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Atmosphere, Volume 10, Issue 4 (April 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) In the UN-ECE ICP materials project, which began around the year 2000, the soiling of experimental [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Size-Segregated Chemical Compositions of HULISs in Ambient Aerosols Collected during the Winter Season in Songdo, South Korea
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040226
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 20 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
The primary objective of this study was to investigate the molecular compositions of humic-like substances (HULISs) in size-resolved ambient aerosols, which were collected using an Anderson-type air sampler (eight size cuts between 0.43 and 11 μm) during the winter season (i.e., the heating [...] Read more.
The primary objective of this study was to investigate the molecular compositions of humic-like substances (HULISs) in size-resolved ambient aerosols, which were collected using an Anderson-type air sampler (eight size cuts between 0.43 and 11 μm) during the winter season (i.e., the heating period of 8–12 January 2018) in Songdo, South Korea. The aerosol samples collected during the pre- (preheating, 27 November–1 December 2017) and post-winter (postheating, 12–16 March 2018) periods were used as controls for the winter season samples. According to the concentrations of the chromophoric organics determined at an ultraviolet (UV) wavelength of 305 nm, most of the HULIS compounds were found to be predominantly enriched in particles less than 2.1 μm regardless of the sampling period, which shows that particulate matter (diameter less than 2.5 μm; PM2.5) aerosols were the dominant carriers of airborne organics. Ultrahigh-resolution Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (UHR FT–ICR MS) analysis of the aerosol-carried organic substances revealed that as the aerosol size increased the proportions of CHO and nitrogen-containing CHO (CHON) compounds decreased, while the proportion of sulfur-containing CHO (CHOS) species increased. In particular, the ambient aerosols during the heating period seemed to present more CHO and CHON and less CHOS molecules compared to aerosols collected during the pre- and postheating periods. The aerosols collected during the heating period also exhibited more aromatic nitrogen-containing compounds, which may have originated from primary combustion processes. Overall, the particle size distribution was likely influenced by source origins; smaller particles are likely from local sources, such as traffic and industries, and larger particles (i.e., aged particles) are likely derived from long-range transport generating secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) in the atmosphere. The results of the size-segregated particles can be utilized to understand particle formation mechanisms and shed light on their toxicity to human health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Along-Valley Orographic Variations on the Dispersion of Passive Tracers in a Stable Atmosphere
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040225
Received: 17 October 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
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Abstract
A numerical model is used to investigate the transport of passive tracers in an idealized Alpine valley during stable wintertime conditions after the evening transition. The valley is composed of an upstream-valley section, which opens on a narrower downstream valley section, which opens [...] Read more.
A numerical model is used to investigate the transport of passive tracers in an idealized Alpine valley during stable wintertime conditions after the evening transition. The valley is composed of an upstream-valley section, which opens on a narrower downstream valley section, which opens onto a plain. The ratio between the valley-floor widths of the upstream and downstream sections is either 4 (simulation P1) or 11.5 (P2). The change in the thermal structure of the atmosphere in the along-valley direction and over the plain leads to the development of an along-valley flow. This flow is up-valley in the upstream section during the first three hours of the P1 simulation, reversing to the down-valley direction afterwards, but remains up-valley during the six hours of the P2 simulation. The effect of wind dynamics on the dispersion of passive scalars is identified by tracking areas prone to stagnation, recirculation, and ventilation using the methodology developed by Allwine and Whiteman (1994). Zones identified as prone to stagnation are consistent with those of high tracer concentration in both simulations. The narrowing of the valley is found to significantly reduce ventilation in the upstream section, an observation quantified by a ventilation efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Processes over Complex Terrain)
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Open AccessArticle
Roadside Moss Turfs in South East Australia Capture More Particulate Matter Along an Urban Gradient than a Common Native Tree Species
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040224
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
Urbanisation largely consists of removing native vegetation. Plants that remain interact with air quality in complex ways. Pollutants can be detrimental to plant growth; plants sometimes reduce air quality, yet some species also improve it through phytoremediation. A common pollutant of concern to [...] Read more.
Urbanisation largely consists of removing native vegetation. Plants that remain interact with air quality in complex ways. Pollutants can be detrimental to plant growth; plants sometimes reduce air quality, yet some species also improve it through phytoremediation. A common pollutant of concern to human health in urban areas is particulate matter (PM), small particles of solid or liquid. Our study compared roadside moss turfs with leaves of a common Australian tree species, Pittosporum undulatum, in their ability to capture PM along an urban gradient. We sampled nine sites, three in each of three levels of urbanisation: low, medium, and high according to road type (freeway, suburban road, quiet peri-urban road). In addition, we deployed a PM monitor over a two-week period in one site of each urban level to provide concentrations of PM2.5. We used chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm; maximum quantum yield of photosystem II) as a measure of plant stress. We extracted PM in three size fractions using a filtration and washing technique with water and chloroform. Site averages for moss turfs were between 5.60 and 33.00 mg per g dry weight for total PM compared to between 2.15 and 10.24 mg per g dry weight for the tree leaves. We found that moss was more sensitive to increasing urbanisation, both in terms of trapping proportionately more PM than the leaves, and also in terms of photosynthetic stress, with moss Fv/Fm declining by a site average of 40% from low to high urban “class” (0.76 to 0.45). Our study highlights the stressors potentially limiting moss persistence in cities. It also demonstrates its ability to trap PM, a trait that could be useful in urban applications relating to urban greening or air quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in New South Wales, Australia)
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Open AccessArticle
A Combined Model Based on Feature Selection and WOA for PM2.5 Concentration Forecasting
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040223
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
As people pay more attention to the environment and health, PM2.5 receives more and more consideration. Establishing a high-precision PM2.5 concentration prediction model is of great significance for air pollutants monitoring and controlling. This paper proposed a hybrid model [...] Read more.
As people pay more attention to the environment and health, P M 2.5 receives more and more consideration. Establishing a high-precision P M 2.5 concentration prediction model is of great significance for air pollutants monitoring and controlling. This paper proposed a hybrid model based on feature selection and whale optimization algorithm (WOA) for the prediction of P M 2.5 concentration. The proposed model included five modules: data preprocessing module, feature selection module, optimization module, forecasting module and evaluation module. Firstly, signal processing technology CEEMDAN-VMD (Complete Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition with Adaptive Noise and Variational Mode Decomposition) is used to decompose, reconstruct, identify and select the main features of P M 2.5 concentration series in data preprocessing module. Then, AutoCorrelation Function (ACF) is used to extract the variables which have relatively large correlation with predictor, so as to select input variables according to the order of correlation coefficients. Finally, Least Squares Support Vector Machine (LSSVM) is applied to predict the hourly P M 2.5 concentration, and the parameters of LSSVM are optimized by WOA. Two experiment studies reveal that the performance of the proposed model is better than benchmark models, such as single LSSVM model with default parameters optimization, single BP neural networks (BPNN), general regression neural network (GRNN) and some other combined models recently reported. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Distribution, Pollution Source, and Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Atmospheric Depositions: A Case Study from the Sustainable City of Shijiazhuang, China
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040222
Received: 19 March 2019 / Revised: 20 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
Samples of atmospheric depositions from five types of functional areas in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, China, were collected, and the concentrations of six toxic heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, and Zn) were measured. Geographic information system, Pb isotope assessment, multivariate statistical analysis [...] Read more.
