilisin (a protease) and urea. Results suggest proteinaceous compounds to play an important role in their ice nucleation activity. These results show that separation between ice nucleation particles stemming from microorganisms and those stemming from plants cannot be differentiated solely on proteinaceous features. Further oxidation experiments with ozone showed that black currant is highly stable towards ozone oxidation, indicating a long atmospheric life time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ice Nucleation in the Atmosphere)
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Open AccessArticle
Summertime Urban Mixing Layer Height over Sofia, Bulgaria
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010036 - 17 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 858
Abstract
Mixing layer height (MLH) is a crucial parameter for air quality modelling that is still not routinely measured. Common methods for MLH determination use atmospheric profiles recorded by radiosonde but this process suffers from coarse temporal resolution since the balloon is usually launched [...] Read more.
Mixing layer height (MLH) is a crucial parameter for air quality modelling that is still not routinely measured. Common methods for MLH determination use atmospheric profiles recorded by radiosonde but this process suffers from coarse temporal resolution since the balloon is usually launched only twice a day. Recently, cheap ceilometers are gaining popularity in the retrieval of MLH diurnal evolution based on aerosol profiles. This study presents a comparison between proprietary (Jenoptik) and freely available (STRAT) algorithms to retrieve MLH diurnal cycle over an urban area. The comparison was conducted in the summer season when MLH is above the full overlapping height of the ceilometer in order to minimize negative impact of the biaxial LiDAR’s drawback. Moreover, fogs or very low clouds which can deteriorate the ceilometer retrieval accuracy are very unlikely to be present in summer. The MLHs determined from the ceilometer were verified against those measured from the radiosonde, which were estimated using the parcel, lapse rate, and Richardson methods (the Richardson method was used as a reference in this study). We found that the STRAT and Jenoptik methods gave lower MLH values than radiosonde with an underestimation of about 150 m and 650 m, respectively. Additionally, STRAT showed some potential in tracking the MLH diurnal evolution, especially during the day. A daily MLH maximum of about 2000 m was found in the late afternoon (18–19 LT). The Jenoptik algorithm showed comparable results to the STRAT algorithm during the night (although both methods sometimes misleadingly reported residual or advected layers as the mixing layer (ML)). During the morning transition the Jenoptik algorithm outperformed STRAT, which suffers from abrupt changes in MLH due to integrated layer attribution. However, daytime performance of Jenoptik was worse, especially in the afternoon when the algorithm often cannot estimate any MLH (in the period 13–16 LT the method reports MLHs in only 15–30% of all cases). This makes day-to-day tracing of MLH diurnal evolution virtually impracticable. This problem is possibly due to its early version (JO-CloVis 8.80, 2009) and issues with real-time processing of a single profile combined with the low signal-to-noise ratio of the ceilometer. Both LiDAR-based algorithms have trouble in the evening transition since they rely on aerosol signature which is more affected by the mixing processes in the past hours than the current turbulent mixing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lower Atmosphere Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Control Measures on Nitrogen Oxides, Sulfur Dioxide and Particulate Matter Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants in Anhui Province, China
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010035 - 17 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 876
Abstract
Anhui is one of the highest provincial emitters of air pollutants in China due to its large coal consumption in coal-fired plants. In this study, the total emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM) [...] Read more.
Anhui is one of the highest provincial emitters of air pollutants in China due to its large coal consumption in coal-fired plants. In this study, the total emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM) from coal-fired power plants in Anhui were investigated to assess the impact of control measures on the atmospheric emissions based upon continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS). The total NOx, SO2 and PM emissions significantly decreased from 2013 to 2017 and they were estimated at 24.5 kt, 14.8 kt and 3.0 kt in 2017, respectively. The emission reductions of approximately 79.0%, 70.1% and 81.2% were achieved in 2017 compared with a 2013 baseline, respectively, due to the application of high-efficiency emission control measures, including the desulfurization, denitration and dust-removing devices and selective catalytic reduction (SCR). The NOx, SO2 and PM emission intensities were 0.125 g kWh−1, 0.076 g kWh−1 and 0.015 g kWh−1 in 2017, respectively, which were lower than the average of national coal-fired units. The coal-fired units with ≥600 MW generated 80.6% of the total electricity amount while they were estimated to account for 70.5% of total NOx, 70.1% of total SO2 and 71.9% of total PM. Their seasonal emissions showed a significant correlation to the power generation with the maximum correlation found in summer (July and August) and winter (January and December). The major regional contributors are the cities along the Huai River Basin and Yangtze River Basin, such as Huainan, Huaibei, Tongling, Maanshan and Wuhu, and the highest emission occurred in Huainan, accounting for approximately 26–40% of total emission from all the power plants. Our results indicated that the application of desulfurization, denitration and dust-removing devices has played an important role in controlling air pollutant emissions from coal-fired power plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Sensitivity to Convective Schemes on Precipitation Simulated by the Regional Climate Model MAR over Belgium (1987–2017)
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010034 - 17 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 866
Abstract
The aim of this study is to assess the sensitivity of convective precipitation modelled by the regional climate model MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional) over 1987–2017 to four newly implemented convective schemes: the Bechtold scheme coming from the MESO-NH regional model and the Betts-Miller-Janjić, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to assess the sensitivity of convective precipitation modelled by the regional climate model MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional) over 1987–2017 to four newly implemented convective schemes: the Bechtold scheme coming from the MESO-NH regional model and the Betts-Miller-Janjić, Kain-Fritsch and modified Tiedtke schemes coming from the WRF regional model. MAR version 3.9 is used here at a resolution of 10 km over a domain covering Belgium using the ERA-Interim reanalysis as forcing. The simulated precipitation is compared against SYNOP and E-OBS gridded precipitation data. Trends in total and convective precipitation over 1987–2017 are discussed. None of the MAR experiments compares better with observations than the others and they all show the same trends in (extreme) precipitation. Over the period 1987–2017, MAR suggests a significant increase in the mean annual precipitation amount over the North Sea but a significant decrease over High Belgium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regional Climate Modeling)
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Open AccessArticle
An Investigation of the Quantitative Correlation between Urban Morphology Parameters and Outdoor Ventilation Efficiency Indices
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010033 - 16 Jan 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 744
Abstract
Urban outdoor ventilation and pollutant dispersion have important implications for urban design and planning. In this paper, two urban morphology parameters, i.e. the floor area ratio (FAR) and the building site coverage (BSC), are considered to investigate their quantitative correlation with urban ventilation [...] Read more.
