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Atmosphere, Volume 7, Issue 10 (October 2016) – 18 articles

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Article
Increasing Winter Precipitation over Arid Central Asia under Global Warming
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100139 - 21 Oct 2016
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 3173
Abstract
Precipitation has been considered to be a critical water source for both human livelihoods and ecosystems in Central Asia. Using observational data and gridded datasets, we studied the regional and seasonal differences of precipitation climate characteristics and variations in precipitation over Central Asia. [...] Read more.
Precipitation has been considered to be a critical water source for both human livelihoods and ecosystems in Central Asia. Using observational data and gridded datasets, we studied the regional and seasonal differences of precipitation climate characteristics and variations in precipitation over Central Asia. Using observational data obtained from the China Meteorological Administration, Global Historical Climatology Network (V3.02), we divided Central Asia into four subregions (North, Center, Southwest, and Southeast) based on the differences in seasonal cycles of precipitation. ‘Single peaks’ were detected as types of seasonal cycles over the North and the Southeast, while ‘two peaks’ was the type that occurred in the Southwest. For the Center, the zone of transition between the North and the Southwest, each monthly precipitation value was higher than the Southwest’s and less than the North’s. GPCC (R2 of 0.89, RMSE of 64.5 mm/year) was proven to be the most suitable dataset of the four datasets (CRU, GPCC, MERRA, and TRMM) to describe precipitation in Central Asia, based on validation against observational data, and used to detect the spatial and temporal trend of precipitation in Central Asia and four subregions during 1960–2013. No significant trends were observed for annual precipitation in Central Asia, while precipitation in winter displayed a significant increase (0.11 mm/year). Additionally, significantly increasing trends (0.16, 0.27, 0.13, and 0.13 mm/year) were detected in spring, summer, autumn, and winter over the Southeast during 1960–2013. Full article
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Article
Environmental Exposure to Ultrafine Particles inside and nearby a Military Airport
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100138 - 20 Oct 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2584
Abstract
Airport activities can contribute to the emission of ultrafine particles (UFPs) in the environment. The aim of our study is to assess the airborne levels of UFPs in a military airport and in the surrounding area. Four outdoor air samplings were carried out [...] Read more.
Airport activities can contribute to the emission of ultrafine particles (UFPs) in the environment. The aim of our study is to assess the airborne levels of UFPs in a military airport and in the surrounding area. Four outdoor air samplings were carried out inside a military airport during flight activities, twelve nearby the military airport, five in an urban area, and one in a rural area. We used a portable Electrical Low Pressure Impactor to detect the particle number size distribution as well as the number concentration. Particles were chemically analyzed by field emission scanning electron microscopy. Inside the military airport, we observed an inverse correlation with distance from flight activities. The median UFP count ranged 3.7 × 103 –2.9 × 104 particles/cm3, and the highest UFP count was 4.0 × 106 particles/cm3 (during the taxi and take-off activities). Nearby the airport, UFP number concentrations were more elevated in the winter season and we did not observe a correlation with flight activities. Our results show a constant presence of UFPs regardless of the flight activities nearby the airport. Other anthropic sources may generate UFP concentrations significantly higher than those generated by airport activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrafine Particles: Determination, Behavior and Human Health Effects)
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Article
Role of Water Vapor Content in the Effects of Aerosol on the Electrification of Thunderstorms: A Numerical Study
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100137 - 20 Oct 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2426
Abstract
We explored the role of the water vapor content below the freezing level in the response of idealized supercell storm electrical processes to increased concentrations of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Using the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with parameterizations electrification and discharging, [...] Read more.
We explored the role of the water vapor content below the freezing level in the response of idealized supercell storm electrical processes to increased concentrations of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Using the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with parameterizations electrification and discharging, we performed 30 simulations by varying both the CCN concentration and water vapor content below the freezing level. The sensitivity simulations showed a distinct response to increased concentrations of CCN, depending on the water vapor content below the freezing level. Enhancing CCN concentrations increased electrification processes of thunderstorms and produced a new negative charge region above the main positive charge center when there were ample amounts of water vapor below the freezing level. Conversely, there were weak effects on electrification and the charge structure in numerical experiments initialized with lower water vapor content below the freezing level. Full article
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Article
Inversion of Nighttime PM2.5 Mass Concentration in Beijing Based on the VIIRS Day-Night Band
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100136 - 19 Oct 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2641
Abstract
In order to monitor nighttime particular matter (PM) air quality in urban area, a back propagation neural network (BP neural network) inversion model is established, using low-light radiation data from the day/night band (DNB) of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard [...] Read more.