Samples of atmospheric depositions from five types of functional areas in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, China, were collected, and the concentrations of six toxic heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni, and Zn) were measured. Geographic information system, Pb isotope assessment, multivariate statistical analysis (principal component analysis, PCA), the geoaccumulation index (Igeo), potential ecological risk index (PERI), and a health risk assessment model were used to study the degree of pollution, identify sources of pollution, and assess the health risks to children and adults via three pathways (hand–mouth intake, skin contact, and respiration). The results show that the high traffic volume and exhaust gas emissions have led to high concentrations of heavy metals. The Igeo and PERI values of Cd (0.38–2.0 and 108–4531, respectively), indicating the present high pollution level and potential risk, respectively, varied the most. Pb isotope and PCA showed that Pb, Zn, and Cd from atmospheric deposition come from power plants and traffic—Cu is related to traffic, and Ni and Cr come mainly from soil particles (natural source). The health risk assessment showed that heavy metals in atmospheric depositions are at a safe level in the study area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fundamentals of Ornamental Plants in Removing Benzene in Indoor Air
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040221
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 22 April 2019 / Published: 24 April 2019
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Abstract
The concentration of benzene in indoor air has received appreciable attention due to its adverse health effects. Although phytoremediation has been considered as an eco-friendly method to remove benzene, it is unclear how to select plants with a high removal rate. In this [...] Read more.
The concentration of benzene in indoor air has received appreciable attention due to its adverse health effects. Although phytoremediation has been considered as an eco-friendly method to remove benzene, it is unclear how to select plants with a high removal rate. In this study, we evaluated the benzene removal efficiency of four common ornamental plants, Epipremnum aureum, Chlorophytum comosum, Hedera helix and Echinopsis tubiflora, and we also explored the factors impacting benzene removal efficiency. The removal efficiency of all plants in this study averaged at 72 percent. The benzene absorption rates of Epipremnum aureum, Hedera helix and Chlorophytum comosum were 1.10, 0.85 and 0.27 µg·m−3·cm−2, respectively. This is due to the different transpiration rates and chlorophyll concentrations in the plants. The benzene removal efficiency of crassulacean acid metabolism plant (Echinopsis tubiflora) was 23% higher than C3 plant (Epipremnum aureum) under dark conditions. This can be attributed to the fact that the characteristic of Echinopsis tubiflora stomata is different from Epipremnum aureum stomata, which is still open under dark conditions. Therefore, Echinopsis tubiflora can take up more benzene than Epipremnum aureum. For different initial benzene concentrations, the benzene removal efficiency of Echinopsis tubiflora was always great (50–80%), owing to its high rate of transpiration and concentration of chlorophyll. Our findings indicate that transpiration rate and chlorophyll concentration can be used as reference parameters to facilitate ornamental plant screening for indoor air quality improvement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Regional Climatic Features of the Arabian Peninsula
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040220
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 20 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
The climate of the Arabian Peninsula is characterized by significant spatial and temporal variations, due to its complex topography and the large-scale atmospheric circulation. Furthermore, the role of dust in the formation of regional climate is considered to be crucial. In this work, [...] Read more.
The climate of the Arabian Peninsula is characterized by significant spatial and temporal variations, due to its complex topography and the large-scale atmospheric circulation. Furthermore, the role of dust in the formation of regional climate is considered to be crucial. In this work, the regional climatology for the Arabian Peninsula has been studied by employing a high resolution state of the art atmospheric model that included sophisticated physical parameterization schemes and online treatment of natural aerosol particles. The simulations covered a 30-year period (1986–2015) with a temporal resolution of 3 h and a spatial distance of 9 km. The main focus was given to the spatial and temporal variations of mean temperature and temperature extremes, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity. The results were evaluated using in situ measurements indicating a good agreement. An examination of possible climatic changes during the present climate was also performed through a comprehensive analysis of the trends of mean temperature and temperature extremes. The statistical significant trend values were overall positive and increased over the northwestern parts of the examined area. Similar spatial distributions were found for the daily minimum and maximum temperatures. Higher positive values emerged for the daily maxima. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle
A New Clear-Sky Method for Assessing Photosynthetically Active Radiation at the Surface Level
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040219
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 16 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
A clear–sky method to estimate the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) at the surface level in cloudless atmospheres is presented and validated. It uses a fast and accurate approximation adopted in several radiative transfer models, known as the k-distribution method and the correlated- [...] Read more.
A clear–sky method to estimate the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) at the surface level in cloudless atmospheres is presented and validated. It uses a fast and accurate approximation adopted in several radiative transfer models, known as the k-distribution method and the correlated-k approximation, which gives a set of fluxes accumulated over 32 established wavelength intervals. A resampling technique, followed by a summation, are applied over the wavelength range [0.4, 0.7] µm in order to retrieve the PAR fluxes. The method uses as inputs the total column contents of ozone and water vapor, and optical properties of aerosols provided by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. To validate the method, its outcomes were compared to instantaneous global photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) measurements acquired at seven experimental sites of the Surface Radiation Budget Network (SURFRAD) located in various climates in the USA. The bias lies in the interval [−12, 61] µmol m−2 s−1 ([−1, 5] % in values relative to the means of the measurements at each station). The root mean square error ranges between 37 µmol m−2 s−1 (3%) and 82 µmol m−2 s−1 (6%). The squared correlation coefficient fluctuates from 0.97 to 0.99. This comparison demonstrates the high level of accuracy of the presented method, which offers an accurate estimate of PAR fluxes in cloudless atmospheres at high spatial and temporal resolutions useful for several bio geophysical models. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Arctic Intense Summer Storms and Their Impacts on Sea Ice—A Regional Climate Modeling Study
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040218
Received: 9 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
Various temporal and spatial changes have manifested in Arctic storm activities, including the occurrence of the anomalously intense storms in the summers of 2012 and 2016, along with the amplified warming and rapidly decreased sea ice. To detect the variability of and changes [...] Read more.