Urban outdoor ventilation and pollutant dispersion have important implications for urban design and planning. In this paper, two urban morphology parameters, i.e. the floor area ratio (FAR) and the building site coverage (BSC), are considered to investigate their quantitative correlation with urban ventilation indices. An idealized model, including nine basic units with FAR equal to 5, is considered and the BSC is increased from 11% to 77%, generating 101 non-repetitive asymmetric configurations, with attention to the influence of plan density, volume ratio, and building layout on ventilation performance within urban plot areas. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations are used to assess the ventilation efficiency at pedestrian level (2m above the ground) within each model central area. Six indices, including the air flow rate (Q), the mean age of air (τP), the net escape velocity (NEV), the purging flow rate (PFR), the visitation frequency (VF), and the resident time (TP) are used to assess the local ventilation performance. Results clearly show that, fixing the FAR, the local ventilation performance is not linearly related to BSC, but it also depends on buildings arrangement. Specifically, as the BSC increases, the ventilation in the central area does not keep reducing. On the contrary, some forms with low BSC have poor ventilation and some particular configurations with high BSC have better ventilation, which indicates that not all high-density configurations experience poor ventilation. The local ventilation performance can be effectively improved by rationally arranging the buildings. Even though the application of these results to real cities requires further research, the present findings suggest a preliminary way to build up a correlation between urban morphology parameters and ventilation efficiency tailored to develop a feasible framework for urban designers. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Atmosphere in 2018
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010032 - 15 Jan 2019
Viewed by 631
Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Selection of an Optimal Distribution Curve for Non-Stationary Flood Series
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010031 - 15 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 616
Abstract
The stationarity assumption of hydrological processes has long been compromised by human disturbances in river basins. The traditional hydrological extreme-value analysis method, i.e., “extreme value theory” which assumes stationarity of the time series, needs to be amended in order to adapt to these [...] Read more.
The stationarity assumption of hydrological processes has long been compromised by human disturbances in river basins. The traditional hydrological extreme-value analysis method, i.e., “extreme value theory” which assumes stationarity of the time series, needs to be amended in order to adapt to these changes. In this paper, taking the East River basin, south China as a case study, a framework was put forward for selection of a suitable distribution curve for non-stationary flood series by using the time-varying moments (TVM). Data used for this study are the annual maximum daily flow of 1954–2009 at the Longchuan, Heyuan and Boluo Stations in the study basin. Five types of distribution curves and eight kinds of trend models, for a combination of 40 models, were evaluated and compared. The results showed that the flood series and optimal distribution curves in the East River basin have been significantly impacted by a continuously changing environment. With the increase of the degree of human influence, the thinner tails of distributions are more suitable for fitting the observed flow data, and the trend models are changed from CP (mean and standard deviation fitted by parabolic trend model) to CL (mean and standard deviation fitted by linear trend model) from upstream to downstream of the catchment. The design flood flow corresponding to a return period of more than 10 years at the Longchuan, Heyuan and Boluo Stations was overestimated by more than 28.36%, 53.24% and 26.06%, respectively if the non-stationarity of series is not considered and the traditional method is still used for calculation. The study reveals that in a changing environment, more advanced statistical methods that explicitly account for the non-stationarity of extreme flood characteristics are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flood Control and Management)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Dual-Polarimetric Radar Variables and Quantitative Precipitation Estimators for Landfall Typhoons and Squall Lines Based on Disdrometer Data in Southern China
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010030 - 14 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 662
Abstract
Typhoon rainstorms often cause disasters in southern China. Quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) with the use of polarimetric radar can improve the accuracy of precipitation estimation and enhance typhoon defense ability. On the basis of the observed drop size distribution (DSD) of raindrops, a [...] Read more.