In order to monitor nighttime particular matter (PM) air quality in urban area, a back propagation neural network (BP neural network) inversion model is established, using low-light radiation data from the day/night band (DNB) of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite. The study focuses on the moonless and cloudless nights in Beijing during March–May 2015. A test is carried out by selecting surface PM2.5 data from 12 PM2.5 automatic monitoring stations and the corresponding night city light intensity from DNB. As indicated by the results, the linear correlation coefficient (R) between the results and the corresponding measured surface PM2.5 concentration is 0.91, and the root-mean-square error (RMSE) is 14.02 μg/m3 with the average of 59.39 μg/m3. Furthermore, the BP neural network model shows better accuracy when air relative humility ranges from 40% to 80% and surface PM2.5 concentration exceeds 40 μg/m3. The study provides a superiority approach for monitoring PM2.5 air quality from space with visible light remote sensing data at night. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Aerosols and Their Radiative Effects)
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Article
On Practical Implementation of Electromagnetic Models of Lightning Return-Strokes
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100135 - 19 Oct 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2379
Abstract
In electromagnetic models, the return-stroke channel is represented as an antenna excited at its base by either a voltage or a current source. To adjust the speed of the current pulse propagating in the channel to available optical observations, different representations for the [...] Read more.
In electromagnetic models, the return-stroke channel is represented as an antenna excited at its base by either a voltage or a current source. To adjust the speed of the current pulse propagating in the channel to available optical observations, different representations for the return-stroke channel have been proposed in the literature using different techniques to artificially reduce the propagation speed of the current pulse to values consistent with observations. In this paper, we present an analysis of the available electromagnetic models in terms of their practical implementation. Criteria used for the analysis are the ease of implementation of the models, the numerical accuracy and the needed computer resources, as well as their ability to reproduce a desired value for the speed of the return stroke current pulse. Using the CST-MWS software, which is based on the time-domain finite-integration technique, different electromagnetic models were analyzed, namely (A) a wire embedded in a fictitious half-space dielectric medium (other than air), (B) a wire embedded in a fictitious coating with permittivity (εr) and permeability (μr), and (C) a wire in free-space loaded by distributed series inductance and resistance. It is shown that, by adjusting the parameters of each model, it is possible to reproduce a desired value for the speed of the current pulse. For each of the considered models, we determined the values for the adjustable parameters that allow obtaining the desired value of the return speed. Model A is the least expensive in terms of computing resources. However, it requires two simulation runs to obtain the electromagnetic fields. A variant of Model B that includes a fictitious dielectric/ferromagnetic coating is found to be more efficient to control the current speed along the channel than using only a dielectric coating. On the other hand, this model requires an increased number of mesh cells, resulting in higher memory and computational time. The presence of an inhomogeneous medium generates, in addition, unphysical fluctuations on the resulting current distributions. These fluctuations, which strongly depend on the size of the coating as well as on its electric and magnetic properties, can be attenuated by considering conductive losses in the coating. Considering the efficiency in terms of the required computer resources and ease of implementation, we recommend the use of Model C (wire loaded by distributed inductance and resistance). Full article
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Article
Characteristics of the Nonoccurrence of Tropical Cyclones in the Western North Pacific in August 2014
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100133 - 19 Oct 2016
Viewed by 1872
Abstract
This study identified the causes of the nonoccurrence of tropical cyclones (TCs) in August 2014 by examining large-scale environments. First, over the previous 30 years, the TC genesis frequency in August showed an overall statistically significant decline. In the tropical and subtropical western [...] Read more.