Various temporal and spatial changes have manifested in Arctic storm activities, including the occurrence of the anomalously intense storms in the summers of 2012 and 2016, along with the amplified warming and rapidly decreased sea ice. To detect the variability of and changes in storm activity and understand its role in sea ice changes, we examined summer storm count and intensity year-by-year from ensemble hindcast simulations with an Arctic regional coupled climate model for the period of 1948–2008. The results indicated that the model realistically simulated the climatological spatial structure of the storm activity, characterized by the storm count and intensity. The simulated storm count captures the variability derived from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction-National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP–NCAR) reanalysis, though the simulated one is higher than that in the reanalysis. This could be attributed to the higher resolution of the model that may better represent smaller and shallower cyclones. The composite analysis shows that intense storms tend to form a low-pressure pattern with centers over the Kara Sea and Chukchi Sea, respectively, generating cyclonic circulation over the North Atlantic and North Pacific Arctic Ocean. The former drives intensification of the transpolar drift and Fram Strait sea ice export, and the latter suppresses thick ice transport from the Canada Basin to the Beaufort–Chukchi Seas, in spite of an increase in sea ice transport to the East Siberian Sea. Associated with these changes in sea ice transport, sea ice concentration and thickness show large decreases in the Barents–Kara Seas and the Chukchi–East-Siberian Seas, respectively. Energy budgets analysis suggests that more numerous intense storms substantially decrease the downward net sea ice heat fluxes, including net radiative fluxes, turbulent fluxes, and oceanic heat fluxes, compared with that when a lower number of intense storms occur. The decrease in the heat fluxes could be attributable to an increased cloudiness and the resultant reduction of downward shortwave radiation, as well as a destabilized boundary layer induced increase in upward turbulent fluxes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cryosphere in and around Regional Climate Models)
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding Spatial Variability of Air Quality in Sydney: Part 2—A Roadside Case Study
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040217
Received: 22 February 2019 / Revised: 5 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
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Abstract
Motivated by public interest, the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes (CAUL) hub deployed instrumentation to measure air quality at a roadside location in Sydney. The main aim was to compare concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) measured along a busy road [...] Read more.
Motivated by public interest, the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes (CAUL) hub deployed instrumentation to measure air quality at a roadside location in Sydney. The main aim was to compare concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) measured along a busy road section with ambient regional urban background levels, as measured at nearby regulatory air quality stations. The study also explored spatial and temporal variations in the observed PM2.5 concentrations. The chosen area was Randwick in Sydney, because it was also the subject area for an agent-based traffic model. Over a four-day campaign in February 2017, continuous measurements of PM2.5 were made along and around the main road. In addition, a traffic counting application was used to gather data for evaluation of the agent-based traffic model. The average hourly PM2.5 concentration was 13 µg/m3, which is approximately twice the concentrations at the nearby regulatory air quality network sites measured over the same period. Roadside concentrations of PM2.5 were about 50% higher in the morning rush-hour than the afternoon rush hour, and slightly lower (reductions of <30%) 50 m away from the main road, on cross-roads. The traffic model under-estimated vehicle numbers by about 4 fold, and failed to replicate the temporal variations in traffic flow, which we assume was due to an influx of traffic from outside the study region dominating traffic patterns. Our findings suggest that those working for long hours outdoors at busy roadside locations are at greater risk of suffering detrimental health effects associated with higher levels of exposure to PM2.5. Furthermore, the worse air quality in the morning rush hour means that, where possible, joggers and cyclists should avoid busy roads around these times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in New South Wales, Australia)
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Open AccessArticle
Pre-Earthquake and Coseismic Ionosphere Disturbances of the Mw 6.6 Lushan Earthquake on 20 April 2013 Monitored by CMONOC
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040216
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 20 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
In order to study the coupling relationship between large earthquakes and the ionosphere, the techniques of ionosphere data acquisition were refined by the Crustal Movement Observation Network of China (CMONOC) to detect the pre-earthquake ionospheric abnormal and coseismic ionospheric disturbances (CID) of the [...] Read more.
In order to study the coupling relationship between large earthquakes and the ionosphere, the techniques of ionosphere data acquisition were refined by the Crustal Movement Observation Network of China (CMONOC) to detect the pre-earthquake ionospheric abnormal and coseismic ionospheric disturbances (CID) of the Mw 6.6 Lushan earthquake on 20 April 2013. Based on the regional ionosphere maps (RIMs) derived from the Global Positioning System (GPS) observations of CMONOC, the ionospheric local effects near the epicenter of the Lushan earthquake one month prior to the shock were analyzed. The results show that the total electron content (TEC) anomalies appeared 12–14 (6–8 April), 19 (1 April), and 25–27 (24–26 March) days prior to the Lushan earthquake, which are defined as periods 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Multi-indices including the ring current index (Dst), geomagnetic planetary (Kp) index, wind plasma speed (Vsw) index, F10.7, and solar flares were utilized to represent the solar–terrestrial environment in different scales and eliminate the effects of solar and geomagnetic activities on the ionosphere. After the interference of solar–terrestrial activity and the diurnal variation in the lower thermosphere were excluded, the TEC variations with obvious equatorial ionospheric anomaly (EIA) in period-1 were considered to be related to the Lushan earthquake. We further retrieved precise slant TECs (STECs) near the epicenter to study the coseismic ionospheric disturbance (CID). The results show that there was clear STEC disturbance occurring within half an hour after the Lushan earthquake, and the CID propagation distance was less than the impact radius of the Lushan earthquake (689 km). The shell models with different altitudes were adopted to analyze the propagation speed of the CID. It is found that at the F2-layer with the altitude of 277 km, which had a CID horizontal propagation velocity of 0.84 ± 0.03 km/s, was in accordance with the acoustic wave propagation velocity. The calculated velocity acoustic wave from the epicenter to the ionospheric pierce points of this shell model was about 0.53 ± 0.03 km/s, which was also consistent with its actual velocity within the altitude of 0–277 km. Affected by the geomagnetic field, the CID mainly propagated along the southeast direction at the azimuth of 190°, which was almost parallel to the local magnetic line. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lithosphere–Atmosphere–Ionosphere Coupling (LAIC) Models)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of JAXA Himawari-8-AHI Level-3 Aerosol Products over Eastern China
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040215
Received: 23 February 2019 / Revised: 26 March 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
A novel geostationary satellite, the H8/AHI (Himawari-8/Advanced Himawari Imager), greatly improved the scan times per day covering East Asia, and the operational products have been stably provided for a period of time. Currently, atmospheric aerosol pollution is a major concern in China. H8/AHI [...] Read more.
