Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Latest Publications


TOTAL DOCUMENTS

12303
(FIVE YEARS 4352)

H-INDEX

221
(FIVE YEARS 54)

Published By Copernicus Gmbh

1680-7324

2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
pp. 597-624
Author(s):  
Aoxing Zhang ◽  
Yongqiang Liu ◽  
Scott Goodrick ◽  
Marcus D. Williams

Abstract. Wildfires can significantly impact air quality and human health. However, little is known about how different fuel bed components contribute to these impacts. This study investigates the air quality impacts of duff and peat consumption during wildfires in the southeastern United States, with a focus on the differing contributions of fine particulate matter less than 2.5 µm in size (PM2.5) and ozone (O3) to air quality episodes associated with the four largest wildfire events in the region during this century. The emissions of duff burning were estimated based on a field measurement of a 2016 southern Appalachian fire. The emissions from the burning of other fuels were obtained from the Fire INventory from NCAR (FINN). The air quality impacts were simulated using a three-dimensional regional air quality model. The results show the duff burning emitted PM2.5 comparable to the burning of the above-ground fuels. The simulated surface PM2.5 concentrations due to duff burning increased by 61.3 % locally over a region approximately 300 km within the fire site and by 21.3 % and 29.7 % in remote metro Atlanta and Charlotte during the 2016 southern Appalachian fires and by 131.9 % locally and by 17.7 % and 24.8 % in remote metro Orlando and Miami during the 2007 Okefenokee Fire. However, the simulated ozone impacts from the duff burning were negligible due to the small duff emission factors of ozone precursors such as NOx. This study suggests the need to improve the modeling of PM2.5 and the air quality, human health, and climate impacts of wildfires in moist ecosystems by including duff burning in global fire emission inventories.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
pp. 577-596
Author(s):  
Susan J. Leadbetter ◽  
Andrew R. Jones ◽  
Matthew C. Hort

Abstract. Atmospheric dispersion model output is frequently used to provide advice to decision makers, for example, about the likely location of volcanic ash erupted from a volcano or the location of deposits of radioactive material released during a nuclear accident. Increasingly, scientists and decision makers are requesting information on the uncertainty of these dispersion model predictions. One source of uncertainty is in the meteorology used to drive the dispersion model, and in this study ensemble meteorology from the Met Office ensemble prediction system is used to provide meteorological uncertainty to dispersion model predictions. Two hypothetical scenarios, one volcanological and one radiological, are repeated every 12 h over a period of 4 months. The scenarios are simulated using ensemble meteorology and deterministic forecast meteorology and compared to output from simulations using analysis meteorology using the Brier skill score. Adopting the practice commonly used in evaluating numerical weather prediction (NWP) models where observations are sparse or non-existent, we consider output from simulations using analysis NWP data to be truth. The results show that on average the ensemble simulations perform better than the deterministic simulations, although not all individual ensemble simulations outperform their deterministic counterpart. The results also show that greater skill scores are achieved by the ensemble simulation for later time steps rather than earlier time steps. In addition there is a greater increase in skill score over time for deposition than for air concentration. For the volcanic ash scenarios it is shown that the performance of the ensemble at one flight level can be different to that at a different flight level; e.g. a negative skill score might be obtained for FL350-550 and a positive skill score for FL200-350. This study does not take into account any source term uncertainty, but it does take the first steps towards demonstrating the value of ensemble dispersion model predictions.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
pp. 561-575
Author(s):  
Jiaxing Sun ◽  
Zhe Wang ◽  
Wei Zhou ◽  
Conghui Xie ◽  
Cheng Wu ◽  
...  

