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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Exposure and Respiratory Tract Deposition Dose of Equivalent Black Carbon in High Altitudes
Atmosphere 2020, 11(6), 598; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060598 - 05 Jun 2020
Abstract
The traffic microenvironment accounts for a significant fraction of the total daily dose of inhaled air pollutants. The adverse effects of air pollution may be intensified in high altitudes (HA) due to increased minute ventilation (MV), which may result in higher deposition doses [...] Read more.
The traffic microenvironment accounts for a significant fraction of the total daily dose of inhaled air pollutants. The adverse effects of air pollution may be intensified in high altitudes (HA) due to increased minute ventilation (MV), which may result in higher deposition doses compared to that at sea level. Despite this, air quality studies in regions with combined high pollution levels and enhanced inhalation are limited. The main goals of this study are to investigate how the choice of travel mode (walking, microbus, and cable car ride) determines (i) the personal exposure to equivalent black carbon (eBC) and (ii) the corresponding potential respiratory deposited dose (RDD) in HA. For this investigation, we chose La Paz and El Alto in Bolivia as HA representative cities. The highest eBC exposure occurred in microbus commutes (13 μg m−3), while the highest RDD per trip was recorded while walking (6.3 μg) due to increased MV. On the other hand, the lowest eBC exposure and RDD were observed in cable car commute. Compared with similar studies done at sea level, our results revealed that a HA city should reduce exposure by 1.4 to 1.8-fold to achieve similar RDD at sea level, implying that HA cities require doubly aggressive and stringent road emission policies compared to those at sea level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Carbonaceous Aerosols)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Impact of Climate Change on Olive Crop Production in Italy
Atmosphere 2020, 11(6), 595; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060595 - 04 Jun 2020
Abstract
The effects of climate change on agricultural systems raise important uncertainties about the future productivity and suitability of crops, especially in areas suffering from intense environmental changes. Olive groves occupy Mediterranean areas characterized by seasonal temporary droughts, which cause this cultivation to be [...] Read more.
The effects of climate change on agricultural systems raise important uncertainties about the future productivity and suitability of crops, especially in areas suffering from intense environmental changes. Olive groves occupy Mediterranean areas characterized by seasonal temporary droughts, which cause this cultivation to be highly dependent on local microclimatic conditions. Olive crop production can be reliably estimated using pollen intensity metrics together with post-pollination environmental conditions. In this study, we applied this kind of statistics-based models to identify the most relevant meteorological variables during the post-pollination periods for olive fruit production. Olive pollen time-series for the period of 1999–2012 was analyzed in 16 Italian provinces. Minimum and maximum temperature during spring and summer (March–August) showed a negative relationship with olive production, while precipitation always showed a positive correlation. The increase in aridity conditions observed in areas of Italy during the summer represents an important risk of decreasing olive crop production. The effect of climate change on the olive production trend is not clear because of the interactions between human and environmental factors, although some areas might show an increase in productivity in the near future under different climate change scenarios. However, as more drastic changes in temperature or precipitation take place, the risk to olive production will be considerably greater. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GIS Applications for Airborne Pollen Monitoring and Prediction)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Relative Risk Functions for Estimating Excess Mortality Attributable to Outdoor PM2.5 Air Pollution: Evolution and State-of-the-Art
Atmosphere 2020, 11(6), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060589 - 03 Jun 2020
Abstract
The recent proliferation of cohort studies of long-term exposure to outdoor fine particulate air pollution and mortality has led to a significant increase in knowledge about this important global health risk factor. As scientific knowledge has grown, mortality relative risk estimators for fine [...] Read more.
The recent proliferation of cohort studies of long-term exposure to outdoor fine particulate air pollution and mortality has led to a significant increase in knowledge about this important global health risk factor. As scientific knowledge has grown, mortality relative risk estimators for fine particulate matter have evolved from simple risk models based on a single study to complex, computationally intensive, integration of multiple independent particulate sources based on nearly one hundred studies. Since its introduction nearly 10 years ago, the integrated exposure-response (IER) model has become the state-of-the art model for such estimates, now used by the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD), the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s benefits assessment software, and scientists worldwide to estimate the burden of disease and examine strategies to improve air quality at global, national, and sub-national scales for outdoor fine particulate air pollution, secondhand smoke, and household pollution from heating and cooking. With each yearly update of the GBD, estimates of the IER continue to evolve, changing with the incorporation of new data and fitting methods. As the number of outdoor fine particulate air pollution cohort studies has grown, including recent estimates of high levels of fine particulate pollution in China, new estimators based solely on outdoor fine particulate air pollution evidence have been proposed which require fewer assumptions than the IER and yield larger relative risk estimates. This paper will discuss the scientific and technical issues analysts should consider regarding the use of these methods to estimate the burden of disease attributable to outdoor fine particulate pollution in their own settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment of Air Pollution)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Smart Farming Techniques for Climate Change Adaptation in Cyprus
Atmosphere 2020, 11(6), 557; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060557 - 27 May 2020
Abstract
Smart farming based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies enables crop farmers to collect real-time data related to irrigation and plant protection processes, aiming to increase production volume, improve product quality, and predict diseases, while optimizing resources and farming processes. IoT devices can [...] Read more.