A novel geostationary satellite, the H8/AHI (Himawari-8/Advanced Himawari Imager), greatly improved the scan times per day covering East Asia, and the operational products have been stably provided for a period of time. Currently, atmospheric aerosol pollution is a major concern in China. H8/AHI aerosol products with a high temporal resolution are helpful for real-time monitoring of subtle aerosol variation. However, the H8/AHI aerosol optical thickness (AOT) product has been updated three times since its launch, and the evaluation of this dataset is currently rare. In order to validate its accuracy, this study compared the H8/AHI Level-3 (L3) hourly AOT products of all versions with measurements obtained from eleven sunphotometer sites located in eastern China from 2015 to 2018. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Collection 6 AOT products from the same period were also used for inter-comparison. Although the H8/AHI AOT retrievals in version 010 show a moderate agreement with ground-based observations (correlation coefficient (R): 0.66–0.85), and the time series analysis shows that it can effectively monitor hourly variation, it suffers from an obvious underestimation of 0.3 compared to ground-based and MODIS observations. After the retrieval algorithm updated the predefined aerosol model, the overall underestimation of AHI AOTs was solved (version 010 slope: 0.43–0.62, version 030 slope: 0.75–1.02), and the AOTs in version 030 show a high agreement with observations from ten sites (R: 0.73–0.91). In addition, the surface reflectance dataset derived from the minimum reflectivity model in version 010 is inaccurate in parts of eastern China, for both “bright” and “dark” land surfaces, which leads to the overestimation of the AOT values under low aerosol loads at the Beijing and Xianghe sites. After the update of the surface dataset in version 030, this phenomenon was alleviated, resulting in no significant difference in scatterplots under different surface conditions. The AOTs of H8/AHI version 030 show a significant improvement compared to the previous two versions, but the spatial distribution of AHI is still different from MODIS AOT products due to the differences in sensors and algorithms. Therefore, although the evaluation in this study demonstrates the effectiveness of H8/AHI AOT products for aerosol monitoring at fine temporal resolutions, the performance of H8/AHI AOT products needs further study by considering more conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Aerosol Regional Monitoring)
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Open AccessArticle
The Intraseasonal and Interannual Variability of Arctic Temperature and Specific Humidity Inversions
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040214
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
Temperature and humidity inversions are common in the Arctic’s lower troposphere, and are a crucial component of the Arctic’s climate system. In this study, we quantify the intraseasonal oscillation of Arctic temperature and specific humidity inversions and investigate its interannual variability using data [...] Read more.
Temperature and humidity inversions are common in the Arctic’s lower troposphere, and are a crucial component of the Arctic’s climate system. In this study, we quantify the intraseasonal oscillation of Arctic temperature and specific humidity inversions and investigate its interannual variability using data from the Surface Heat Balance of the Arctic (SHEBA) experiment from October 1997 to September 1998 and the European Centre for Medium-Range Forecasts (ECMWF) Reanalysis (ERA)-interim for the 1979–2017 period. In January 1998, there were two noticeable elevated inversions and one surface inversion. The transitions between elevated and surface-based inversions were associated with the intraseasonal variability of the temperature and humidity differences between 850 and 950 hPa. The self-organizing map (SOM) technique is utilized to obtain the main modes of surface and elevated temperature and humidity inversions on intraseasonal time scales. Low (high) pressure and more (less) cloud cover are related to elevated (surface) temperature and humidity inversions. The frequency of strong (weak) elevated inversions over the eastern hemisphere has decreased (increased) in the past three decades. The wintertime Arctic Oscillation (AO) and Arctic Dipole (AD) during their positive phases have a significant effect on the occurrence of surface and elevated inversions for two Nodes only. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Study of Objective Prediction for Summer Precipitation Patterns Over Eastern China Based on a Multinomial Logistic Regression Model
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040213
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 14 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
The prediction of summer precipitation patterns (PPs) over eastern China is an important and topical issue in China. Predictors that are selected based on historical information may not be suitable for the future due to non-stationary relationships between summer precipitations and corresponding predictors, [...] Read more.
The prediction of summer precipitation patterns (PPs) over eastern China is an important and topical issue in China. Predictors that are selected based on historical information may not be suitable for the future due to non-stationary relationships between summer precipitations and corresponding predictors, and might induce the instability of prediction models, especially in cases with few predictors. This study aims to investigate how to learn as much information as possible from various and numerous predictors reflecting different climate conditions. An objective prediction method based on the multinomial logistic regression (MLR) model is proposed to facilitate the study. The predictors are objectively selected from a machine learning perspective. The effectiveness of the objective prediction model is assessed by considering the influence of collinearity and number of predictors. The prediction accuracy is found to be comparable to traditionally estimated predictability, ranging between 0.6 and 0.7. The objective prediction model is capable of learning the intrinsic structure of the predictors, and is significantly superior to the prediction model with randomly-selected predictors and the single best predictor. A robust prediction can be generally obtained by learning information from plenty of predictors, although the most effective model may be constructed with fewer predictors through proper methods of predictor selection. In addition, the effectiveness of objective prediction is found to generally improve as observation increases, highlighting its potential for improvement during application as time passes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle
Sensitivity of Nitrate Aerosol Production to Vehicular Emissions in an Urban Street
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040212
Received: 14 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
This study investigated the sensitivity of nitrate aerosols to vehicular emissions in urban streets using a coupled computational fluid dynamics (CFD)–chemistry model. Nitrate concentrations were highest at the street surface level following NH3 emissions from vehicles, indicating that ammonium nitrate formation occurs [...] Read more.
This study investigated the sensitivity of nitrate aerosols to vehicular emissions in urban streets using a coupled computational fluid dynamics (CFD)–chemistry model. Nitrate concentrations were highest at the street surface level following NH3 emissions from vehicles, indicating that ammonium nitrate formation occurs under NH3-limited conditions in street canyons. Sensitivity simulations revealed that the nitrate concentration has no clear relationship with the NOx emission rate, showing nitrate changes of only 2% across among 16 time differences in NOx emissions. NOx emissions show a conflicting effect on nitrate production via decreasing O3 and increasing NO2 concentrations under a volatile organic compound (VOC)-limited regime for O3 production. The sensitivity simulations also show that nitrate aerosol is proportional to vehicular VOC and NH3 emissions in the street canyon. Changes of VOC emissions affect the nitrate aerosol and HNO3 concentrations through changes in the O3 concentration under a VOC-limited regime for O3 production. Nitrate aerosol concentration is influenced by vehicular NH3 emissions, which produce ammonium nitrate effectively under an NH3-limited regime for nitrate production. This research suggests that, when vehicular emissions are dominant in winter, the control of vehicular VOC and NH3 emissions might be a more effective way to degrade PM2.5 problems than the control of NOx. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Combined Impact of El Niño–Southern Oscillation and Pacific Decadal Oscillation on the Northern Winter Stratosphere
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040211
Received: 8 March 2019 / Revised: 17 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
Using reanalysis and the sea surface temperature (SST) analysis, the combined impact of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) on the northern winter stratosphere is investigated. The warm and weak stratospheric polar vortex response to El Niño simply appears during [...] Read more.