This study identified the causes of the nonoccurrence of tropical cyclones (TCs) in August 2014 by examining large-scale environments. First, over the previous 30 years, the TC genesis frequency in August showed an overall statistically significant decline. In the tropical and subtropical western Pacific, the outgoing longwave radiation anomaly index also exhibited an overall increase until recently. Regarding precipitable water and precipitation, an analysis was performed on the difference between the mean values for August 2014 and the mean values for August over the previous 30 years. As a result, while convective activities were suppressed in the tropical and subtropical western Pacific, convective activities were strong in the mid-latitudes of East Asia. This indicates that while the western North Pacific summer monsoon was weakened in August 2014, the East Asian summer monsoon was strengthened. The weakening of the western North Pacific summer monsoon may have made it difficult for TCs to occur. An analysis of 850 hPa and 500 hPa stream flows showed the strengthening of anomalous huge anticyclonic circulations in the tropical and subtropical western Pacific, whereas anomalously cyclonic circulations were reinforced in the mid-latitudes of East Asia. This was associated with the result that the western North Pacific subtropical high (WNPSH) showed further westward and southward expansion in August 2014 compared to the climatological mean WNPSH. Therefore, TCs were unlikely to occur in the tropical and subtropical western Pacific, but anomalous cold northerlies and anomalous warm southerlies converged in the Japanese Islands after originating in China’s central region and passing the East China Sea. Therefore, a favorable environment for the occurrence of precipitation had been formed. Full article
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Article
Retrieval of Aerosol Optical Depth over Arid Areas from MODIS Data
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100134 - 16 Oct 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2683
Abstract
Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data have been widely applied for the remote sensing of aerosol optical depth (AOD) because the MODIS sensor features a short revisit period and a moderate spatial resolution. The Dense Dark Vegetation (DDV) method is the most [...] Read more.
Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data have been widely applied for the remote sensing of aerosol optical depth (AOD) because the MODIS sensor features a short revisit period and a moderate spatial resolution. The Dense Dark Vegetation (DDV) method is the most popular retrieval method. However, the DDV method can only be used to retrieve the AOD with high precision when the surface reflectance in the visible spectrum is low, such as over dense vegetation or water. To obtain precise AOD values in areas with higher reflectance, such as arid areas, Land Surface Reflectance (LSR) must be estimated accurately. This paper proposes a method of estimating LSR for AOD retrieval over arid areas from long-term series of MODIS images. According to the atmospheric parameters (AOD and water vapor), the clearest image without clouds was selected from the long-term series of continuous MODIS images. Atmospheric correction was conducted based on similar ground-measured atmospheric parameters and was used to estimate the LSR and retrieve the AOD at adjacent times. To validate this method, aerosol inversion experiments were performed in northern Xinjiang, in which the inverted AOD was compared to ground-measured AOD and MODIS aerosol products (MOD04). The AOD retrieved using the new algorithm was highly consistent with the AOD derived from ground-based measurements, with a correlation coefficient of 0.84. Additionally, 82.22% of the points fell within the expected error defined by NASA. The precision of the retrieved AOD data was better than that of MOD04 AOD products over arid areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Aerosols and Their Radiative Effects)
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Article
Inverse Modeling of Nitrogen Oxides Emissions from the 2010 Russian Wildfires by Using Satellite Measurements of Nitrogen Dioxide
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100132 - 16 Oct 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2614
Abstract
Observational constraints to biomass burning (BB) NOx emissions as provided by satellite measurements of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) critically depend on quantitative assumptions regarding the atmospheric NOx lifetime. In this study, we investigated NOx emissions from the extreme wildfires [...] Read more.