Smart farming based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies enables crop farmers to collect real-time data related to irrigation and plant protection processes, aiming to increase production volume, improve product quality, and predict diseases, while optimizing resources and farming processes. IoT devices can collect vast amounts of environmental, soil, and crop performance data, thus building time series data that can be analyzed to forecast and compute recommendations and deliver critical information to farmers in real time. In this sense, the added-value from the farmers’ perspective is that such smart farming techniques have the potential to deliver a more sustainable agricultural production, based on a more precise and resource-efficient approach in the complex and versatile agricultural environment. The aim of this study is to investigate possible advantages of applying the Smart Farming as a Service (SFaaS) paradigm, aiming to support small-scale farmers, by taking over the technological investment burden and offering next generation farming advice through the combined utilization of heterogeneous information sources. The overall results of the pilot application demonstrate a potential reduction of up to 22% on total irrigation needs and important optimization opportunities on pesticides use efficiency. The current work offers opportunities for innovation targeting and climate change adaptation options (new agricultural technologies), and could help farmers to reduce their ecological footprint. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adaptation of Cyprus Agriculture to Climate Change)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Microbial Community Composition Analysis in Spring Aerosols at Urban and Remote Sites over the Tibetan Plateau
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 527; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050527 - 20 May 2020
Abstract
This study presents features of airborne culturable bacteria and fungi from three different sites (Lanzhou; LZ; 1520 m ASL, Lhasa; LS; 3640 m ASL and Qomolangma; ZF; 4276 m ASL) representing urban (LZ and LS) and remote sites (ZF) over the Tibetan Plateau [...] Read more.
This study presents features of airborne culturable bacteria and fungi from three different sites (Lanzhou; LZ; 1520 m ASL, Lhasa; LS; 3640 m ASL and Qomolangma; ZF; 4276 m ASL) representing urban (LZ and LS) and remote sites (ZF) over the Tibetan Plateau (TP). Total suspended particle (TSP) samples were collected with an air sampler (Laoying 2030, China) on a quartz filter. Community structures of bacteria and fungi were studied and compared among three different locations. The average levels of bacterial load in the outdoor air ranged from approximately 8.03 × 101 to 3.25 × 102 CFU m–3 (Colony forming unit per m3). However, the average levels of fungal loads ranged from approximately 3.88 × 100 to 1.55 × 101 CFU m−3. Bacterial load was one magnitude higher at urban sites LZ (2.06 × 102–3.25 × 102 CFU m−3) and LS (1.96 × 102–3.23 × 102 CFU m−3) compared to remote sites ZF (8.03 × 101–9.54 × 101 CFU m−3). Similarly, the maximum fungal load was observed in LZ (1.02 × 101–1.55 × 101 CFU m−3) followed by LS (1.03 × 101–1.49 × 101 CFU m−3) and ZF (3.88 × 100–6.26 × 100 CFU m−3). However, the maximum microbial concentration was observed on the same day of the month, corresponding to a high dust storm in Lanzhou during the sampling period. The reported isolates were identified by phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA genes for bacteria and ITS sequences for fungi amplified from directly extracted DNA. Bacterial isolates were mostly associated with Proteobacteria, Eurotiomycetes and Bacillus, whereas fungal isolates were mostly Aspergillus and Alternaria. Overall, this is a pioneer study that provides information about the airborne microbial concentration and composition of three sites over the TP region depending on environmental parameters. This study provided preliminary insight to carry out more advanced and targeted analyses of bioaerosol in the sites presented in the study. Full article
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Quantifying the Public Health Benefits of Reducing Air Pollution: Critically Assessing the Features and Capabilities of WHO’s AirQ+ and U.S. EPA’s Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program—Community Edition (BenMAP—CE)
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 516; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050516 - 16 May 2020
Abstract
Scientific evidence spanning experimental and epidemiologic studies has shown that air pollution exposures can lead to a range of health effects. Quantitative approaches that allow for the estimation of the adverse health impacts attributed to air pollution enable researchers and policy analysts to [...] Read more.