Using reanalysis and the sea surface temperature (SST) analysis, the combined impact of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) on the northern winter stratosphere is investigated. The warm and weak stratospheric polar vortex response to El Niño simply appears during positive PDO, whereas the cold and strong stratospheric polar vortex response to La Niña is preferable during negative PDO in the reanalysis. Two mechanisms may account for the enhanced stratospheric response when ENSO and PDO are in phase. First, the asymmetries of the intensity and frequency between El Niño and La Niña can be identified for the two PDO phases. Second, the extratropical SST anomalies in the North Pacific may also play a role in the varying extratropical response to ENSO. The North Pacific SST anomalies related to PDO superimpose ENSO SST anomalies when they are in phase but undermine them when they are out of phase. The superimposed North Pacific SST anomalies help to increase SST meridional gradient anomalies between tropical and extratropics, as well as to lock the local height response to ENSO. Therefore, the passages for the upward propagation of waves from the troposphere is more unimpeded when positive PDO is configured with El Niño, and vice versa when negative PDO is configured with La Niña. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle
Multiscale Applications of Two Online-Coupled Meteorology-Chemistry Models during Recent Field Campaigns in Australia, Part II: Comparison of WRF/Chem and WRF/Chem-ROMS and Impacts of Air-Sea Interactions and Boundary Conditions
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040210
Received: 2 April 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 20 April 2019
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Abstract
Air-sea interactions play an important role in atmospheric circulation and boundary layer conditions through changing convection processes and surface heat fluxes, particularly in coastal areas. These changes can affect the concentrations, distributions, and lifetimes of atmospheric pollutants. In this Part II paper, the [...] Read more.
Air-sea interactions play an important role in atmospheric circulation and boundary layer conditions through changing convection processes and surface heat fluxes, particularly in coastal areas. These changes can affect the concentrations, distributions, and lifetimes of atmospheric pollutants. In this Part II paper, the performance of the Weather Research and Forecasting model with chemistry (WRF/Chem) and the coupled WRF/Chem with the Regional Ocean Model System (ROMS) (WRF/Chem-ROMS) are intercompared for their applications over quadruple-nested domains in Australia during the three following field campaigns: The Sydney Particle Study Stages 1 and 2 (SPS1 and SPS2) and the Measurements of Urban, Marine, and Biogenic Air (MUMBA). The results are used to evaluate the impact of air-sea interaction representation in WRF/Chem-ROMS on model predictions. At 3, 9, and 27 km resolutions, compared to WRF/Chem, the explicit air-sea interactions in WRF/Chem-ROMS lead to substantial improvements in simulated sea-surface temperature (SST), latent heat fluxes (LHF), and sensible heat fluxes (SHF) over the ocean, in terms of statistics and spatial distributions, during all three field campaigns. The use of finer grid resolutions (3 or 9 km) effectively reduces the biases in these variables during SPS1 and SPS2 by WRF/Chem-ROMS, whereas it further increases these biases for WRF/Chem during all field campaigns. The large differences in SST, LHF, and SHF between the two models lead to different radiative, cloud, meteorological, and chemical predictions. WRF/Chem-ROMS generally performs better in terms of statistics and temporal variations for temperature and relative humidity at 2 m, wind speed and direction at 10 m, and precipitation. The percentage differences in simulated surface concentrations between the two models are mostly in the range of ±10% for CO, OH, and O3, ±25% for HCHO, ±30% for NO2, ±35% for H2O2, ±50% for SO2, ±60% for isoprene and terpenes, ±15% for PM2.5, and ±12% for PM10. WRF/Chem-ROMS at 3 km resolution slightly improves the statistical performance of many surface and column concentrations. WRF/Chem simulations with satellite-constrained boundary conditions (BCONs) improve the spatial distributions and magnitudes of column CO for all field campaigns and slightly improve those of the column NO2 for SPS1 and SPS2, column HCHO for SPS1 and MUMBA, and column O3 for SPS2 at 3 km over the Greater Sydney area. The satellite-constrained chemical BCONs reduce the model biases of surface CO, NO, and O3 predictions at 3 km for all field campaigns, surface PM2.5 predictions at 3 km for SPS1 and MUMBA, and surface PM10 predictions at all grid resolutions for all field campaigns. A more important role of chemical BCONs in the Southern Hemisphere, compared to that in the Northern Hemisphere reported in this work, indicates a crucial need in developing more realistic chemical BCONs for O3 in the relatively clean SH. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in New South Wales, Australia)
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Open AccessArticle
Typological Characterisation of Mineral and Combustion Airborne Particles Indoors in Primary Schools
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040209
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
This study was carried out using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis of airborne fine particles and indoor samples, obtained in the interiors of seven primary schools located along the Mediterranean coast in an area with an important industrial nucleus. The objectives of [...] Read more.
This study was carried out using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis of airborne fine particles and indoor samples, obtained in the interiors of seven primary schools located along the Mediterranean coast in an area with an important industrial nucleus. The objectives of this study are to create a catalogue that gathers the principle particles found in the three environments examined and to assess the influence of outside sources of particulate matter on particles found indoors. The particles identified in the fine particle samples have been grouped into two main groups: mineral compounds and particles originating from combustion processes. The mineral particles emanating from natural emissions and anthropogenics were classified according to their morphology into: isometric alotriomorphs or subidiomorphs, with tabular, acicular, and pure crystalline forms. The compounds originating from combustion processes present two types of morphology: spheric-like particles and dendritic soot ones. On the other hand, in lesser proportion, spherical particles were also identified as being associated with industrial processes at high temperatures. To conclude a summary table is presented, that gathers the characteristics (morphology, type and size) along with the origins of the principle particles identified in the interior airborne fine particle samples obtained from primary schools located in three different environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Single Atmospheric Particle Analysis)
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Open AccessArticle
Vehicle Ammonia Emissions Measured in An Urban Environment in Sydney, Australia, Using Open Path Fourier Transform Infra-Red Spectroscopy
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040208
Received: 25 February 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 13 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
Airborne particulate matter (PM) is a major health risk in urban settings. Ammonia (NH3) from vehicle exhaust is an under-recognised ingredient in the formation of inorganic PM and there remains a shortage of data to properly quantify the role of NH [...] Read more.
Airborne particulate matter (PM) is a major health risk in urban settings. Ammonia (NH3) from vehicle exhaust is an under-recognised ingredient in the formation of inorganic PM and there remains a shortage of data to properly quantify the role of NH3 from vehicles in PM formation. An Open-path Fourier transform infra-red (OP-FTIR) spectrometer measured atmospheric NH3, carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) at high temporal resolution (5 min) in Western Sydney over 11 months. The oxides of nitrogen (NO2 and NO; NOx) and sulphur dioxide (SO2) were measured at an adjacent air quality monitoring station. NH3 levels were maxima in the morning and evening coincident with peak traffic. During peak traffic NH3:CO ratio ranged from 0.018 to 0.022 ppbv:ppbv. Results were compared with the Greater Metropolitan Region 2008 (GMR2008) emissions inventory. Measured NH3:CO was higher during peak traffic times than the GMR2008 emissions estimates, indicating an underestimation of vehicle NH3 emissions in the inventory. Measurements also indicated the urban atmosphere was NH3 rich for the formation of ammonium sulphate ((NH4)2SO4) particulate was SO2 limited while the formation of ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) was NH3 limited. Any reduction in NOx emissions with improved catalytic converter efficiency will be accompanied by an increase in NH3 production and potentially with an increase in NH4NO3 particulate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in New South Wales, Australia)
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Open AccessArticle
Structural Characteristics of the Yangtze-Huaihe Cold Shear Line over Eastern China in Summer
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040207
Received: 8 April 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
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Abstract
Based on ERA-Interim data from June to July during 1981–2016 and daily meteorological dataset of China Surface Meteorological Stations (V3.0), 10 typical Yangtze-Huaihe cold shear lines (YCSL) over eastern China (28°~34° N, 110°~122° E) in summer are selected, and the structural characteristics of [...] Read more.