Observational constraints to biomass burning (BB) NOx emissions as provided by satellite measurements of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) critically depend on quantitative assumptions regarding the atmospheric NOx lifetime. In this study, we investigated NOx emissions from the extreme wildfires that occurred in the European part of Russia in summer 2010 by using an original inverse modeling method that allowed us to avoid any a priori assumptions regarding the NOx lifetime. The method was applied to the tropospheric NO2 columns retrieved from the measurements performed by the OMI satellite instrument, while the relationship between BB NOx emissions and tropospheric NO2 columns was simulated with the CHIMERE mesoscale chemistry transport model. Our analysis indicated that this relationship depends strongly on BB emissions of volatile organic compounds and that a dependence of the effective NOx lifetime on the NOx fluxes can be essentially nonlinear. Our estimates of the total NOx emissions in the study region are found to be at least 40% larger compared to the respective data from the GFASv1.0 and GFED4.1s global fire emission inventories. Full article
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Article
Measurements and Analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons near a Major Interstate
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100131 - 16 Oct 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2212
Abstract
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured near Interstate 40, just east of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. The goals of this project were to ascertain whether a sufficient quantity of PAHs could be collected using low flow (16.7 L/minute) over 8-h periods [...] Read more.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were measured near Interstate 40, just east of Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA. The goals of this project were to ascertain whether a sufficient quantity of PAHs could be collected using low flow (16.7 L/minute) over 8-h periods and if so, do investigate how the PAHs correlate to local sources, atmospheric pollutants and meteorology. The 8-h integrated samples were collected on 20 sampling days over a two month period during fall 2014. The samples were collected using low flow (BGI Incorporated PQ200) fine particulate samplers analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Temporal distributions of the PAHs (average mean 9.2 nanogram/cubic meter ±9.0 std) were compared to traffic count, and meteorological and pollutant data collected at the near roadway station. Using the meteorological data (i.e., wind speed and direction vector data), wind roses were created illustrating the local sources of the PAHs. In terms of correlation to atmospheric oxidants, (i.e., ozone, nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide) wind rose analysis illustrated the morning hours which were predominantly southern winds, while the afternoon hours illustrated southerly and easterly winds, which suggests that the automobile traffic is the main source of PAHs. The nighttime hours wind rose shows winds from the northerly and easterly direction, which are predominantly from the RDU International Airport. Since the wind direction vectors illustrated that the afternoon hours (i.e., 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.) were from the interstate, comparisons were performed on the samples collected in this time period for both the traffic and pollutant data. The comparison of the traffic data showed a correlation with the number of vehicles (>60 feet i.e., heavy duty diesel engine vehicles). In addition, with the ozone, nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxide) there is a significant linear correlation between the sum of the measured PAHs with nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3) with the R2 values being 0.1, 0.04 and 0.07 respectively. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) statistical regression was performed on the pollutant data versus the measured sum of the PAHs. With the alpha set at 0.05, (α = 0.05) the p-values for O3, NO2 and NO were 0.00613, 0.000496 and 0.000264, respectively, which are significant. In addition, the PAH concentration found in this study compare favorably to other published studies (0.1 to 193.6 ng/m3) both nationally and internationally. Full article
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Article
A Study of Preliminary Breakdown and Return Stroke Processes in High-Intensity Negative Lightning Discharges
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100130 - 16 Oct 2016
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2876
Abstract
Using an automated data processing algorithm, we examined electric field records of 5498 negative cloud-to-ground flashes reported by the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) within 50 to 500 km of the Lightning Observatory in Gainesville (LOG), Florida. Out of the 5498 flashes, [...] Read more.
Using an automated data processing algorithm, we examined electric field records of 5498 negative cloud-to-ground flashes reported by the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) within 50 to 500 km of the Lightning Observatory in Gainesville (LOG), Florida. Out of the 5498 flashes, 3496 (64%) had detectable preliminary breakdown (PB) pulse trains. Only 3077 flashes with a single PB pulse train and NLDN-reported first-return-stroke (RS) peak current ≥50 kA were selected for detailed analysis. The arithmetic mean values of PB pulse train duration, PB-RS interval, and PB/RS pulse peak ratio were 2.7 ms, 8.8 ms, and 0.15, respectively. The PB-RS interval was found to decrease with increasing RS peak current (Spearman correlation coefficient was statistically significant and equal to −0.80). The range-normalized PB pulse peak exhibited statistically significant positive correlation with the RS peak current, with Spearman correlation coefficient being 0.48. Thus, it appears that the high-intensity (≥50 kA) negative lightning is characterized by shorter (and, by inference, faster) stepped leaders and more pronounced PB pulse trains. Full article
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Review
A Review on Predicting Ground PM2.5 Concentration Using Satellite Aerosol Optical Depth
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100129 - 14 Oct 2016
Cited by 88 | Viewed by 5700
Abstract
This study reviewed the prediction of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD) and summarized the advantages and limitations of these predicting models. A total of 116 articles were included from 1436 records retrieved. The number of such [...] Read more.
