Editor’s Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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21 pages, 6706 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Different Impact Factors and Spatial Scales in PM2.5 Variation
by Hongyun Zhou, Zhaoxin Dai, Chuangqi Wu, Xin Ma, Lining Zhu and Pengda Wu
Atmosphere 2024, 15(3), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15030307 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 610
Abstract
PM2.5 particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 μm are receiving increasing attention in China. Understanding how complex factors affect PM2.5 particles is crucial for the prevention of air pollution. This study investigated the influence of meteorological factors and [...] Read more.
PM2.5 particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 μm are receiving increasing attention in China. Understanding how complex factors affect PM2.5 particles is crucial for the prevention of air pollution. This study investigated the influence of meteorological factors and land use on the dynamics of PM2.5 concentrations in four urban agglomerations of China at different scales from 2010 to 2020, using the Durbin spatial domain model (SDM) at five different grid scales. The results showed that the average annual PM2.5 concentration in four core urban agglomerations in China generally had a downward trend, and the meteorological factors and land use types were closely related to the PM2.5 concentration. The impact of temperature on PM2.5 changed significantly with an increase in grid scale, while other factors did not lead to obvious changes. The direct and spillover effects of different factors on PM2.5 in inland and coastal urban agglomerations were not entirely consistent. The influence of wind speed on coastal urban clusters (the Pearl River urban agglomeration (PRD) and Yangtze River urban agglomeration (YRD)) was not significant among the meteorological factors, but it had a significant impact on inland urban clusters (the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei urban agglomeration (BTH) and Chengdu–Chongqing urban agglomeration (CC)). The direct effect of land use type factors showed an obvious U-shaped change with an increase in the research scale in the YRD, and the direct effect of land use type factors was almost twice as large as the spillover effect. Among land use type factors, human factors (impermeable surfaces) were found to have a greater impact in inland urban agglomerations, while natural factors (forests) had a greater impact in coastal urban agglomerations. Therefore, targeted policies to alleviate PM2.5 should be formulated in inland and coastal urban agglomerations, combined with local climate measures such as artificial precipitation, and urban land planning should be carried out under the consideration of known impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Data Analysis in Atmospheric Research)
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22 pages, 7378 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Performance of Water Vapor Products from ERA5 and MERRA-2 during Heavy Rainfall in the Guangxi Region of China
by Ning Huang, Shiyang Fu, Biyan Chen, Liangke Huang and Wenping Jin
Atmosphere 2024, 15(3), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15030306 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 627
Abstract
Precipitable water vapor (PWV) is a crucial factor in regulating the Earth’s climate. Moreover, it demonstrates a robust correlation with precipitation. Situated in a region known for the generation and development of tropical cyclones, Guangxi in China is highly susceptible to floods triggered [...] Read more.
Precipitable water vapor (PWV) is a crucial factor in regulating the Earth’s climate. Moreover, it demonstrates a robust correlation with precipitation. Situated in a region known for the generation and development of tropical cyclones, Guangxi in China is highly susceptible to floods triggered via intense rainfall. The atmospheric water vapor in this area displays prominent spatiotemporal features, thus posing challenges for precipitation forecasting. The water vapor products within the MERRA-2 and ERA5 reanalysis datasets present an opportunity to overcome constraints associated with low spatiotemporal resolution. In this study, the PWV data derived from GNSS and meteorological measurements in Guangxi from 2016 to 2018 were used to evaluate the accuracy of MERRA-2 and ERA5 water vapor products and their relationship with water vapor variations during extreme rainfall. Using GNSS PWV as a reference, the average bias of MERRA-2 PWV and ERA5 PWV for heavy rainfall was −0.22 mm and 1.84 mm, respectively, with average RMSE values of 3.72 mm and 3.31 mm. For severe rainfall, the average bias of MERRA-2 PWV and ERA5 PWV was −0.14 mm and 2.92 mm, respectively, with average RMSE values of 4.28 mm and 4.01 mm. During heavy rainfall days from Days 178 to 184 in 2017, the average bias of MERRA-2 PWV and ERA5 PWV was 0.92 mm and 2.42 mm, respectively, with average RMSE values of 4.04 mm and 3.40 mm. The accuracy was highest at the Guiping and Hechi stations and lowest at the Hezhou and Rongshui stations. Furthermore, when comparing MERRA-2/ERA5 PWV with GNSS PWV and actual precipitation, the trends in the variations of MERRA-2/ERA5 PWV were generally consistent with GNSS PWV and aligned with the increasing or decreasing trends of actual precipitation. In addition, ERA5 PWV exhibited high accuracy. Before the onset of heavy rainfall, PWV has a sharp surge. During heavy rainfall, PWV reaches its peak value. Subsequently, after the cessation of heavy rainfall, PWV tends to stabilize. Therefore, the reanalysis data of PWV can effectively reveal significant changes in water vapor and actual precipitation during periods of heavy rainfall in the Guangxi region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GNSS Remote Sensing in Atmosphere and Environment)
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19 pages, 3411 KiB  
Article
Oxygen Isotope Fractionation Due to Non-Thermal Escape of Hot O from the Atmosphere of Mars
by James R. Lyons
Atmosphere 2024, 15(3), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15030292 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 538
Abstract
Secondary minerals in SNC meteorites from Mars exhibit O isotope ratios believed to be consistent with the non-thermal escape of O from the atmosphere. The primary source of the non-thermal O is the dissociative- recombination of O2+ in the ionosphere. I [...] Read more.