Based on ERA-Interim data from June to July during 1981–2016 and daily meteorological dataset of China Surface Meteorological Stations (V3.0), 10 typical Yangtze-Huaihe cold shear lines (YCSL) over eastern China (28°~34° N, 110°~122° E) in summer are selected, and the structural characteristics of the YCSL during the evolution process are investigated by the composite analysis. The results indicate that the YCSL is horizontally in a northeast–southwest direction and vertically inclines northward from the lower layer to the upper layer. The vertical extension of the YCSL can reach 750 hPa, and its life time is about 54 h. The evolution process of the YCSL is affected by the comprehensive configuration of the high-level, medium-level, and low-level weather systems. The southward advancement, strengthening, and eastward movement of the north branch low-pressure trough over the Yangtze-Huaihe region at 850 hPa is a key factor for the evolution of the YCSL. Because the structural characteristics of the YCSL have obvious changes in the evolution process, the evolution process can be divided into the development stage, strong stage, and weakening stage. In terms of dynamic structures, the YCSL corresponds well with the axis of the positive vorticity belt, whose center is located at 850 hPa, and reaches the maximum in the strong stage. The YCSL is located in the non-divergence zone, and there are strong convergence centers located on its south side. The YCSL also locates in the ascending motion zone between two secondary circulations on the north and south sides, with the maximum ascending velocity in the strong stage, and its large-value area presents an upright structure. In the development stage, there is an ascending motion along the YCSL, but in the strong and weakening stages there are an ascending motion below 800 hPa and a descending motion above 800 hPa along the YCSL. In terms of thermal structures, the YCSL is located in the low temperature zone of the lower layer, and there is a high temperature zone around 500 hPa. Due to the dominant role of dry and cold airflow from the north, the YCSL locates in the dry and cold air during the development and strong stages, and then the warm and moist airflow from the south invades, resulting in the weakening of the YCSL. There is a convective unstable layer on the south side of the YCSL and a neutral layer on the north side. The water vapor gathers near the YCSL, and there are two water vapor convergence centers on the east and west sides of the YCSL, respectively. The water vapor convergence zone is mainly below 600 hPa in the low troposphere and the convergence center is located at around 900 hPa. The atmospheric baroclinicity is one of the reasons for the northward inclination of the YCSL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology and Meteorology)
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Open AccessEditorial
Mediterranean Tropical-Like Cyclones (Medicanes)
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040206
Received: 17 April 2019 / Revised: 18 April 2019 / Accepted: 18 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
Due to its peculiar morphology, the Mediterranean Basin is one of the main cyclogenetic areas in the world [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mediterranean Tropical-Like Cyclones (Medicanes))
Open AccessArticle
Impact of Boreal Summer Intra-Seasonal Oscillations on the Heavy Rainfall Events in Taiwan during the 2017 Meiyu Season
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040205
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 16 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
During May and June (the Meiyu season) of 2017, Taiwan was affected by three heavy frontal rainfall events, which led to large economic losses. Using satellite observations and reanalysis data, this study investigates the impact of boreal summer intra-seasonal oscillations (BSISOs, including a [...] Read more.
During May and June (the Meiyu season) of 2017, Taiwan was affected by three heavy frontal rainfall events, which led to large economic losses. Using satellite observations and reanalysis data, this study investigates the impact of boreal summer intra-seasonal oscillations (BSISOs, including a 30–60 day ISO mode named BSISO1 and a 10–30 day ISO mode named BSISO2) on the heavy rainfall events in Taiwan during the 2017 Meiyu season. Our examinations show that BSISO2 is more important than BSISO1 in determining the formation of heavy rainfall events in Taiwan during the 2017 Meiyu season. The heavy rainfall events generally formed in Taiwan at phases 4–6 of BSISO2, when the enhanced southwesterly wind and moisture flux convergence center propagate northward into the Taiwan area. In addition, we examined the forecast rainfall data (at lead times of one day to 16 days) obtained from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction Global Forecast System (NCEPgfs) and the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau Global Forecast System (CWBgfs). Our results show that the better the model’s capability in forecasting the BSISO2 index is, the better the model’s capability in forecasting the timing of rainfall formation in Taiwan during the 2017 Meiyu season is. These findings highlight the importance of BSISO2 in affecting the rainfall characteristics in East Asia during the Meiyu season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Convection and Its Impact on Weather)
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Open AccessArticle
Heterogeneous Uptake of N2O5 in Sand Dust and Urban Aerosols Observed during the Dry Season in Beijing
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040204
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 13 April 2019 / Accepted: 15 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
The uptake of dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) on aerosols affects the nocturnal removal of NOx and particulate nitrate formation in the atmosphere. This study investigates N2O5 uptake processes using field observations from an urban site in [...] Read more.
The uptake of dinitrogen pentoxide (N2O5) on aerosols affects the nocturnal removal of NOx and particulate nitrate formation in the atmosphere. This study investigates N2O5 uptake processes using field observations from an urban site in Beijing during April–May 2017, a period characterized by dry weather conditions. For the first time, a very large N2O5 uptake rate (k(N2O5) up to ~0.01 s−1) was observed during a sand storm event, and the uptake coefficient (γ(N2O5)) was estimated to be 0.044. The γ(N2O5) in urban air masses was also determined and exhibited moderate correlation (r = 0.68) with aerosol volume to surface ratio (Va/Sa), but little relation to aerosol water, nitrate, and chloride, a finding that contrasts with previous results. Several commonly used parameterizations of γ(N2O5) underestimated the field-derived γ(N2O5). A new parameterization is suggested for dry conditions, which considers the effect of Va/Sa, temperature, and relative humidity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in the Asia-Pacific Region)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Precipitation and Drought Extremes over the Past Half Century in China
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040203
Received: 1 March 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
Changes in climate extremes have become a hot issue in the research field of climate change recently. Many studies have reported that climate extremes have occurred more frequently and with increasing intensity in recent decades. In this study, thresholds of precipitation and drought [...] Read more.