This study reviewed the prediction of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD) and summarized the advantages and limitations of these predicting models. A total of 116 articles were included from 1436 records retrieved. The number of such studies has been increasing since 2003. Among these studies, four predicting models were widely used: Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) (25 articles), Mixed-Effect Model (MEM) (23 articles), Chemical Transport Model (CTM) (16 articles) and Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) (10 articles). We found that there is no so-called best model among them and each has both advantages and limitations. Regarding the prediction accuracy, MEM performs the best, while MLR performs worst. CTM predicts PM2.5 better on a global scale, while GWR tends to perform well on a regional level. Moreover, prediction performance can be significantly improved by combining meteorological variables with land use factors of each region, instead of only considering meteorological variables. In addition, MEM has advantages in dealing with the AOD data with missing values. We recommend that with the help of higher resolution AOD data, future works could be focused on developing satellite-based predicting models for the prediction of historical PM2.5 and other air pollutants. Full article
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Article
Satellite Assessments of Tropopause Dry Intrusions Correlated to Mid-Latitude Storms
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100128 - 11 Oct 2016
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2393
Abstract
Dry intrusion is an important mid-latitude atmosphere phenomenon within the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. It is often found to be related to the cyclogenesis, rainstorm, as well as convection generation and precipitation enhancement. Since the atmosphere environment for any of these above-mentioned [...] Read more.
Dry intrusion is an important mid-latitude atmosphere phenomenon within the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. It is often found to be related to the cyclogenesis, rainstorm, as well as convection generation and precipitation enhancement. Since the atmosphere environment for any of these above-mentioned weather is terribly complicated, those preexisting popular schemes which takes no account of water vapor may not suitable for detecting the dry intrusion related to such weather events. With regard to the merits and demerits of the current preexisting schemes, a new scheme based on Fengyun-2E geo-stationary satellite data is presented in this study to detect the tropopause dry intrusion. The scheme is set up based on the statistical relationship between water vapor at high level troposphere, the general moist potential vorticity, ozone concentration and upper-level jets. Validations are made by using Fengyun-3B observed ozone profiles and NCEP FNL analysis data. Two mid-latitude storm episodes occurred in China in 2012 and 2014 are selected as demonstration to show the applicability of the method we developed in this study. Good application effects in both cases suggest that the new method for detecting dry intrusion is applicable and can be helpful in middle-latitude disastrous weather monitoring and forecasting. Full article
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Article
Characteristics of the Transport of a Typical Pollution Event in the Chengdu Area Based on Remote Sensing Data and Numerical Simulations
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100127 - 09 Oct 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2389
Abstract
A heavy air pollution event occurred in Chengdu between 7 May 2014 and 8 May 2014. The present study established tracer sources based on HJ-1 satellite data, micropulse light detection and ranging (LiDAR) remote sensing data, and backward trajectories simulated using the hybrid [...] Read more.
A heavy air pollution event occurred in Chengdu between 7 May 2014 and 8 May 2014. The present study established tracer sources based on HJ-1 satellite data, micropulse light detection and ranging (LiDAR) remote sensing data, and backward trajectories simulated using the hybrid single-particle Lagrangian integrated trajectory (HYSPLIT) model. Additionally, the present study analyzed the diffusion conditions for the sources and characteristics of the pollutant transport in this pollution event through simulation using a mesoscale atmospheric chemistry transport model—the weather research forecasting model with chemistry (WRF–CHEM). The results show that the change in the boundary-layer height over Chengdu had a relatively large effect on the vertical diffusion of pollutants. During the pollution event, Chengdu, Meishan, and Leshan were areas of significantly low mean ventilation coefficients ( V H ). In Chengdu, the V H was extremely low at night, and there was a temperature inversion near the ground, resulting in the continuous accumulation of pollutants at night and a continuous worsening of the pollution. During the period of heavy pollution, there were straw-burning sites in Meishan, Ziyang, Neijiang, Zigong, and Deyang. On 7 May 2014, the pollutants in Chengdu mainly originated from Meishan. The accumulation in Chengdu of pollutants originating in Meishan and Deyang led to highly concentrated pollution on 8 May 2014, to which the pollutants originating in Deyang were the main contributor. The transport of pollutants resulting from straw burning in the study area and the relatively poor conditions for the pollutant diffusion in Chengdu collectively led to the heavy air pollution event investigated in the present study. Full article
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Article
Phases of the Isobaric Surface Shapes in the Geostrophic State of the Atmosphere and Connection to the Polar Vortices
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100126 - 05 Oct 2016
Viewed by 2160
Abstract
This paper presents a theoretical study of the disturbed isobaric surface shape in the geostrophic state of the atmosphere. It has been shown that, depending on the overheat sign at the equator, the isobaric surface has the shape of an oblate or prolate [...] Read more.