Abstract. Atmospheric aerosols play an important role in the radiation balance of the earth–atmosphere system. However, our knowledge of the long-term changes in equivalent black carbon (eBC) and aerosol optical properties in China is very limited. Here we analyze the 9-year measurements of eBC and aerosol optical properties from 2012 to 2020 in Beijing, China. Our results showed large reductions in eBC by 71 % from 6.25 ± 5.73 µg m−3 in 2012 to 1.80 ± 1.54 µg m−3 in 2020 and 47 % decreases in the light extinction coefficient (bext, λ = 630 nm) of fine particles due to the Clean Air Action Plan that was implemented in 2013. The seasonal and diurnal variations of eBC illustrated the most significant reductions in the fall and at nighttime, respectively. ΔeBC / ΔCO also showed an annual decrease from ∼ 7 to 4 ng m−3 ppbv−1 and presented strong seasonal variations with high values in spring and fall, indicating that primary emissions in Beijing have changed significantly. As a response to the Clean Air Action Plan, single-scattering albedo (SSA) showed a considerable increase from 0.79 ± 0.11 to 0.88 ± 0.06, and mass extinction efficiency (MEE) increased from 3.2 to 3.8 m2 g−1. These results highlight the increasing importance of scattering aerosols in radiative forcing and a future challenge in visibility improvement due to enhanced MEE. Brown carbon (BrC) showed similar changes and seasonal variations to eBC during 2018–2020. However, we found a large increase of secondary BrC in the total BrC in most seasons, particularly in summer with the contribution up to 50 %, demonstrating an enhanced role of secondary formation in BrC in recent years. The long-term changes in eBC and BrC have also affected the radiative forcing effect. The direct radiative forcing (ΔFR) of BC decreased by 67 % from +3.36 W m−2 in 2012 to +1.09 W m−2 in 2020, and that of BrC decreased from +0.30 to +0.17 W m−2 during 2018–2020. Such changes might have important implications for affecting aerosol–boundary layer interactions and the improvement of future air quality.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
pp. 535-560
Author(s):  
Jerónimo Escribano ◽  
Enza Di Tomaso ◽  
Oriol Jorba ◽  
Martina Klose ◽  
Maria Gonçalves Ageitos ◽  
...  

Abstract. Atmospheric mineral dust has a rich tri-dimensional spatial and temporal structure that is poorly constrained in forecasts and analyses when only column-integrated aerosol optical depth (AOD) is assimilated. At present, this is the case of most operational global aerosol assimilation products. Aerosol vertical distributions obtained from spaceborne lidars can be assimilated in aerosol models, but questions about the extent of their benefit upon analyses and forecasts along with their consistency with AOD assimilation remain unresolved. Our study thoroughly explores the added value of assimilating spaceborne vertical dust profiles, with and without the joint assimilation of dust optical depth (DOD). We also discuss the consistency in the assimilation of both sources of information and analyse the role of the smaller footprint of the spaceborne lidar profiles in the results. To that end, we have performed data assimilation experiments using dedicated dust observations for a period of 2 months over northern Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. We assimilate DOD derived from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on board Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (SUOMI-NPP) Deep Blue and for the first time Cloud-Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarisation (CALIOP)-based LIdar climatology of Vertical Aerosol Structure for space-based lidar simulation studies (LIVAS) pure-dust extinction coefficient profiles on an aerosol model. The evaluation is performed against independent ground-based DOD derived from AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) Sun photometers and ground-based lidar dust extinction profiles from the Cyprus Clouds Aerosol and Rain Experiment (CyCARE) and PREparatory: does dust TriboElectrification affect our ClimaTe (Pre-TECT) field campaigns. Jointly assimilating LIVAS and Deep Blue data reduces the root mean square error (RMSE) in the DOD by 39 % and in the dust extinction coefficient by 65 % compared to a control simulation that excludes assimilation. We show that the assimilation of dust extinction coefficient profiles provides a strong added value to the analyses and forecasts. When only Deep Blue data are assimilated, the RMSE in the DOD is reduced further, by 42 %. However, when only LIVAS data are assimilated, the RMSE in the dust extinction coefficient decreases by 72 %, the largest improvement across experiments. We also show that the assimilation of dust extinction profiles yields better skill scores than the assimilation of DOD under an equivalent sensor footprint. Our results demonstrate the strong potential of future lidar space missions to improve desert dust forecasts, particularly if they foresee a depolarization lidar channel to allow discrimination of desert dust from other aerosol types.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
pp. 441-463
Author(s):  
Carolina Viceto ◽  
Irina V. Gorodetskaya ◽  
Annette Rinke ◽  
Marion Maturilli ◽  
Alfredo Rocha ◽  
...  