Secondary minerals in SNC meteorites from Mars exhibit O isotope ratios believed to be consistent with the non-thermal escape of O from the atmosphere. The primary source of the non-thermal O is the dissociative- recombination of O2+ in the ionosphere. I present here the results of a model that accounts for the probability of escape of non-thermal O isotopes due to collisions with overlying CO2, combined with a model for Rayleigh fractionation of the atmosphere remaining as a result of O escape. Previous analyses of MAVEN number density data have shown a strong variability with latitude and season of the heights of the homopause and exobase, with a mean homopause at 110 km and a mean difference of about 60 km. Rayleigh model results demonstrate a dependence on homopause height and on temperature profile and require a more accurate calculation of fractionation factors for the Rayleigh equation. Isothermal temperature profiles yield much smaller variation in 17O with homopause height. These results demonstrate the need for a careful assessment of O isotope enrichment due to non-thermal escape both for the modern atmosphere and for the evolution of the atmosphere over the age of the planet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Planetary Atmospheres)
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5 pages, 172 KiB  
Editorial
The Effect of Helio-Geomagnetic Activity in the Geo-Environment and by Extension to Human Health
by Panagiota Preka-Papadema and Chris G. Tzanis
Atmosphere 2024, 15(3), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15030293 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1154
Abstract
Solar activity encompasses various phenomena within the solar atmosphere, notably including eruptive events like solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) [...] Full article
26 pages, 12573 KiB  
Article
Seasonal Features of the Ionospheric Total Electron Content Response at Low Latitudes during Three Selected Geomagnetic Storms
by Rumiana Bojilova and Plamen Mukhtarov
Atmosphere 2024, 15(3), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15030278 - 25 Feb 2024
Viewed by 794
Abstract
In the present paper, the response of the ionospheric Total Electron Content (TEC) at low latitudes during several geomagnetic storms occurring in different seasons of the year is investigated. In the analysis of the ionospheric response, the following three geomagnetic events were selected: [...] Read more.
In the present paper, the response of the ionospheric Total Electron Content (TEC) at low latitudes during several geomagnetic storms occurring in different seasons of the year is investigated. In the analysis of the ionospheric response, the following three geomagnetic events were selected: (i) 23–24 April 2023; (ii) 22–24 June 2015 and (iii) 16 December 2006. Global TEC data were used, with geographic coordinates recalculated with Rawer’s modified dip (modip) latitude, which improved the accuracy of the representation of the ionospheric response at low and mid-latitudes. By decomposition of the zonal distribution of the relative deviation of the TEC values from the hourly medians, the spatial distribution of the anomalies, the dependence of the response on the local time and their evolution during the selected events were analyzed. As a result of the study, it was found that the positive response (i.e., an increase in electron density relative to quiet conditions) in low latitudes occurs at the modip latitudes 30° N and 30° S. An innovative result related to the observed responses during the considered events is that they turn out to be relatively stationary. The longitude variation in the observed maxima changes insignificantly during the storms. Depending on the season, there is an asymmetry between the two hemispheres, which can be explained by the differences in the meridional neutral circulation in different seasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Solar Activities to the Earth's Atmosphere)
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17 pages, 3069 KiB  
Article
The WRF Simulation Influence of Assimilating GNSS Water Vapor and Parameterization Schemes on Typhoon Rumbia
by Li Li, Yixiang Ma, Kai Li, Jianping Pan and Mingsong Zhang
Atmosphere 2024, 15(3), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15030255 - 21 Feb 2024
Viewed by 540
Abstract
The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model was used to simulate Typhoon Rumbia in this paper. The sensitivity experiments were conducted with 16 different parameterization combination schemes, including four microphysics (WSM6, WSM5, Lin, and Thompson), two boundary layers (YSU and MYJ), and two [...] Read more.