This paper presents a theoretical study of the disturbed isobaric surface shape in the geostrophic state of the atmosphere. It has been shown that, depending on the overheat sign at the equator, the isobaric surface has the shape of an oblate or prolate geoid. If the geostrophic wind velocity is nonzero at the poles, the local pressure extrema (minima for oblate geoid and maxima for prolate geoid) appear at the poles in the geostrophic state. This result correlates with the well-known polar vortex phenomenon and possibly can refine our understanding and interpretation of the phenomenon. In other words, the existence of polar minima and maxima of the pressure field can be the peculiarity of the geostrophic state of the atmosphere. It has been found that air must be colder than the surrounding atmosphere for initiation of the zonal eastward transport. For warm air mass, only easterly winds will be observed. Full article
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Article
Seasonality of Precipitation over Himalayan Watersheds in CORDEX South Asia and their Driving CMIP5 Experiments
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100123 - 02 Oct 2016
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3371
Abstract
Since the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) experiments exhibit limited skill in reproducing the statistical properties of prevailing precipitation regimes over the major Himalayan watersheds (Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra and Mekong), this study evaluates the anticipated added skill of their dynamically refined [...] Read more.
Since the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) experiments exhibit limited skill in reproducing the statistical properties of prevailing precipitation regimes over the major Himalayan watersheds (Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra and Mekong), this study evaluates the anticipated added skill of their dynamically refined simulations performed under the framework of Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiments for South Asia (CX-SA). For this, the fidelity of eight CX-SA experiments against their six driving CMIP5 experiments is assessed for the historical period (1971–2005) in terms of time-dependent statistical properties (onset/retreat timings and rapid fractional accumulation—RFA) of the dominant summer monsoonal precipitation regime (MPR). Further, a self-defining seasonality index (SI), which is a product of precipitation and the distance of its actual distribution relative to its uniform distribution (relative entropy—RE), has been computed for MPR, westerly precipitation regime (WPR) and annual precipitation. The time evolution of precipitation, RE and SI has also been analyzed. Results suggest that CX-SA experiments simulate even higher wet biases than their driving CMIP5 experiments over all study basins, mainly due to higher wet biases simulated over the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. Most of the CX-SA experiments suggest unrealistic timings of the monsoon onset that are far earlier than their driving CMIP5 experiments for all basins. Generally, CX-SA experiments feature higher underestimation of RFA slope, RE and SI, distancing their driving CMIP5 experiments farther from observations. Interestingly, regardless of the diverse skill of CMIP5 experiments, their fine scale CX-SA experiments exhibit quite a similar skill when downscaled by the same regional climate model (RCM), indicating RCM’s ability to considerably alter the driving datasets. These findings emphasize on improving the fidelity of simulated precipitation regimes over the Himalayan watersheds by exploiting the potential of RCMs in term of microphysics, resolutions and convective closures, and preferably, on resolving the crucial fine scale processes further down to their representative (meso-to-local) scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Clouds and Precipitation)
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Article
Analysis of Air Pressure Fluctuations and Topsoil Gas Concentrations within a Scots Pine Forest
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100125 - 01 Oct 2016
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3978
Abstract
High-precision differential air pressure measurements were conducted in the below-canopy space of a Scots pine forest and in the forest soil to investigate small air pressure fluctuations and their effect on soil gas flux. In addition to air pressure measurements, tracer gas concentration [...] Read more.