Typhoon rainstorms often cause disasters in southern China. Quantitative precipitation estimation (QPE) with the use of polarimetric radar can improve the accuracy of precipitation estimation and enhance typhoon defense ability. On the basis of the observed drop size distribution (DSD) of raindrops, a comparison is conducted among the DSD parameters and the polarimetric radar observation retrieved from DSD in five typhoon and three squall line events that occurred in southern China from 2016 to 2017. A new piecewise fitting method (PFM) is used to develop the QPE estimators for landfall typhoons and squall lines. The performance of QPE is evaluated by two fitting methods for two precipitation types using DSD data collected. Findings indicate that the number concentration of raindrops in typhoon precipitation is large and the average diameter is small, while the raindrops in squall line rain have opposite characteristics. The differential reflectivity (ZDR) and specific differential phase (KDP) in these two precipitation types increase slowly with the reflectivity factor (ZH), whereas the two precipitation types have different ZDR and KDP in the same ZH. Thus, it is critical to fit the rainfall estimator for different precipitation types. Enhanced estimation can be obtained using the estimators for specific precipitation types, whether the estimators are derived from the conventional fitting method (CFM) or PFM, and the estimators fitted using the PFM can produce better results. The estimators for the developed polarimetric radar can be used in operational QPE and quantitative precipitation foresting, and they can improve disaster defense against typhoons and heavy rains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle
Medieval Climate in the Eastern Mediterranean: Instability and Evidence of Solar Forcing
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010029 - 13 Jan 2019
Viewed by 1020
Abstract
This paper examines the hydroclimate history of the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) region during the 10th to 14th centuries C.E., a period known as the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), a time of significant historical turmoil and change in the region. The study assembles several [...] Read more.
This paper examines the hydroclimate history of the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) region during the 10th to 14th centuries C.E., a period known as the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), a time of significant historical turmoil and change in the region. The study assembles several regional hydroclimatic archives, primarily the Dead Sea reconstructed lake level curve together with the recently extracted deep-lake sediment record, the Soreq Cave speleothem record and its counterpart, the EM marine sediment record and the Cairo Nilometer record of annual maximum summer flood levels in lower Egypt. The Dead Sea record is a primary indicator of the intensity of the EM cold-season storm activity while the Nilometer reflects the intensity of the late summer monsoon rains over Ethiopia. These two climate systems control the annual rainfall amounts and water availability in the two regional breadbaskets of old, in Mesopotamia and Egypt. The paleoclimate archives portray a variable MCA in both the Levant and the Ethiopian Highlands with an overall dry, early-medieval climate that turned wetter in the 12th century C.E. However, the paleoclimatic records are markedly punctuated by episodes of extreme aridity. In particular, the Dead Sea displays extreme low lake levels and significant salt deposits starting as early as the 9th century C.E. and ending in the late 11th century. The Nile summer flood levels were particularly low during the 10th and 11th centuries, as is also recorded in a large number of historical chronicles that described a large cluster of droughts that led to dire human strife associated with famine, pestilence and conflict. During that time droughts and cold spells also affected the northeastern Middle East, in Persia and Mesopotamia. Seeking an explanation for the pronounced aridity and human consequences across the entire EM, we note that the 10th–11th century events coincide with the medieval Oort Grand Solar Minimum, which came at the height of an interval of relatively high solar irradiance. Bringing together other tropical and Northern Hemisphere paleoclimatic evidence, we argue for the role of long-term variations in solar irradiance in shaping the early MCA in the EM and highlight their relevance to the present and near-term future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of the Convective Triggering Process in a Cumulus Parameterization Scheme on the Diurnal Variation of Precipitation over East Asia
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010028 - 12 Jan 2019
Viewed by 629
Abstract
Effects of the convective triggering process in a cumulus parameterization scheme on the diurnal variation of precipitation over East Asia are examined using a regional climate model. Based on a cloud-resolving simulation showing the irrelevance of convective inhibition once convection is initiated and [...] Read more.
Effects of the convective triggering process in a cumulus parameterization scheme on the diurnal variation of precipitation over East Asia are examined using a regional climate model. Based on a cloud-resolving simulation showing the irrelevance of convective inhibition once convection is initiated and the sensitivity experiments to trigger conditions, the triggering process in the simplified Arakawa-Schubert (SAS) convection scheme is modified to use different convective initiation and termination conditions. The diurnal variation of precipitation frequency with the modified triggering process becomes in phase with the observed one, leading to a delayed afternoon peak in precipitation rate that is in better agreement with the observation. However, the bias in the phase of precipitation intensity is not resolved and the bias of excessive precipitation increases, indicating that adequate representation of not only the triggering process but also other moist convective processes that determine the strength of convection is required for further improvement in the simulation of the diurnal variation of precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Changes of Source Apportioned Particle Number Concentrations in a Metropolitan Area of the Northeastern United States
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010027 - 12 Jan 2019
Viewed by 946
Abstract
The northeastern United States has experienced significant emissions reductions in the last two decades leading to a decrease in PM2.5, major gaseous pollutants (SO2, CO, NOx) and ultrafine particles (UFPs) concentrations. Emissions controls were implemented for coal-fired [...] Read more.