The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model was used to simulate Typhoon Rumbia in this paper. The sensitivity experiments were conducted with 16 different parameterization combination schemes, including four microphysics (WSM6, WSM5, Lin, and Thompson), two boundary layers (YSU and MYJ), and two cumulus convection (Kain–Fritsch and Grell–Freitas) schemes. The impacts of 16 parameterization combination schemes and the data assimilation (DA) of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) water vapor were evaluated by the simulation accuracy of typhoon track and intensity. The results show that the typhoon track and intensity are significantly influenced by parameterization schemes of cumulus and boundary layers rather than microphysics. The averaged track error of Lin_KF_Y is 104.73 km in the entire 72-h simulation period. The track errors of all the other combination schemes are higher than Lin_KF_Y. During the entire 72-h, the averaged intensity error of Thompson_GF_M is 1.36 hPa. It is the lowest among all the combination schemes. As for data assimilation, the simulation accuracy of typhoon tracks can be significantly improved by adding the GNSS water vapor. Thompson_GF_M-DA combination scheme has the lowest average track error of 45.05 km in the initial 24 h. The Lin_KF_Y-DA combination scheme exhibits an average track error of 32.17 km on the second day, 28.03 km on the third day, and 35.33 km during 72-h. The study shows that the combination of parameterization schemes and the GNSS water vapor data assimilation significantly improve the initial conditions and the accuracy of typhoon predictions. The study results contribute to the selection of appropriate combinations of physical parameterization schemes for the WRF-ARW model in the mid-latitude region of the western Pacific coast. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GNSS Remote Sensing in Atmosphere and Environment)
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17 pages, 6795 KiB  
Article
Observational Evidence of the Vertical Exchange of Ozone within the Urban Planetary Boundary Layer in Shanghai, China
by Yixuan Gu, Fengxia Yan, Jianming Xu, Liang Pan, Changqin Yin, Wei Gao and Hong Liao
Atmosphere 2024, 15(3), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15030248 - 20 Feb 2024
Viewed by 561
Abstract
The vertical mass exchange of ozone (O3) plays an important role in determining surface O3 air quality, the understanding of which, however, is greatly limited by the lack of continuous measurements in the vertical direction. Here, we characterize O3 [...] Read more.
The vertical mass exchange of ozone (O3) plays an important role in determining surface O3 air quality, the understanding of which, however, is greatly limited by the lack of continuous measurements in the vertical direction. Here, we characterize O3 variations at a high-altitude monitoring site at the top of Shanghai Tower (SHT) and discuss the potential impacts of the vertical exchange of air pollutants on O3 air quality within the urban planetary boundary layer (PBL) based on continuous measurements during 2017–2018. During the daytime, two distinct patterns of vertical O3 gradient are detected. In summer, the daytime O3 formation at SHT is observed to be more limited by nitrogen oxides (NOx) than the surface, which, together with the efficient vertical mixings, results in higher O3 levels in the upper mixing layer. In cold months, the opposite vertical gradient is observed, which is associated with weak vertical exchange and NOx-saturated O3 formation. A nighttime O3 reservoir layer and consistent morning O3 entrainments are detected all year round. These results provide direct evidence of the vertical mixings within the urban PBL, underscoring the pressing need for improving vertical resolution in near-surface layers of air quality models. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Urban Air Pollution Observation and Simulation)
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16 pages, 10989 KiB  
Article
Study on the Vertical Distribution and Transport of Aerosols in the Joint Observation of Satellite and Ground-Based LiDAR
by Hao Yang, Xiaomeng Zhu, Zhiyuan Fang, Duoyang Qiu, Yalin Hu, Chunyan Tian and Fei Ming
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020240 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 611
Abstract
The mechanism of aerosol pollution transport remains highly elusive owing to the myriad of influential factors. In this study, ground station data, satellite data, ground-based LiDAR remote sensing data, sounding data, ERA5 reanalysis and a backward trajectory model were combined to investigate the [...] Read more.