Abstract. Recently, a significant increase in the atmospheric moisture content has been documented over the Arctic, where both local contributions and poleward moisture transport from lower latitudes can play a role. This study focuses on the anomalous moisture transport events confined to long and narrow corridors, known as atmospheric rivers (ARs), which are expected to have a strong influence on Arctic moisture amounts, precipitation, and the energy budget. During two concerted intensive measurement campaigns – Arctic CLoud Observations Using airborne measurements during polar Day (ACLOUD) and the Physical feedbacks of Arctic planetary boundary layer, Sea ice, Cloud and AerosoL (PASCAL) – that took place at and near Svalbard, three high-water-vapour-transport events were identified as ARs, based on two tracking algorithms: the 30 May event, the 6 June event, and the 9 June 2017 event. We explore the temporal and spatial evolution of the events identified as ARs and the associated precipitation patterns in detail using measurements from the French (Polar Institute Paul Emile Victor) and German (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research) Arctic Research Base (AWIPEV) in Ny-Ålesund, satellite-borne measurements, several reanalysis products (the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis (ERA) Interim (ERA-Interim); the ERA5 reanalysis; the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2); the Climate Forecast System version 2 (CFSv2); and the Japanese 55-Year Reanalysis (JRA-55)), and the HIRHAM regional climate model version 5 (HIRHAM5). Results show that the tracking algorithms detected the events differently, which is partly due to differences in the spatial and temporal resolution as well as differences in the criteria used in the tracking algorithms. The first event extended from western Siberia to Svalbard, caused mixed-phase precipitation, and was associated with a retreat of the sea-ice edge. The second event, 1 week later, had a similar trajectory, and most precipitation occurred as rain, although mixed-phase precipitation or only snowfall occurred in some areas, mainly over the coast of north-eastern Greenland and the north-east of Iceland, and no differences were noted in the sea-ice edge. The third event showed a different pathway extending from the north-eastern Atlantic towards Greenland before turning south-eastward and reaching Svalbard. This last AR caused high precipitation amounts on the east coast of Greenland in the form of rain and snow and showed no precipitation in the Svalbard region. The vertical profiles of specific humidity show layers of enhanced moisture that were concurrent with dry layers during the first two events and that were not captured by all of the reanalysis datasets, whereas the HIRHAM5 model misrepresented humidity at all vertical levels. There was an increase in wind speed with height during the first and last events, whereas there were no major changes in the wind speed during the second event. The accuracy of the representation of wind speed by the reanalyses and the model depended on the event. The objective of this paper was to build knowledge from detailed AR case studies, with the purpose of performing long-term analysis. Thus, we adapted a regional AR detection algorithm to the Arctic and analysed how well it identified ARs, we used different datasets (observational, reanalyses, and model) and identified the most suitable dataset, and we analysed the evolution of the ARs and their impacts in terms of precipitation. This study shows the importance of the Atlantic and Siberian pathways of ARs during spring and beginning of summer in the Arctic; the significance of the AR-associated strong heat increase, moisture increase, and precipitation phase transition; and the requirement for high-spatio-temporal-resolution datasets when studying these intense short-duration events.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
pp. 481-503
Author(s):  
Jutta Kesti ◽  
John Backman ◽  
Ewan J. O'Connor ◽  
Anne Hirsikko ◽  
Eija Asmi ◽  
...  

