Special Issue "High Altitude Site Observations of the Atmospheric Chemical Composition"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Atmospheric Techniques, Instruments, and Modeling".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Piero Di Carlo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychological, Health & Territorial Sciences, University "G. d'Annunzio" of Chieti-Pescara, 66100 Chieti, Italy
Interests: physics of the atmosphere; atmospheric composition; trace gases measurements; climate trends; climate impacts; machine learning; statistical models
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Observations of the atmosphere at high altitude sites are of fundamental importance to understand the impact of changes in the chemical composition on climate, biodiversity and human health. Mountain areas are usually background sites for observing atmospheric composition that is slightly impacted by anthropogenic emissions, but at the same time they are places to study the role of the long-range transport of pollutants, how the local chemical composition changes due to atmospheric dynamics and the chemical implication of the mix between anthropogenic and biogenic emissions.

Studies of fire emissions and plume evolution, the role of orography on the change of chemical compounds, and the chemistry triggered by natural phenomena, such as lighting, are favoured in high altitude observatories, which can be considered a sort of atmospheric sentinel.

Prof. Dr. Piero Di Carlo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • High altitude observatory
  • Ozone
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Black carbon
  • Aerosol
  • Pollen
  • Atmospheric transport
  • Stratosphere–troposphere exchanges
  • Lighting

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Carbonaceous Aerosols Collected at the Observatory of Monte Curcio in the Southern Mediterranean Basin
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 592; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100592 - 02 Oct 2019
Abstract
This work provides the first continuous measurements of carbonaceous aerosol at the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Monte Curcio regional station, within the southern Mediterranean basin. We specifically analyzed elemental carbon (EC) and organic carbon (OC) concentrations in particulate matter (PM) samples, collected from [...] Read more.
This work provides the first continuous measurements of carbonaceous aerosol at the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Monte Curcio regional station, within the southern Mediterranean basin. We specifically analyzed elemental carbon (EC) and organic carbon (OC) concentrations in particulate matter (PM) samples, collected from April to December during the two years of 2016 and 2017. The purpose of the study is to understand the behavior of both PM and carbonaceous species, in their fine and coarse size fraction, along with their seasonal variability. Based on 18 months of observations, we obtained a dataset that resulted in a vast range of variability. We found the maximum values in summer, mainly related to the enhanced formation of secondary pollutants owing to intense solar radiation, also due to the high frequency of wildfires in the surrounding areas, as well as to the reduced precipitation and aerosol-wet removal. We otherwise observed the lowest levels during fall, coinciding with well-ventilated conditions, low photochemical activity, higher precipitation amounts, and less frequency of Saharan dust episodes. We employed the HYSPLIT model to identify long-range transport from Saharan desert. We found that the Saharan dust events caused higher concentrations of PM and OC in the coarser size fraction whereas the wildfire events likely influenced the highest PM, OC, and EC concentrations we recorded for the finer fraction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Thirty Years of Atmospheric CO2 Observations at the Plateau Rosa Station, Italy
Atmosphere 2019, 10(7), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10070418 - 20 Jul 2019
Abstract
The atmospheric background CO2 concentration is a key quantity for the analysis and evaluation of the ongoing climate change. Long-term CO2 observations have been carried out at the high Plateau Rosa mountain station, in the north-western Alps since 1989. The complete [...] Read more.
The atmospheric background CO2 concentration is a key quantity for the analysis and evaluation of the ongoing climate change. Long-term CO2 observations have been carried out at the high Plateau Rosa mountain station, in the north-western Alps since 1989. The complete time series covers thirty years, and it is suitable for climatological analysis. The continuous CO2 measurements, collected since 1993, were selected, by means of a BaDS (Background Data Selection) filter, to obtain the hourly background data. The monthly background data series was analysed in order to individuate the parameters that characterise the seasonal cycle and the long-term trend. The growth rate was found to be 2.05 ± 0.03 ppm/year, which is in agreement with the global trend. The increased background CO2 concentration at the Plateau Rosa site is the consequence of global anthropic emissions, whereas the natural variability of the climatic system taken from the SOI (South Oscillation Index) and MEI (Multivariate ENSO Index) signals was detected in the inter-annual changes of the Plateau Rosa growth rate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pollution Events at the High-Altitude Mountain Site Zugspitze-Schneefernerhaus (2670 m a.s.l.), Germany
Atmosphere 2019, 10(6), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10060330 - 18 Jun 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Within the CO2 time series measured at the Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus (UFS), Germany, as part of the Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) program, pollution episodes are traced back to local and regional emissions, identified by δ13C(CO2) as well [...] Read more.
Within the CO2 time series measured at the Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus (UFS), Germany, as part of the Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) program, pollution episodes are traced back to local and regional emissions, identified by δ13C(CO2) as well as ratios of CO and CH4 to CO2 mixing ratios. Seven episodes of sudden enhancements in the tropospheric CO2 mixing ratio are identified in the measurements of mixing/isotopic ratios during five winter months from October 2012 to February 2013. The short-term CO2 variations are closely correlated with changes in CO and CH4 mixing ratios, achieving mean values of 6.0 ± 0.2 ppb/ppm for CO/CO2 and 6.0 ± 0.1 ppb/ppm for CH4/CO2. The estimated isotopic signature of CO2 sources (δs) ranges between −35‰ and −24‰, with higher values indicating contributions from coal combustion or wood burning, and lower values being the result of natural gas or gasoline. Moving Keeling plots with site-specific data selection criteria are applied to detect these pollution events. Furthermore, the HYSPLIT trajectory model is utilized to identify the trajectories during periods with CO2 peak events. Short trajectories are found covering Western and Central Europe, while clean air masses flow from the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean. Full article
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