The northeastern United States has experienced significant emissions reductions in the last two decades leading to a decrease in PM2.5, major gaseous pollutants (SO2, CO, NOx) and ultrafine particles (UFPs) concentrations. Emissions controls were implemented for coal-fired power plants, and new heavy-duty diesel trucks were equipped with particle traps and NOx control systems, and ultralow sulfur content is mandatory for both road and non-road diesel as well as residual oil for space heating. At the same time, economic changes also influenced the trends in air pollutants. Investigating the influence of these changes on ultrafine particle sources is fundamental to determine the success of the mitigation strategies and to plan future actions. Particle size distributions have been measured in Rochester, NY since January 2002. The particle sources were investigated with positive matrix factorization (PMF) of the size distributions (11–470 nm) and measured criteria pollutants during five periods (2002–2003, 2004–2007, 2008–2010, 2011–2013, and 2014–2016) and three seasons (winter, summer, and transition). Monthly, weekly, and hourly source contributions patterns were evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality and Sources Apportionment)
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Open AccessArticle
Variations in the Simulation of Climate Change Impact Indices due to Different Land Surface Schemes over the Mediterranean, Middle East and Northern Africa
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010026 - 12 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 684
Abstract
The Eastern Mediterranean (EM) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are projected to be exposed to extreme climatic conditions in the 21st century, which will likely induce adverse impacts in various sectors. Relevant climate change impact assessments utilise data from climate [...] Read more.
The Eastern Mediterranean (EM) and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are projected to be exposed to extreme climatic conditions in the 21st century, which will likely induce adverse impacts in various sectors. Relevant climate change impact assessments utilise data from climate model projections and process-based impact models or simpler, index-based approaches. In this study, we explore the implied uncertainty from variations of climate change impact-related indices as induced by the modelled climate (WRF regional climate model) from different land surface schemes (Noah, NoahMP, CLM and RUC). The three climate change impact-related indicators examined here are the Radiative Index of Dryness (RID), the Fuel Dryness Index (Fd) and the Water-limited Yield (Yw). Our findings indicate that Noah simulates the highest values for both RID and Fd, while CLM gives the highest estimations for winter wheat Yw. The relative dispersion in the three indices derived by the different land schemes is not negligible, amounting, for the overall geographical domain of 25% for RID and Fd, and 10% for Yw. The dispersion is even larger for specific sub-regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Skill-Testing Chemical Transport Models across Contrasting Atmospheric Mixing States Using Radon-222
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010025 - 11 Jan 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 935
Abstract
We propose a new technique to prepare statistically-robust benchmarking data for evaluating chemical transport model meteorology and air quality parameters within the urban boundary layer. The approach employs atmospheric class-typing, using nocturnal radon measurements to assign atmospheric mixing classes, and can be applied [...] Read more.
We propose a new technique to prepare statistically-robust benchmarking data for evaluating chemical transport model meteorology and air quality parameters within the urban boundary layer. The approach employs atmospheric class-typing, using nocturnal radon measurements to assign atmospheric mixing classes, and can be applied temporally (across the diurnal cycle), or spatially (to create angular distributions of pollutants as a top-down constraint on emissions inventories). In this study only a short (<1-month) campaign is used, but grouping of the relative mixing classes based on nocturnal mean radon concentrations can be adjusted according to dataset length (i.e., number of days per category), or desired range of within-class variability. Calculating hourly distributions of observed and simulated values across diurnal composites of each class-type helps to: (i) bridge the gap between scales of simulation and observation, (ii) represent the variability associated with spatial and temporal heterogeneity of sources and meteorology without being confused by it, and (iii) provide an objective way to group results over whole diurnal cycles that separates ‘natural complicating factors’ (synoptic non-stationarity, rainfall, mesoscale motions, extreme stability, etc.) from problems related to parameterizations, or between-model differences. We demonstrate the utility of this technique using output from a suite of seven contemporary regional forecast and chemical transport models. Meteorological model skill varied across the diurnal cycle for all models, with an additional dependence on the atmospheric mixing class that varied between models. From an air quality perspective, model skill regarding the duration and magnitude of morning and evening “rush hour” pollution events varied strongly as a function of mixing class. Model skill was typically the lowest when public exposure would have been the highest, which has important implications for assessing potential health risks in new and rapidly evolving urban regions, and also for prioritizing the areas of model improvement for future applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in New South Wales, Australia)
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Open AccessArticle
Ensemble Sensitivity Analysis-Based Ensemble Transform with 3D Rescaling Initialization Method for Storm-Scale Ensemble Forecast
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010024 - 10 Jan 2019
Viewed by 672
Abstract
In order to further investigate the influence of ensemble generation methods on the storm-scale ensemble forecast (SSEF) system, a new ensemble sensitivity analysis-based ensemble transform with 3D rescaling (ET_3DR_ESA) method was developed. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model was used to numerically [...] Read more.