Abstract. Aerosol particles play an important role in the microphysics of clouds and hence in their likelihood to precipitate. In the changing climate already-dry areas such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are predicted to become even drier. Comprehensive observations of the daily and seasonal variation in aerosol particle properties in such locations are required, reducing the uncertainty in such predictions. We analyse observations from a 1-year measurement campaign at a background location in the United Arab Emirates to investigate the properties of aerosol particles in this region, study the impact of boundary layer mixing on background aerosol particle properties measured at the surface, and study the temporal evolution of the aerosol particle cloud formation potential in the region. We used in situ aerosol particle measurements to characterise the aerosol particle composition, size, number, and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) properties; in situ SO2 measurements as an anthropogenic signature; and a long-range scanning Doppler lidar to provide vertical profiles of the horizontal wind and turbulent properties to monitor the evolution of the boundary layer. Anthropogenic sulfate dominated the aerosol particle mass composition in this location. There was a clear diurnal cycle in the surface wind direction, which had a strong impact on aerosol particle total number concentration, SO2 concentration, and black carbon mass concentration. Local sources were the predominant source of black carbon as concentrations clearly depended on the presence of turbulent mixing, with much higher values during calm nights. The measured concentrations of SO2, instead, were highly dependent on the surface wind direction as well as on the depth of the boundary layer when entrainment from the advected elevated layers occurred. The wind direction at the surface or of the elevated layer suggests that the oil refineries and the cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi and other coastal conurbations were the remote sources of SO2. We observed new-aerosol-particle formation events almost every day (on 4 d out of 5 on average). Calm nights had the highest CCN number concentrations and lowest κ values and activation fractions. We did not observe any clear dependence of CCN number concentration and κ parameter on the height of the daytime boundary layer, whereas the activation fraction did show a slight increase with increasing boundary layer height due to the change in the shape of the aerosol particle size distribution where the relative portion of larger aerosol particles increased with increasing boundary layer height. We believe that this indicates that size is more important than chemistry for aerosol particle CCN activation at this site. The combination of instrumentation used in this campaign enabled us to identify periods when anthropogenic pollution from remote sources that had been transported in elevated layers was present and had been mixed down to the surface in the growing boundary layer.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
pp. 465-479
Author(s):  
Juanjuan Qin ◽  
Jihua Tan ◽  
Xueming Zhou ◽  
Yanrong Yang ◽  
Yuanyuan Qin ◽  
...  

Abstract. Water-soluble organic compounds (WSOCs) play important roles in atmospheric particle formation, migration, and transformation processes. Size-segregated atmospheric particles were collected in a rural area of Beijing. Three-dimensional fluorescence spectroscopy was used to investigate the optical properties of WSOCs as a means of inferring information about their atmospheric sources. Sophisticated analysis on fluorescence data was performed to characteristically estimate the connections among particles of different sizes. WSOC concentrations and the average fluorescence intensity (AFI) showed a monomodal distribution in winter and a bimodal distribution in summer, with the dominant mode in the 0.26–0.44 µm size range in both seasons. The excitation–emission matrix (EEM) spectra of WSOCs varied with particle size, likely due to changing sources and/or the chemical transformation of organics. Size distributions of the fluorescence regional integration (regions III and V) and humification index (HIX) indicate that the humification degree or aromaticity of WSOCs was the highest in the particle size range of 0.26–0.44 µm. The Stokes shift (SS) and the harmonic mean of the excitation and emission wavelengths (WH) reflected that π-conjugated systems were high in the same particle size range. The parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) results showed that humic-like substances were abundant in fine particles (< 1 µm) and peaked at 0.26–0.44 µm. All evidence supported the fact that the humification degree of WSOCs increased with particle size in the submicron mode (< 0.44 µm) and then decreased gradually with particle size, which implied that the condensation of organics occurred in submicron particles, resulting in the highest degree of humification in the particle size range of 0.26–0.44 µm rather than in the < 0.26 µm range. Synthetically analyzing three-dimensional fluorescence data could efficiently reveal the secondary transformation processes of WSOCs.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
pp. 505-533
Author(s):  
Pamela A. Dominutti ◽  
Pascal Renard ◽  
Mickaël Vaïtilingom ◽  
Angelica Bianco ◽  
Jean-Luc Baray ◽  
...  

