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The Influence of Meteorology and Air Transport on CO2 Atmospheric Distribution over South Africa

South African Weather Service, Private Bag X097, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
School of Chemistry and Physics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4000, South Africa
Department of Ecology and Resource Management, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou 0950, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(3), 287;
Received: 8 November 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2020 / Accepted: 2 March 2020 / Published: 16 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Meteorology)
This paper demonstrates the role of meteorology and air transport in influencing the South African atmospheric CO2 distribution. CO2 data from December 2004 to December 2009 acquired by the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument onboard the Aura satellite were used to establish the CO2 vertical distribution at selected regions in South Africa. The Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectories (HYSPLIT) atmospheric model backward trajectories were used to determine the long-range air transport impacting on South African CO2 atmospheric distribution and to detect the source areas of air masses impacting on South Africa’s atmosphere. The study found that long-range air transport can result in the accumulation or dilution of atmospheric CO2 at various sites in South Africa, depending on the source region and type of air flow. The long-range air transport from different source regions at the upper air level between the 700 and 500 hPa stable layers and the layer above 500 hPa strengthens the inhomogeneity in the vertical distribution of CO2, which is caused by the decoupling effect of the upper air stable layers. This long-range air transport also involves intercontinental air transport. View Full-Text
Keywords: atmospheric CO2; meteorology; long-range air transport atmospheric CO2; meteorology; long-range air transport
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Ncipha, X.G.; Sivakumar, V.; Malahlela, O.E. The Influence of Meteorology and Air Transport on CO2 Atmospheric Distribution over South Africa. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 287.

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