In order to further investigate the influence of ensemble generation methods on the storm-scale ensemble forecast (SSEF) system, a new ensemble sensitivity analysis-based ensemble transform with 3D rescaling (ET_3DR_ESA) method was developed. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model was used to numerically simulate a squall line that occurred in the Jianghuai region in China on 12 July 2014. In this study, initial perturbations were generated via ET_3DR_ESA, and the ensemble forecast performance was compared to that of the dynamical downscaling (Down) method and the ensemble transform with 3D rescaling (ET_3DR) method. Results from a set of experiments indicate that ET_3DR_ESA linked to multi-scale environmental fields generates initial perturbations that can not only capture analysis uncertainties, but also match the actual synoptic conditions. Such perturbations produce faster ensemble spread growth, lower root-mean-square error, and a lower percentage of outliers, especially during the peak period of the squall line. In addition, ET_3DR_ESA can effectively reduce the energy dissipation on different scales through the analysis of the power spectrum. Moreover, the intensity and distribution forecasts of heavy rainfall from the ET_3DR_ESA ensemble forecast system were demonstrated to better match the observation. Furthermore, according to results of the relative operating characteristic (ROC) test, Brier score (BS), and equitable threat score (ETS), ET_3DR_ESA significantly improved the forecast skills for heavy rain (15–30 mm/12 h) and extreme rain (>30 mm/12 h), which are critical to the realization of accurate storm-scale system precipitation forecasts. In general, these results suggest that ET_3DR_ESA can be effectively applied to SSEF systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancements in Mesoscale Weather Analysis and Prediction)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating West African Monsoon Features in Warm Years Using the Regional Climate Model RegCM4
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010023 - 10 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 770
Abstract
This study investigates the changes in West African monsoon features during warm years using the Regional Climate Model version 4.5 (RegCM4.5). The analysis uses 30 years of datasets of rainfall, surface temperature and wind parameters (from 1980 to 2009). We performed a simulation [...] Read more.
This study investigates the changes in West African monsoon features during warm years using the Regional Climate Model version 4.5 (RegCM4.5). The analysis uses 30 years of datasets of rainfall, surface temperature and wind parameters (from 1980 to 2009). We performed a simulation at a spatial resolution of 50 km with the RegCM4.5 model driven by ERA-Interim reanalysis. The rainfall amount is weaker over the Sahel (western and central) and the Guinea region for the warmest years compared to the coldest ones. The analysis of heat fluxes show that the sensible (latent) heat flux is stronger (weaker) during the warmest (coldest) years. When considering the rainfall events, there is a decrease of the number of rainy days over the Guinea Coast (in the South of Cote d’Ivoire, of Ghana and of Benin) and the western and eastern Sahel during warm years. The maximum length of consecutive wet days decreases over the western and eastern Sahel, while the consecutive dry days increase mainly over the Sahel band during the warm years. The percentage of very warm days and warm nights increase mainly over the Sahel domain and the Guinea region. The model also simulates an increase of the warm spell duration index in the whole Sahel domain and over the Guinea Coast in warm years. The analysis of the wind dynamic exhibits during warm years a weakening of the monsoon flow in the lower levels, a strengthening in the magnitude of the African Easterly Jet (AEJ) in the mid-troposphere and a slight increase of the Tropical Easterly Jet (TEJ) in the upper levels of the atmosphere during warm years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monsoons)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Interpretation of the Electromagnetic Fields of Lightning Return Strokes
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010022 - 09 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 691
Abstract
Electric and/or magnetic fields are generated by stationary charges, uniformly moving charges and accelerating charges. These field components are described in the literature as static fields, velocity fields (or generalized Coulomb field) and radiation fields (or acceleration fields), respectively. In the literature, the [...] Read more.
Electric and/or magnetic fields are generated by stationary charges, uniformly moving charges and accelerating charges. These field components are described in the literature as static fields, velocity fields (or generalized Coulomb field) and radiation fields (or acceleration fields), respectively. In the literature, the electromagnetic fields generated by lightning return strokes are presented using the field components associated with short dipoles, and in this description the one–to-one association of the electromagnetic field terms with the physical process that gives rise to them is lost. In this paper, we have derived expressions for the electromagnetic fields using field equations associated with accelerating (and moving) charges and separated the resulting fields into static, velocity and radiation fields. The results illustrate how the radiation fields emanating from the lightning channel give rise to field terms varying as 1 / r and 1 / r 2 , the velocity fields generating field terms varying as 1 / r 2 , and the static fields generating field components varying as 1 / r 2 and 1 / r 3 . These field components depend explicitly on the speed of propagation of the current pulse. However, the total field does not depend explicitly on the speed of propagation of the current pulse. It is shown that these field components can be combined to generate the field components pertinent to the dipole technique. However, in this conversion process the connection of the field components to the physical processes taking place at the source that generate these fields (i.e., static charges, uniformly moving charges and accelerating charges) is lost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical Characterization of PM2.5 at Rural and Urban Sites around the Metropolitan Area of Huancayo (Central Andes of Peru)
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010021 - 08 Jan 2019
Viewed by 1393
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to determine PM2.5 mass concentration and the contents of trace elements and water-soluble ions in samples collected inside the Metropolitan area of Huancayo. Four monitoring stations were installed at three urban areas (UNCP, HYO, and CHI) [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to determine PM2.5 mass concentration and the contents of trace elements and water-soluble ions in samples collected inside the Metropolitan area of Huancayo. Four monitoring stations were installed at three urban areas (UNCP, HYO, and CHI) and one rural (IGP). The sampling campaign was carried out from March 2017 to November 2017. The PM2.5 content was determined by gravimetric method, and fifteen trace elements (TE) and seven water-soluble ions were detected by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP–MS), and ion chromatography (IC), respectively. Datasets were assessed by one ANOVA test to detect significant differences among monitoring station. Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA) were applied for source identification. The mean annual concentration of PM2.5 mass concentrations has ranged (average) from 3.4 to 36.8 µg/m3 (16.6 ± 6.8 µg/m3) for the monitoring stations under study. The annual World Health Organization thresholds and national air quality standards were exceeded. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed between most trace elements at urban and rural areas. PCA and HCA illustrated that the most important sources of traces element originated of natural origin (soil re-suspension) and vehicular sources (fuel combustion, abrasion of vehicles tires, wear car components). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Implementation of Aerosol-Cloud Interaction within WRF-CHIMERE Online Coupled Model: Evaluation and Investigation of the Indirect Radiative Effect from Anthropogenic Emission Reduction on the Benelux Union
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010020 - 08 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
The indirect effects of aerosol are particularly important over regions where meteorological conditions and aerosol content are favourable to cloud formation. This was observed during the Intensive Cloud Aerosol Measurement Campaign (IMPACT) (European Integrated project on Aerosol Cloud Climate and Air quality Interaction [...] Read more.