Abstract. We present here the results obtained during an intensive field campaign conducted in the framework of the French “BIO-MAÏDO” (Bio-physico-chemistry of tropical clouds at Maïdo (Réunion Island): processes and impacts on secondary organic aerosols' formation) project. This study integrates an exhaustive chemical and microphysical characterization of cloud water obtained in March–April 2019 in Réunion (Indian Ocean). Fourteen cloud samples have been collected along the slope of this mountainous island. Comprehensive chemical characterization of these samples is performed, including inorganic ions, metals, oxidants, and organic matter (organic acids, sugars, amino acids, carbonyls, and low-solubility volatile organic compounds, VOCs). Cloud water presents high molecular complexity with elevated water-soluble organic matter content partly modulated by microphysical cloud properties. As expected, our findings show the presence of compounds of marine origin in cloud water samples (e.g. chloride, sodium) demonstrating ocean–cloud exchanges. Indeed, Na+ and Cl− dominate the inorganic composition contributing to 30 % and 27 %, respectively, to the average total ion content. The strong correlations between these species (r2 = 0.87, p value: < 0.0001) suggest similar air mass origins. However, the average molar Cl-/Na+ ratio (0.85) is lower than the sea-salt one, reflecting a chloride depletion possibly associated with strong acids such as HNO3 and H2SO4. Additionally, the non-sea-salt fraction of sulfate varies between 38 % and 91 %, indicating the presence of other sources. Also, the presence of amino acids and for the first time in cloud waters of sugars clearly indicates that biological activities contribute to the cloud water chemical composition. A significant variability between events is observed in the dissolved organic content (25.5 ± 18.4 mg C L−1), with levels reaching up to 62 mg C L−1. This variability was not similar for all the measured compounds, suggesting the presence of dissimilar emission sources or production mechanisms. For that, a statistical analysis is performed based on back-trajectory calculations using the CAT (Computing Atmospheric Trajectory Tool) model associated with the land cover registry. These investigations reveal that air mass origins and microphysical variables do not fully explain the variability observed in cloud chemical composition, highlighting the complexity of emission sources, multiphasic transfer, and chemical processing in clouds. Even though a minor contribution of VOCs (oxygenated and low-solubility VOCs) to the total dissolved organic carbon (DOC) (0.62 % and 0.06 %, respectively) has been observed, significant levels of biogenic VOC (20 to 180 nmol L−1) were detected in the aqueous phase, indicating the cloud-terrestrial vegetation exchange. Cloud scavenging of VOCs is assessed by measurements obtained in both the gas and aqueous phases and deduced experimental gas-/aqueous-phase partitioning was compared with Henry's law equilibrium to evaluate potential supersaturation or unsaturation conditions. The evaluation reveals the supersaturation of low-solubility VOCs from both natural and anthropogenic sources. Our results depict even higher supersaturation of terpenoids, evidencing a deviation from thermodynamically expected partitioning in the aqueous-phase chemistry in this highly impacted tropical area.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
pp. 419-439
Author(s):  
Lixing Shen ◽  
Chuanfeng Zhao ◽  
Xingchuan Yang ◽  
Yikun Yang ◽  
Ping Zhou