The mechanism of aerosol pollution transport remains highly elusive owing to the myriad of influential factors. In this study, ground station data, satellite data, ground-based LiDAR remote sensing data, sounding data, ERA5 reanalysis and a backward trajectory model were combined to investigate the formation process and optical properties of winter aerosol pollution in Beijing and surrounding areas. The analysis of ground station data shows that compared to 2019 and 2021, the pandemic lockdown policy resulted in a decrease in the total number of pollution days and a decrease in the average concentration of particulate matter in the Beijing area in 2020. The terrain characteristics of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) made it prone to northeast and southwest winds. The highest incidence of aerosol pollution in Beijing occurs in February and March during the spring and winter seasons. Analysis of a typical heavy aerosol pollution process in the Beijing area from 28 February to 5 March 2019 shows that dust and fine particulate matter contributed to the primary pollution; surface air temperature inversion and an average wind speed of less than 3 m/s were conducive to the continuous accumulation of pollutants, which was accompanied by the oxidation reaction of NO2 and O3, forming photochemical pollution. The heavy aerosol pollution was transmitted and diffused towards the southeast, gradually eliminating the pollution. Our results provide relevant research support for the prevention and control of aerosol pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
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36 pages, 8466 KiB  
Article
A Novel Evaluation Approach for Emissions Mitigation Budgets and Planning towards 1.5 °C and Alternative Scenarios
by Joseph Akpan and Oludolapo Olanrewaju
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020227 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 957
Abstract
Achieving ambitious climate targets, such as the 1.5 °C goal, demands significant financial commitment. While technical feasibility exists, the economic implications of delayed action and differing scenarios remain unclear. This study addresses this gap by analyzing the investment attractiveness and economic risks/benefits of [...] Read more.
Achieving ambitious climate targets, such as the 1.5 °C goal, demands significant financial commitment. While technical feasibility exists, the economic implications of delayed action and differing scenarios remain unclear. This study addresses this gap by analyzing the investment attractiveness and economic risks/benefits of different climate scenarios through a novel emissions cost budgeting model. A simplified model is developed using five global scenarios: announced policies (type 1 and 2), 2.0 °C, and 1.5 °C. A unit marginal abatement cost estimated the monetary value of avoided and unavoided emissions costs for each scenario. Net present value (NPV) and cost–benefit index (BI) were then calculated to compare the scenario attractiveness of the global emission budgets. The model was further applied to emissions budgets for China, the USA, India, and the European Union (EU). Increasing discount rates and gross domestic product (GDP) led to emission increases across all scenarios. The 1.5 °C scenario achieved the lowest emissions, while the baseline scenario showed the highest potential emissions growth (between 139.48% and 146.5%). Therefore, emphasis on the need for further financial commitment becomes important as the emissions’ abatement cost used as best case was estimated at USD 2.4 trillion per unit of 1 Gtons CO2 equivalent (eq.). Policy delays significantly impacted NPV and BI values, showcasing the time value of investment decisions. The model’s behavior aligns with real-world observations, including GDP growth influencing inflation and project costs. The simplified model could be coupled to existing integrated assessment frameworks or models (IAMs) as none offer cost–benefit analysis of climate scenarios to the best of our knowledge. Also, the model may be used to examine the economic attractiveness of carbon reduction programs in various nations, cities, and organizations. Thus, the model and analytical approach presented in this work indicate promising applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Pollution Control)
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12 pages, 2923 KiB  
Communication
CO2 Absorption by Solvents Consisting of TMG Protic Ionic Liquids and Ethylene Glycol: The Influence of Hydrogen Bonds
by Bohao Lu, Yixing Zeng, Mingzhe Chen, Shaoze Zhang and Dezhong Yang
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020229 - 14 Feb 2024
Viewed by 708
Abstract
Herein, the absorption of CO2 by the TMG-based (TMG: 1,1,3,3-tetramethylguanidine) ionic liquids (ILs) and the absorbents formed by TMG ILs and ethylene glycol (EG) is studied. The TMG-based ILs used are formed by TMG and 4-fluorophenol (4-F-PhOH) or carvacrol (Car), and their [...] Read more.