High-precision differential air pressure measurements were conducted in the below-canopy space of a Scots pine forest and in the forest soil to investigate small air pressure fluctuations and their effect on soil gas flux. In addition to air pressure measurements, tracer gas concentration in the soil and airflow characteristics above and below the canopy were measured. Results suggest that air pressure fluctuations in the frequency range of 0.01 Hz–0.1 Hz are strongly dependent on above-canopy wind speed. While amplitudes of the observed air pressure fluctuations (<10 Pa) increase significantly with increasing above-canopy wind speed, the periods decrease significantly with increasing above-canopy wind speed. These air pressure fluctuations are associated with the pressure-pumping effect in the soil. A pressure-pumping coefficient was defined, which describes the strength of the pressure-pumping effect. During the measurement period, pressure-pumping coefficients up to 0.44 Pa·s−1 were found. The dependence of the pressure-pumping coefficient on mean above-canopy wind speed can be described well with a polynomial fit of second degree. The knowledge of this relation simplifies the quantification of the pressure-pumping effect in a Scots pine forest considerably, since only the mean above-canopy wind speed has to be measured. In addition, empirical modeling revealed that the pressure-pumping coefficient explains the largest fraction of the variance of tracer gas concentration in the topsoil. Full article
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Article
Sensitivity of the Reaction Mechanism of the Ozone Depletion Events during the Arctic Spring on the Initial Atmospheric Composition of the Troposphere
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100124 - 30 Sep 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2875
Abstract
Ozone depletion events (ODEs) during the Arctic spring have been investigated since the 1980s. It was found that the depletion of ozone is highly associated with the release of halogens, especially bromine containing compounds. These compounds originate from various substrates such as the [...] Read more.
Ozone depletion events (ODEs) during the Arctic spring have been investigated since the 1980s. It was found that the depletion of ozone is highly associated with the release of halogens, especially bromine containing compounds. These compounds originate from various substrates such as the ice/snow-covered surfaces in Arctic. In the present study, the dependence of the mixing ratios of ozone and principal bromine species during ODEs on the initial composition of the Arctic atmospheric boundary layer was investigated by using a concentration sensitivity analysis. This analysis was performed by implementing a reaction mechanism representing the ozone depletion and halogen release in the box model KINAL (KInetic aNALysis of reaction mechanics). The ratios between the relative change of the mixing ratios of particular species such as ozone and the variation in the initial concentration of each atmospheric component were calculated, which indicate the relative importance of each initial species in the chemical kinetic system. The results of the computations show that the impact of various chemical species is different for ozone and bromine containing compounds during the depletion of ozone. It was found that CH3CHO critically controls the time scale of the complete removal of ozone. However, the rate of the ozone loss and the maximum values of bromine species are only slightly influenced by the initial value of CH3CHO. In addition, according to the concentration sensitivity analysis, the reduction of initial Br2 was found to cause a significant retardant of the ODE while the initial mixing ratio of HBr exerts minor influence on both ozone and bromine species. In addition, it is also interesting to note that the increase of C2H2 would significantly raise the amount of HOBr and Br in the atmosphere while the ozone depletion is hardly changed. Full article
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Article
Characterization, Long-Range Transport and Source Identification of Carbonaceous Aerosols during Spring and Autumn Periods at a High Mountain Site in South China
Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos7100122 - 26 Sep 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1983
Abstract
PM10 (particulate matter) samples were collected at Mount Lu, a high elevation mountain site in south China (August and September of 2011; and March, April and May of 2012). Eight carbonaceous fractions of particles were analyzed to characterize the possible carbonaceous emission [...] Read more.
PM10 (particulate matter) samples were collected at Mount Lu, a high elevation mountain site in south China (August and September of 2011; and March, April and May of 2012). Eight carbonaceous fractions of particles were analyzed to characterize the possible carbonaceous emission sources. During the sampling events, daily average concentrations of PM10 at Mount Lu were 97.87 μg/m3 and 73.40 μg/m3 in spring and autumn, respectively. The observed mean organic carbon (OC) and element carbon (EC) concentrations during spring in PM10 were 10.58 μg/m3 and 2.58 μg/m3, respectively, and those in autumn were 6.89 μg/m3 and 2.40 μg/m3, respectively. Secondary organic carbon concentration was 4.77 μg/m3 and 2.93 μg/m3 on average, accounting for 28.0% and 31.0% of the total OC in spring and autumn, respectively. Relationships between carbonaceous species and results of principal component analysis showed that there were multiple sources contributing to the carbonaceous aerosols at the observation site. Through back trajectory analysis, it was found that air masses in autumn were mainly transported from the south of China, and these have the highest OC but lowest EC concentrations. Air masses in spring transported from northwest China bring 7.77 μg/m3 OC and 2.28 μg/m3 EC to the site, with lower levels coming from other sites. These air mass sources were featured by the effective carbon ratio (ECR). Full article
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