Abstract. The 2019 Australian mega fires were unprecedented considering their intensity and consistency. There has been much research on the environmental and ecological effects of these mega fires, most of which focused on the effect of huge aerosol loadings and the ecological devastation. Sea land breeze (SLB) is a regional thermodynamic circulation closely related to coastal pollution dispersion, yet few have looked into how it is influenced by different types of aerosols transported from either nearby or remote areas. Mega fires provide an optimal scenario of large aerosol emissions. Near the coastal site of Brisbane Archerfield during January 2020, when mega fires were the strongest, reanalysis data from Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications version 2 (MERRA-2) showed that mega fires did release huge amounts of aerosols, making aerosol optical depth (AOD) of total aerosols, black carbon (BC) and organic carbon (OC) approximately 240 %, 425 % and 630 % of the averages in other non-fire years. Using 20 years' wind observations of hourly time resolution from a global observation network managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we found that the SLB day number during that month was only 4, accounting for 33.3 % of the multi-years' average. The land wind (LW) speed and sea wind (SW) speed also decreased by 22.3 % and 14.8 % compared with their averages respectively. Surprisingly, fire spot and fire radiative power (FRP) analysis showed that heating effects and aerosol emission of the nearby fire spots were not the main causes of the local SLB anomaly, while the remote transport of aerosols from the fire centre was mainly responsible for the decrease of SW, which was partially offset by the heating effect of nearby fire spots and the warming effect of long-range transported BC and CO2. The large-scale cooling effect of aerosols on sea surface temperature (SST) and the burst of BC contributed to the slump of LW. The remote transport of total aerosols was mainly caused by free diffusion, while the large-scale wind field played a secondary role at 500 m. The large-scale wind field played a more important role in aerosol transport at 3 km than at 500 m, especially for the gathered smoke, but free diffusion remained the major contributor. The decrease of SLB speed boosted the local accumulation of aerosols, thus making SLB speed decrease further, forming a positive feedback mechanism.


2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
pp. 395-418
Author(s):  
Xiao Lu ◽  
Daniel J. Jacob ◽  
Haolin Wang ◽  
Joannes D. Maasakkers ◽  
Yuzhong Zhang ◽  
...  

Abstract. We quantify methane emissions and their 2010–2017 trends by sector in the contiguous United States (CONUS), Canada, and Mexico by inverse analysis of in situ (GLOBALVIEWplus CH4 ObsPack) and satellite (GOSAT) atmospheric methane observations. The inversion uses as a prior estimate the national anthropogenic emission inventories for the three countries reported by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and the Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático (INECC) in Mexico to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and thus serves as an evaluation of these inventories in terms of their magnitudes and trends. Emissions are optimized with a Gaussian mixture model (GMM) at 0.5∘×0.625∘ resolution and for individual years. Optimization is done analytically using lognormal error forms. This yields closed-form statistics of error covariances and information content on the posterior (optimized) estimates, allows better representation of the high tail of the emission distribution, and enables construction of a large ensemble of inverse solutions using different observations and assumptions. We find that GOSAT and in situ observations are largely consistent and complementary in the optimization of methane emissions for North America. Mean 2010–2017 anthropogenic emissions from our base GOSAT + in situ inversion, with ranges from the inversion ensemble, are 36.9 (32.5–37.8) Tg a−1 for CONUS, 5.3 (3.6–5.7) Tg a−1 for Canada, and 6.0 (4.7–6.1) Tg a−1 for Mexico. These are higher than the most recent reported national inventories of 26.0 Tg a−1 for the US (EPA), 4.0 Tg a−1 for Canada (ECCC), and 5.0 Tg a−1 for Mexico (INECC). The correction in all three countries is largely driven by a factor of 2 underestimate in emissions from the oil sector with major contributions from the south-central US, western Canada, and southeastern Mexico. Total CONUS anthropogenic emissions in our inversion peak in 2014, in contrast to the EPA report of a steady decreasing trend over 2010–2017. This reflects offsetting effects of increasing emissions from the oil and landfill sectors, decreasing emissions from the gas sector, and flat emissions from the livestock and coal sectors. We find decreasing trends in Canadian and Mexican anthropogenic methane emissions over the 2010–2017 period, mainly driven by oil and gas emissions. Our best estimates of mean 2010–2017 wetland emissions are 8.4 (6.4–10.6) Tg a−1 for CONUS, 9.9 (7.8–12.0) Tg a−1 for Canada, and 0.6 (0.4–0.6) Tg a−1 for Mexico. Wetland emissions in CONUS show an increasing trend of +2.6 (+1.7 to +3.8)% a−1 over 2010–2017 correlated with precipitation.


Sign in / Sign up

Export Citation Format

Share Document