The indirect effects of aerosol are particularly important over regions where meteorological conditions and aerosol content are favourable to cloud formation. This was observed during the Intensive Cloud Aerosol Measurement Campaign (IMPACT) (European Integrated project on Aerosol Cloud Climate and Air quality Interaction (EUCAARI) project) in the Benelux Union during May 2008. To better understand this cloud formation variability, the indirect effects of aerosol have been included within the WRF-CHIMERE online model. By comparing model results to the aircraft measurements of IMPACT, to surface measurements from EMEP and AIRBASE and to MODIS satellite measurements, we showed that the model is able to simulate the variability and order of magnitude of the observed number of condensation nuclei (CN), even if some differences are identified for specific aerosol size and location. To quantify the impact of the local anthropogenic emissions on cloud formation, a sensitivity study is performed by halving the surface emissions fluxes. It is shown that the indirect radiative effect (IRE) at the surface is positive for both shortwave and longwave with a net warming of +0.99 W/m2. In addition, important instantaneous changes are modelled at local scale with up to ±6 °C for temperatures and ±50 mm/day for precipitation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Case Study of Stratus Cloud Properties Using In Situ Aircraft Observations over Huanghua, China
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010019 - 08 Jan 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 635
Abstract
Cloud liquid water content (LWC) and droplet effective radius (re) have an important influence on cloud physical processes and optical characteristics. The microphysical properties of a three-layer pure liquid stratus were measured by aircraft probes on 26 April 2014 over a [...] Read more.
Cloud liquid water content (LWC) and droplet effective radius (re) have an important influence on cloud physical processes and optical characteristics. The microphysical properties of a three-layer pure liquid stratus were measured by aircraft probes on 26 April 2014 over a coastal region in Huanghua, China. Vertical variations in aerosol concentration (Na), cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) at supersaturation (SS) 0.3%, cloud LWC and cloud re are examined. Large Na in the size range of 0.1–3 μm and CCN have been found within the planetary boundary layer (PBL) below ~1150 m. However, Na and CCN decrease quickly with height and reach a level similar to that over marine locations. Corresponding to the vertical distributions of aerosols and CCN, the cloud re is quite small (3.0–6 μm) at heights below 1150 m, large (7–13 μm) at high altitudes. In the PBL cloud layer, cloud re and aerosol Na show a negative relationship, while they show a clear positive relationship in the upper layer above PBL with much less aerosol Na. It also shows that the relationship between cloud re and aerosol Na changes from negative to positive when LWC increases. These results imply that the response of cloud re to aerosol Na depends on the combination effects of water-competency and collision-coalescence efficiency among droplets. The vertical structure of aerosol Na and cloud re implies potential cautions for the study of aerosol-cloud interaction using aerosol optical depth for cloud layers above the PBL altitude. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Growth of Atmospheric Droplets)
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Open AccessArticle
Selection of Appropriate Thermal Indices for Applications in Human Biometeorological Studies
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010018 - 07 Jan 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 993
Abstract
Application of thermal indices has become very popular over the last three decades. It is mostly aimed at urban areas and is also used in weather forecasting, especially for heat health warning systems. Recent studies also show the relevance of thermal indices and [...] Read more.