Herein, the absorption of CO2 by the TMG-based (TMG: 1,1,3,3-tetramethylguanidine) ionic liquids (ILs) and the absorbents formed by TMG ILs and ethylene glycol (EG) is studied. The TMG-based ILs used are formed by TMG and 4-fluorophenol (4-F-PhOH) or carvacrol (Car), and their viscosities are low at 25 °C. The CO2 uptake capacities of [TMGH][4-F-PhO] and [TMGH][Car] are low (~0.09 mol CO2/mol IL) at 25 °C and 1.0 atm. However, the mixtures [TMGH][4-F-PhO]-EG and [TMGH][Car]-EG show much higher capacities (~1.0 mol CO2/mol IL) than those of parent ILs, which is unexpected because of the low CO2 capacity of EG (0.01 mol CO2/mol EG) in the same conditions. NMR spectra and theoretical calculations are used to determine the reason for these unexpected absorption behaviors. The spectra and theoretical results show that the strong hydrogen bonds between the [TMGH]+ cation and the phenolate anions make the used TMG-based ILs unreactive to CO2, resulting in the low CO2 capacity. In the Ils-EG mixtures, the hydrogen bonds formed between EG and phenolate anions can weaken the [TMGH]+–anion hydrogen bond strength, so ILs-EG mixtures can react with CO2 and present high CO2 capacities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in CO2 Capture and Absorption)
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17 pages, 10031 KiB  
Article
A Case Study of Pc1 Waves Observed at the Polar Cap Associated with Proton Precipitation at Subauroral Latitudes
by Giulia D’Angelo, Patrizia Francia, Marcello De Lauretis, Alexandra Parmentier, Tero Raita and Mirko Piersanti
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020219 - 11 Feb 2024
Viewed by 750
Abstract
The importance of ElectroMagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves (and their Pc1 counterparts) is connected to their critical role in triggering energetic particle precipitation from the magnetosphere to the conjugated ionosphere via pitch angle scattering. In addition, as a prominent element of [...] Read more.
The importance of ElectroMagnetic Ion Cyclotron (EMIC) ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves (and their Pc1 counterparts) is connected to their critical role in triggering energetic particle precipitation from the magnetosphere to the conjugated ionosphere via pitch angle scattering. In addition, as a prominent element of the ULF zoo, EMIC/Pc1 waves can be considered a perfect tool for the remote diagnosis of the topologies and dynamic properties of near-Earth plasmas. Based on the availability of a comprehensive set of instruments, operating on the ground and in the top-side ionosphere, the present case study provides an interesting example of the evolution of EMIC propagation to both ionospheric hemispheres up to the polar cap. Specifically, we report observations of Pc1 waves detected on 30 March 2021 under low Kp, low Sym-H, and moderate AE conditions. The proposed investigation shows that high-latitude ground magnetometers in both hemispheres and the first China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES-01) at a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) detected in-synch Pc1 waves. In strict correspondence to this, energetic proton precipitation was observed at LEO with a simultaneous appearance of an isolated proton aurora at subauroral latitudes. This supports the idea of EMIC wave-induced proton precipitation contributing to energy transfer from the magnetosphere to the ionosphere. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Upper Atmosphere)
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12 pages, 21031 KiB  
Article
UV Exposure during Cycling as a Function of Solar Elevation and Orientation
by Philipp Weihs, Sarah Helletzgruber, Sofie Kranewitter, Lara Langer, Zacharias Lumerding, Viktoria Luschin, Philipp Schmidt, Jakob Heydenreich and Alois W. Schmalwieser
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020215 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 735
Abstract
Although cycling is the most prevalent means of locomotion in the world, little research has been done in evaluating the ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure of cyclists. In this study, a volunteer using a men’s bike was equipped with 10 miniature UV-meters at different [...] Read more.
Although cycling is the most prevalent means of locomotion in the world, little research has been done in evaluating the ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure of cyclists. In this study, a volunteer using a men’s bike was equipped with 10 miniature UV-meters at different body sites. Besides erythemally effective irradiance, the ratio of personal UV exposure to ambient UV radiation was determined for solar elevations up to 65°, taking into account different orientations with respect to the sun. This method provides a universal model that allows for the calculation of UV exposure whenever ambient UV radiation and solar elevation are available. Our results show that the most exposed body sites are the back, forearm, upper arm, and anterior thigh, receiving between 50% and 75% of ambient UV radiation on average. For certain orientations, this percentage can reach 105% to 110%. However, the risk of UV overexposure depends on ambient UV radiation. At lower solar elevations (<40°), the risk of UV overexposure clearly decreases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solar UV Radiation)
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14 pages, 7647 KiB  
Article
Effects of Diesel Emissions on Black Carbon and Particle Number Concentrations in the Eastern U.S.
by Laura N. Posner and Spyros N. Pandis
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020199 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 699
Abstract
The effects of emissions of diesel engines on black carbon and particle number concentrations, as well as climate-relevant aerosol properties, are explored for a summertime period in the Eastern U.S. using the chemical transport model PMCAMx-UF. A 50% reduction in diesel particulate emissions [...] Read more.