Changes in climate extremes have become a hot issue in the research field of climate change recently. Many studies have reported that climate extremes have occurred more frequently and with increasing intensity in recent decades. In this study, thresholds of precipitation and drought extremes were determined by the cumulative distribution function, and their spatiotemporal changes over the past half-century in China were analyzed by relative change rate. The results show that: (1) precipitation extremes increased in all regions except North China, while increasing trends of drought extremes were detected in all regions except Northwest China and the Qing–Tibet Plateau; (2) the maximum change rates in frequency of precipitation extremes were found in Northwest China and the Qing–Tibet Plateau, with values of 16.13% and 8.12%, and the maximum change rates in frequency of drought extremes were in Southwest and Southeast China, whose increases in intensity of drought extremes were also the maximum; (3) variation in precipitation extremes showed a relatively mixed pattern with higher heterogeneity compared to that of drought extremes; and (4) changes in precipitation and drought extremes relate to mid-intensity, lower-intensity, and annual precipitation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Weather and Climate Extremes: Current Developments)
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Physics Ensemble versus Atmosphere–Ocean Coupled Model Simulations for a Tropical-Like Cyclone in the Mediterranean Sea
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040202
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
Between 19 and 22 January 2014, a baroclinic wave moving eastward from the Atlantic Ocean generated a cut-off low over the Strait of Gibraltar and was responsible for the subsequent intensification of an extra-tropical cyclone. This system exhibited tropical-like features in the following [...] Read more.
Between 19 and 22 January 2014, a baroclinic wave moving eastward from the Atlantic Ocean generated a cut-off low over the Strait of Gibraltar and was responsible for the subsequent intensification of an extra-tropical cyclone. This system exhibited tropical-like features in the following stages of its life cycle and remained active for approximately 80 h, moving along the Mediterranean Sea from west to east, eventually reaching the Adriatic Sea. Two different modeling approaches, which are comparable in terms of computational cost, are analyzed here to represent the cyclone evolution. First, a multi-physics ensemble using different microphysics and turbulence parameterization schemes available in the WRF (weather research and forecasting) model is employed. Second, the COAWST (coupled ocean–atmosphere wave sediment transport modeling system) suite, including WRF as an atmospheric model, ROMS (regional ocean modeling system) as an ocean model, and SWAN (simulating waves in nearshore) as a wave model, is used. The advantage of using a coupled modeling system is evaluated taking into account air–sea interaction processes at growing levels of complexity. First, a high-resolution sea surface temperature (SST) field, updated every 6 h, is used to force a WRF model stand-alone atmospheric simulation. Later, a two-way atmosphere–ocean coupled configuration is employed using COAWST, where SST is updated using consistent sea surface fluxes in the atmospheric and ocean models. Results show that a 1D ocean model is able to reproduce the evolution of the cyclone rather well, given a high-resolution initial SST field produced by ROMS after a long spin-up time. Additionally, coupled simulations reproduce more accurate (less intense) sea surface heat fluxes and a cyclone track and intensity, compared with a multi-physics ensemble of standalone atmospheric simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mediterranean Tropical-Like Cyclones (Medicanes))
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Open AccessArticle
One-Year Characterization and Reactivity of Isoprene and Its Impact on Surface Ozone Formation at A Suburban Site in Guangzhou, China
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040201
Received: 22 March 2019 / Revised: 11 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 15 April 2019
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Abstract
Isoprene has a potentially large effect on ozone (O3) formation in the subtropical, highly polluted city of Guangzhou. Online measurements of isoprene in Guangzhou city are scarce; thus, isoprene levels were monitored for one year at the Guangzhou Panyu Atmospheric Composition [...] Read more.
Isoprene has a potentially large effect on ozone (O3) formation in the subtropical, highly polluted city of Guangzhou. Online measurements of isoprene in Guangzhou city are scarce; thus, isoprene levels were monitored for one year at the Guangzhou Panyu Atmospheric Composition Station (GPACS), a suburban site in Guangzhou, using an online gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC–FID) system to investigate the characterization and reactivity of isoprene and its effect on the O3 peak profile in different seasons. The results showed that the daily average mixing ratios of isoprene at GPACS were 0.40, 2.20, 1.40, and 0.13 mixing ratio by volume (ppbv) in spring, summer, autumn, and winter, respectively. These values were considerably higher than the mixing ratios of isoprene in the numerous other subtropical and temperate cities around the world. Furthermore, isoprene ranked first with regard to O3 formation potential (OFP) and propylene-equivalent mixing ratio among 56 measured non–methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs). The ratios of isoprene to cis-2-butene, an exhaust tracer, were determined to estimate the fractions of biogenic and anthropogenic emissions. The results revealed a much greater contribution from biogenic than anthropogenic factors during the daytime in all four seasons. In addition, night-time isoprene emissions were mostly associated with vehicles in winter, and the residual isoprene that remained after photochemical loss during the daytime also persisted into the night. The high levels of isoprene in summer and autumn may cause the strong and broad peaks of the O3 profile because of its association with the most favorable meteorological conditions (e.g., high temperature and intense solar radiation) and the highest OH mixing ratio, which could affect human health by exposing people to a high O3 mixing ratio for prolonged periods. The lower mixing ratios of isoprene resulted in a weak and sharp peak in the O3 profile in both spring and winter. The high level of isoprene in the subtropical zone could accentuate its large impact on atmospheric oxidant capacity and air quality in Guangzhou city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
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Open AccessArticle
Suitable Pattern of the Natural Environment of Human Settlements in the Lower Reaches of the Yangtze River
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040200
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
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Abstract
The human settlement environment is the object on which human survival depends. In this study, six single factor suitability models and a comprehensive index model of the human settlement natural environment were established. The six single factor models included topography, hydrology, vegetation, soil, [...] Read more.
The human settlement environment is the object on which human survival depends. In this study, six single factor suitability models and a comprehensive index model of the human settlement natural environment were established. The six single factor models included topography, hydrology, vegetation, soil, temperature and humidity, and land surface temperature. This study took 1 km × 1 km as the pixel size and relied on the ArcGIS platform to systematically and quantitatively evaluate the human settlement environment of the lower reaches of the Yangtze river. The results show that: (1) From the evaluation results of single natural elements, the topography of the study area is relatively flat, with a small number of hydraulic erosion areas. Besides, there are significant differences between the north and the south in temperature and humidity, hydrology, vegetation, and land surface temperature. (2) In 2015, the most suitable areas of human settlement environment were mainly distributed in the plains along the Yangtze river, the plain of northern Zhejiang, and the Poyang plain. The most unsuitable areas are mainly distributed in mountainous areas, such as the mountain area of southern Zhejiang and Dabie mountain area. Topography and vegetation are the dominant factors for classification. (3) From the perspective of space, the score of the human settlement natural environment in Shanghai is above the average, and the best among the other provinces is Jiangsu province, while Zhejiang, Jiangxi, and Anhui provinces have little difference. From the perspective of time, the overall level of the suitability in the lower reaches of the Yangtze river has been improved from 2005 to 2015, mainly due to the influence of temperature and humidity index and water resource index. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lower Atmosphere Meteorology)
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Open AccessArticle
Passive Earth Observations of Volcanic Clouds in the Atmosphere
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040199
Received: 6 March 2019 / Revised: 2 April 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
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Abstract
Current Earth Observation (EO) satellites provide excellent spatial, temporal and spectral coverage for passive measurements of atmospheric volcanic emissions. Of particular value for ash detection and quantification are the geostationary satellites that now carry multispectral imagers. These instruments have multiple spectral channels spanning [...] Read more.