Application of thermal indices has become very popular over the last three decades. It is mostly aimed at urban areas and is also used in weather forecasting, especially for heat health warning systems. Recent studies also show the relevance of thermal indices and their justification for thermal perception. Only twelve out of 165 indices of human thermal perception are classified to be principally suitable for the human biometeorological evaluation of climate for urban and regional planning: this requests that the thermal indices provide an equivalent air temperature of an isothermal reference with minor wind velocity. Furthermore, thermal indices must be traceable to complete human energy budget models consisting of both a controlled passive system (heat transfer between body and environment) and a controlling active system, which provides a positive feedback on temperature deviations from neutral conditions of the body core and skin as it is the case in nature. Seven out of the twelve indices are fully suitable, of which three overlap with the others. Accordingly, the following four indices were selected as appropriate: Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI), Perceived Temperature (PTJ), Physiologically Equivalent Temperature (PET), and rational Standard Effective Temperature (SET*). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biometeorology)
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Open AccessArticle
Qualitative and Quantitative Investigation of Multiple Large Eddy Simulation Aspects for Pollutant Dispersion in Street Canyons Using OpenFOAM
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010017 - 07 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 796
Abstract
Air pollution is probably the single largest environment risk to health and urban streets are the localized, relevant hotspots. Numerous studies reviewed the state-of-the-art models, proposed best-practice guidelines and explored, using various software, how different approaches (e.g., Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS), large eddy simulations [...] Read more.
Air pollution is probably the single largest environment risk to health and urban streets are the localized, relevant hotspots. Numerous studies reviewed the state-of-the-art models, proposed best-practice guidelines and explored, using various software, how different approaches (e.g., Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS), large eddy simulations (LES)) inter-compare. Open source tools are continuously attracting interest but lack of similar, extensive and comprehensive investigations. At the same time, their configuration varies significantly among the related studies leading to non-reproducible results. Therefore, the typical quasi-2D street canyon geometry was selected to employ the well-known open-source software OpenFOAM and to investigate and validate the main parameters affecting LES transient simulation of a pollutant dispersion. In brief, domain height slightly affected street level concentration but source height had a major impact. All sub-grid scale models predicted the velocity profiles adequately, but the k-equation SGS model best-resolved pollutant dispersion. Finally, an easily reproducible LES configuration is proposed that provided a satisfactory compromise between computational demands and accuracy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pollutant Dispersion in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer)
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Open AccessArticle
Meteorological Differences Characterizing Tornado Outbreak Forecasts of Varying Quality
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010016 - 07 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 569
Abstract
Tornado outbreaks (TOs) are a major hazard to life and property for locations east of the Rocky Mountains. Improving tornado outbreak (TO) forecasts will help minimize risks associated with these major events. In this study, we present a methodology for quantifying TO forecasts [...] Read more.
Tornado outbreaks (TOs) are a major hazard to life and property for locations east of the Rocky Mountains. Improving tornado outbreak (TO) forecasts will help minimize risks associated with these major events. In this study, we present a methodology for quantifying TO forecasts of varying quality, based on Storm Prediction Center convective outlook forecasts, and provide synoptic and mesoscale composite analyses to identify important features characterizing these events. Synoptic-scale composites from the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) are presented for TO forecasts at three forecast quality levels, H-class (high quality), M-class (medium quality), and L-class (low quality), as well as false alarm TO forecasts. H-class and false alarm TO forecasts share many meteorological similarities, particularly in the synoptic-scale, though false alarm events show less well-defined low-level synoptic-scale features. M- and L-class TOs present environments dominated by mesoscale thermodynamic processes (particularly dryline structures), contrasting H-class TOs which are clearly synoptically driven. Simulations of these composites reveal higher instability in M- and L-class TOs that lack key kinematic structures that characterize H-class TOs. The results presented offer important forecast feedback that can help inform future TO predictions and ultimately produce improved TO forecast quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle
Validation of HOAPS Rain Retrievals against OceanRAIN In-Situ Measurements over the Atlantic Ocean
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010015 - 07 Jan 2019
Viewed by 570
Abstract
The satellite-derived HOAPS (Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite Data) precipitation estimates have been validated against in-situ precipitation measurements from optical disdrometers, available from OceanRAIN (Ocean Rainfall And Ice-phase precipitation measurement Network) over the open-ocean by applying a statistical analysis for [...] Read more.
The satellite-derived HOAPS (Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters and Fluxes from Satellite Data) precipitation estimates have been validated against in-situ precipitation measurements from optical disdrometers, available from OceanRAIN (Ocean Rainfall And Ice-phase precipitation measurement Network) over the open-ocean by applying a statistical analysis for binary estimates. In addition to using directly collocated pairs of data, collocated data were merged within a certain temporal and spatial threshold into single events, according to the observation times. Although binary statistics do not show perfect agreement, simulations of areal estimates from the observations themselves indicate a reasonable performance of HOAPS to detect rain. However, there are deficits at low and mid-latitudes. Weaknesses also occur when analyzing the mean precipitation rates; HOAPS underperforms in the area of the intertropical convergence zone, where OceanRAIN observations show the highest mean precipitation rates. Histograms indicate that this is due to an underestimation of the frequency of moderate to high precipitation rates by HOAPS, which cannot be explained by areal averaging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle
The Response of Spring Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) to Climate Change in Northern Serbia
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010014 - 05 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 970
Abstract
The present study assessed the effect of projected climate change on the sowing time, onset, and duration of flowering, the duration of the growing season, and the grain yield of spring barley in Northern Serbia. An AquaCrop simulation covered two climate model integration [...] Read more.