Scientific evidence spanning experimental and epidemiologic studies has shown that air pollution exposures can lead to a range of health effects. Quantitative approaches that allow for the estimation of the adverse health impacts attributed to air pollution enable researchers and policy analysts to convey the public health impact of poor air quality. Multiple tools are currently available to conduct such analyses, which includes software packages designed by the World Health Organization (WHO): AirQ+, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA): Environmental Benefits Mapping and Analysis Program—Community Edition (BenMAP—CE), to quantify the number and economic value of air pollution-attributable premature deaths and illnesses. WHO’s AirQ+ and U.S. EPA’s BenMAP—CE are among the most popular tools to quantify these effects as reflected by the hundreds of peer-reviewed publications and technical reports over the past two decades that have employed these tools spanning many countries and multiple continents. Within this paper we conduct an analysis using common input parameters to compare AirQ+ and BenMAP—CE and show that the two software packages well align in the calculation of health impacts. Additionally, we detail the research questions best addressed by each tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment of Air Pollution)
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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceArticle
Exposure to Submicron Particles and Estimation of the Dose Received by Children in School and Non-School Environments
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 485; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050485 - 09 May 2020
Abstract
In the present study, the daily dose in terms of submicron particle surface area received by children attending schools located in three different areas (rural, suburban, and urban), characterized by different outdoor concentrations, was evaluated. For this purpose, the exposure to submicron particle [...] Read more.
In the present study, the daily dose in terms of submicron particle surface area received by children attending schools located in three different areas (rural, suburban, and urban), characterized by different outdoor concentrations, was evaluated. For this purpose, the exposure to submicron particle concentration levels of the children were measured through a direct exposure assessment approach. In particular, measurements of particle number and lung-deposited surface area concentrations at “personal scale” of 60 children were performed through a handheld particle counter to obtain exposure data in the different microenvironments they resided. Such data were combined with the time–activity pattern data, characteristics of each child, and inhalation rates (related to the activity performed) to obtain the total daily dose in terms of particle surface area. The highest daily dose was estimated for children attending the schools located in the urban and suburban areas (>1000 mm2), whereas the lowest value was estimated for children attending the school located in a rural area (646 mm2). Non-school indoor environments were recognized as the most influential in terms of children’s exposure and, thus, of received dose (>70%), whereas school environments contribute not significantly to the children daily dose, with dose fractions of 15–19% for schools located in urban and suburban areas and just 6% for the rural one. Therefore, the study clearly demonstrates that, whatever the school location, the children daily dose cannot be determined on the basis of the exposures in outdoor or school environments, but a direct assessment able to investigate the exposure of children during indoor environment is essential. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Criteria-Based Identification of Important Fuels for Wildland Fire Emission Research
Atmosphere 2020, 11(6), 640; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060640 - 16 Jun 2020
Abstract
Studies of the emissions from wildland fires are important for understanding the role of these events in the production, transport, and fate of emitted gases and particulate matter, and, consequently, their impact on atmospheric and ecological processes, and on human health and wellbeing. [...] Read more.
Studies of the emissions from wildland fires are important for understanding the role of these events in the production, transport, and fate of emitted gases and particulate matter, and, consequently, their impact on atmospheric and ecological processes, and on human health and wellbeing. Wildland fire emission research provides the quantitative information needed for the understanding and management of wildland fire emissions impacts based on human needs. Recent work to characterize emissions from specific fuel types, or those from specific areas, has implicitly been driven by the recognition of the importance of those fuel types in the context of wildland fire science; however, the importance of specific fuels in driving investigations of biomass-burning emissions has not been made explicit thus far. Here, we make a first attempt to discuss the development and application of criteria to answer the question, “What are the most important fuels for biomass-burning emissions investigations to inform wildland fire science and management?” Four criteria for fuel selection are proposed: “(1) total emissions, (2) impacts, (3) availability and uncertainty, and (4) potential for future importance.” Attempting to develop and apply these criteria, we propose a list of several such fuels, based on prior investigations and the body of wildland-fire emission research. Full article
Open AccessEditor’s ChoiceReview
Geobibliography and Bibliometric Networks of Polar Tourism and Climate Change Research
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050498 - 13 May 2020
Abstract
In late 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their much-awaited Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). High mountain areas, polar regions, low-lying islands and coastal areas, and ocean and marine ecosystems, were separately dealt [...] Read more.
In late 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their much-awaited Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC). High mountain areas, polar regions, low-lying islands and coastal areas, and ocean and marine ecosystems, were separately dealt by experts to reveal the impacts of climate change on these regions, as well as the responses of the natural and human systems inhabiting or related to these regions. The tourism sector was found, among the main systems, influenced by climate change in the oceanic and cryospheric environments. In this study, we deepen the understanding of tourism and climate interrelationships in the polar regions. In doing so, we step outside the climate resilience of polar tourism paradigm and systematically assess the literature in terms of its gaps relating to an extended framework where the impacts of tourism on climate through a combined and rebound effects lens are in question as well. Following a systematic identification and screening on two major bibliometric databases, a final selection of 93 studies, spanning the 2004–2019 period, are visualized in terms of their thematic and co-authorship networks and a study area based geobibliography, coupled with an emerging hot spots analysis, to help identify gaps for future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tourism Climatology: Past, Present and Future)
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