Current Earth Observation (EO) satellites provide excellent spatial, temporal and spectral coverage for passive measurements of atmospheric volcanic emissions. Of particular value for ash detection and quantification are the geostationary satellites that now carry multispectral imagers. These instruments have multiple spectral channels spanning the visible to infrared (IR) wavelengths and provide 1 × 1 km2 to 4 × 4 km2 resolution data every 5–15 min, continuously. For ash detection, two channels situated near 11 and 12 μ m are needed; for ash quantification a third or fourth channel also in the infrared is useful for constraining the height of the ash cloud. This work describes passive EO infrared measurements and techniques to determine volcanic cloud properties and includes examples using current methods with an emphasis on the main difficulties and ways to overcome them. A challenging aspect of using satellite data is to design algorithms that make use of the spectral, temporal (especially for geostationary sensors) and spatial information. The hyperspectral sensor AIRS is used to identify specific molecules from their spectral signatures (e.g., for SO2) and retrievals are demonstrated as global, regional and hemispheric maps of AIRS column SO2. This kind of information is not available on all sensors, but by combining temporal, spatial and broadband multi-spectral information from polar and geo sensors (e.g., MODIS and SEVIRI) useful insights can be made. For example, repeat coverage of a particular area using geostationary data can reveal temporal behaviour of broadband channels indicative of eruptive activity. In many instances, identifying the nature of a pixel (clear, cloud, ash etc.) is the major challenge. Sophisticated cloud detection schemes have been developed that utilise statistical measures, physical models and temporal variation to classify pixels. The state of the art on cloud detection is good, but improvements are always needed. An IR-based multispectral cloud identification scheme is described and some examples shown. The scheme is physically based but has deficiencies that can be improved during the daytime by including information from the visible channels. Physical retrieval schemes applied to ash detected pixels suffer from a lack of knowledge of some basic microphysical and optical parameters needed to run the retrieval models. In particular, there is a lack of accurate spectral refractive index information for ash particles. The size distribution of fine ash (1–63 μ m, diameter) is poorly constrained and more measurements are needed, particularly for ash that is airborne. Height measurements are also lacking and a satellite-based stereoscopic height retrieval is used to illustrate the value of this information for aviation. The importance of water in volcanic clouds is discussed here and the separation of ice-rich and ash-rich portions of volcanic clouds is analysed for the first time. More work is required in trying to identify ice-coated ash particles, and it is suggested that a class of ice-rich volcanic cloud be recognized and termed a ‘volcanic ice’ cloud. Such clouds are frequently observed in tropical eruptions of great vertical extent (e.g., 8 km or higher) and are often not identified correctly by traditional IR methods (e.g., reverse absorption). Finally, the global, hemispheric and regional sampling of EO satellites is demonstrated for a few eruptions where the ash and SO 2 dispersed over large distances (1000s km). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Volcanic Emissions in the Atmosphere)
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Open AccessArticle
Loss to Aviation Economy Due to Winter Fog in New Delhi during the Winter of 2011–2016
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040198
Received: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
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Abstract
Stable and clear atmospheric conditions, lower surface temperatures, an ample moisture supply, and a strong low-level inversion persisting for most of the night usually facilitates the formation of dense fog during winter in Delhi. This severely hinders the flight operations at India’s busiest [...] Read more.
Stable and clear atmospheric conditions, lower surface temperatures, an ample moisture supply, and a strong low-level inversion persisting for most of the night usually facilitates the formation of dense fog during winter in Delhi. This severely hinders the flight operations at India’s busiest airport, the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, where more than 900 flight operations occur per day and an interruption can cause significant financial losses to the aviation industry. It is important to undertake a quantitative study of the estimated losses. This study, undertaken for the first time in India, aimed to evaluate the impact of dense fog at IGI Airport on economic losses which occurred during the winter season between 2011 and 2016. The breakdown of charges for different segments of flight operations for the domestic and international sectors was obtained from India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) India. A total of 653 h of dense fog between 2011 and 2016 at IGI Airport caused economic losses of approximately 3.9 million USD (248 million Indian rupees) to the airlines. The analysis further found that from 2014–2015 onwards, there has been a reduction in the number of flight delays, diversions, and cancellations by approximately 88%, 55%, and 36%, respectively, due to the strict implementation of guidelines to facilitate the Category (CAT)-III landing for aircraft during dense fog. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Observation, Simulation and Predictability of Fog)
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Open AccessArticle
Unprecedented Vessel-Icing Climatology Based on Spray-Icing Modelling and Reanalysis Data: A Risk-Based Decision-Making Input for Arctic Offshore Industries
Atmosphere 2019, 10(4), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10040197
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 8 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract
Marine icing is considered a major concern for vessels operating in the Arctic Ocean. Interaction between vessels and waves is the major source of sea spray that, under certain conditions, can lead to ice accretion on the vessels and thus create hazardous situations. [...] Read more.
Marine icing is considered a major concern for vessels operating in the Arctic Ocean. Interaction between vessels and waves is the major source of sea spray that, under certain conditions, can lead to ice accretion on the vessels and thus create hazardous situations. Various models have been developed for the estimation of ice accretion rate using meteorological and oceanographic parameters. Various data sets are also available containing observations of spray icing events for different Arctic offshore regions. However, there is limited climatological information that can be used for providing decision-makers with the necessary information on optimal options and solutions in advance for assessing, managing, and mitigating the risks imposed by spray icing. In this study, a Marine-Icing model for the Norwegian Coast Guard (MINCOG) is adapted to study and analyze ice accretion on vessels operating in sea areas between Northern Norway and Spitsbergen, their temporal and spatial variations, as well as their statistical distributions over the region. This study uses NOrwegian ReAnalysis 10 km data (NORA10) of atmosphere and ocean parameters as input to the icing model from 1980 to 2012. The developed spray icing maps representing spatial and temporal variation of icing severity and spray-ice accretion rate, as well as the probability of the occurrence of icing events at different junctures and periods, can be used for risk-based decision-making tasks involved in industrial activities including shipping and offshore logistics operations in these sea areas. Full article
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