The present study assessed the effect of projected climate change on the sowing time, onset, and duration of flowering, the duration of the growing season, and the grain yield of spring barley in Northern Serbia. An AquaCrop simulation covered two climate model integration periods (2001–2030 and 2071–2100) using a dual-step approach (with and without irrigation). After considering the effect of climate change on barley production, the economic benefit of future supplemental irrigation was assessed. The model was calibrated and validated using observed field data (2006–2014), and the simulation’s outcomes for future scenarios were compared to those of the baseline period (1971–2000) that was used for the expected climate analysis. The results showed that the projected features of barley production for the 2001–2030 period did not differ much from current practice in this region. On the contrary, for the 2071–2100 period, barley was expected to be sown earlier, to prolong its vegetation, and to shorten flowering’s duration. Nevertheless, its yield was expected to remain stable. An economic feasibility assessment of irrigation in the future indicated a negative income, which is why spring barley will most likely remain rain-fed under future conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Filling Gaps in Hourly Air Temperature Data Using Debiased ERA5 Data
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010013 - 04 Jan 2019
Viewed by 1010
Abstract
Missing data in hourly and daily temperature data series is a common problem in long-term data series and many observational networks. Agricultural and environmental models and climate-related tools can be used only if weather data series are complete. To support user communities, a [...] Read more.
Missing data in hourly and daily temperature data series is a common problem in long-term data series and many observational networks. Agricultural and environmental models and climate-related tools can be used only if weather data series are complete. To support user communities, a technique for gap filling is developed based on the debiasing of ERA5 reanalysis data, the fifth generation of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) atmospheric reanalyses of the global climate. The debiasing procedure includes in situ measured temperature. The methodology is tested for different landscapes, latitudes, and altitudes, including tropical and midlatitudes. An evaluation of results in terms of root mean square error (RMSE) obtained using hourly and daily data is provided. The study shows very low average RMSE for all gap lengths ranging from 1.1 °C (Montecristo, Italy) to 1.9 °C (Gumpenstein, Austria). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How Much Do Clouds Mask the Impacts of Arctic Sea Ice and Snow Cover Variations? Different Perspectives from Observations and Reanalyses
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010012 - 04 Jan 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 751
Abstract
Decreasing sea ice and snow cover are reducing the surface albedo and changing the Arctic surface energy balance. How these surface albedo changes influence the planetary albedo is a more complex question, though, that depends critically on the modulating effects of the intervening [...] Read more.
Decreasing sea ice and snow cover are reducing the surface albedo and changing the Arctic surface energy balance. How these surface albedo changes influence the planetary albedo is a more complex question, though, that depends critically on the modulating effects of the intervening atmosphere. To answer this question, we partition the observed top of atmosphere (TOA) albedo into contributions from the surface and atmosphere, the latter being heavily dependent on clouds. While the surface albedo predictably declines with lower sea ice and snow cover, the TOA albedo decreases approximately half as much. This weaker response can be directly attributed to the fact that the atmosphere contributes more than 70% of the TOA albedo in the annual mean and is less dependent on surface cover. The surface accounts for a maximum of 30% of the TOA albedo in spring and less than 10% by the end of summer. Reanalyses (ASR versions 1 and 2, ERA-Interim, MERRA-2, and NCEP R2) represent the annual means of surface albedo fairly well, but biases are found in magnitudes of the TOA albedo and its contributions, likely due to their representations of clouds. Reanalyses show a wide range of TOA albedo sensitivity to changing sea ice concentration, 0.04–0.18 in September, compared to 0.11 in observations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Processes Shaping Arctic Climate)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in the Atmospheric Circulation Conditions and Regional Climatic Characteristics in Two Remote Regions Since the Mid-20th Century
Atmosphere 2019, 10(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10010011 - 03 Jan 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 571
Abstract
A meridional Northern Hemisphere (NH) circulation epoch, which began in 1957, is marked by changes in the temperature and precipitation regimes over southwest Russia and central USA depending on the occurrence of NH atmospheric circulation regimes. A classification scheme proposed in 1968, and [...] Read more.
A meridional Northern Hemisphere (NH) circulation epoch, which began in 1957, is marked by changes in the temperature and precipitation regimes over southwest Russia and central USA depending on the occurrence of NH atmospheric circulation regimes. A classification scheme proposed in 1968, and studied later put forth 13 NH circulation types, fitting more broadly into four groups, two of which are more zonal type flows and two of which are more meridional flows. Using the results of a previous study that showed four distinct sub-periods during the 1957–2017 epoch, the temperature and precipitation regimes of both regions were studied across all seasons in order to characterize modern day climate variability and their suitability for vegetation growth. Then the Hydrologic Coefficient, which combined the temperature and precipitation variables, was briefly studied. The most optimal conditions for vegetation growth, positive temperature and precipitation anomalies, were noted during the period 1970–1980 for southwest Russia, which was dominated by an increasingly more zonal flow regime in the Belgorod region and NH in general. For the central USA, the HTC showed more ideal conditions for agriculture in recent years due to favorable precipitation occurrence. In southwest Russia, variable precipitation regimes were noted during the meridional flow periods, and with the increase in temperature (since 1998), these can adversely affect the hydrothermal characteristics of the growing season. Finally, a comparison of the 13 NH circulation types with several teleconnection indexes demonstrated the robustness of the NH flow regime classification scheme used here. Full article
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