The effects of emissions of diesel engines on black carbon and particle number concentrations, as well as climate-relevant aerosol properties, are explored for a summertime period in the Eastern U.S. using the chemical transport model PMCAMx-UF. A 50% reduction in diesel particulate emissions results in lower (23%) black carbon mass concentrations, as expected, and similar changes both in magnitude (27–30%) and spatial pattern for the absorption coefficient. However, an average 2% increase in the total particle number concentrations is predicted due to a decrease in the coagulation and condensation sinks and, at the same time, a 2% decrease in N100 (particles larger than 100 nm) concentrations. The diesel reduction results suggest that mitigation of large diesel particles and/or particle mass emissions can reduce climate-relevant properties related to the absorption of black carbon and provide health benefits; however, the changes could also have the unintended effect of increased ultrafine particle number concentrations. Changes in cloud condensation nuclei are predicted to be significantly less than expected, assuming a proportional reduction during this photochemically active period. Doubling the diesel emissions results in a domain-averaged 3% decrease in total particle number concentrations and a 3% increase in N100 concentrations. PM2.5 BC concentrations increase on average by 46%, and similar changes (52–60%) are predicted for the absorption coefficient. Extinction coefficients for both perturbation simulations changed by only a few percent due to the dominance of scattering aerosols in the Eastern U.S. during this period characterized by high photochemical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Air Quality Modelling)
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23 pages, 6053 KiB  
Article
The WRF-CMAQ Simulation of a Complex Pollution Episode with High-Level O3 and PM2.5 over the North China Plain: Pollution Characteristics and Causes
by Xuedan Dou, Shaocai Yu, Jiali Li, Yuhai Sun, Zhe Song, Ningning Yao and Pengfei Li
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020198 - 04 Feb 2024
Viewed by 833
Abstract
The problem of atmospheric complex pollution led by PM2.5 and O3 has become an important factor restricting the improvement of air quality in China. In drawing on observations and Weather Research and Forecasting-Community Multiscale Air Quality (WRF-CMAQ) model simulations, this study [...] Read more.
The problem of atmospheric complex pollution led by PM2.5 and O3 has become an important factor restricting the improvement of air quality in China. In drawing on observations and Weather Research and Forecasting-Community Multiscale Air Quality (WRF-CMAQ) model simulations, this study analyzed the characteristics and causes of a regional PM2.5-O3 complex pollution episode in North China Plain, in the period from 3 to 5 April 2019. The results showed that in static and stable weather conditions with high temperature and low wind speed, despite photochemical reactions of O3 near the ground being weakened by high PM2.5 concentrations, a large amount of O3 generated through gas-phase chemical reactions at high altitudes was transported downwards and increased the O3 concentrations at the ground level. The high ground-level O3 could facilitate both the conversion of SO2 and NO2 into secondary inorganic salts and volatile organic compounds into secondary organic aerosols, thereby amplifying PM2.5 concentrations and exacerbating air pollution. The contributions of transport from outside sources to PM2.5 (above 60%) and O3 (above 46%) increased significantly during the episode. This study will play an instrumental role in helping researchers to comprehend the factors that contribute to complex pollution in China, and also offers valuable references for air pollution management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Urban Air Pollution Observation and Simulation)
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15 pages, 6347 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Aerosol Types and Vertical Distribution in Seven Typical Cities in East Asia
by Qingxin Tang, Yinan Zhao, Yaqian He, Quanzhou Yu and Tianquan Liang
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020195 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 723
Abstract
Identifying the types and vertical distribution of aerosols plays a significant role in evaluating the influence of aerosols on the climate system. Based on the aerosol optical properties obtained from Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO), this study analyzed the long-term [...] Read more.
Identifying the types and vertical distribution of aerosols plays a significant role in evaluating the influence of aerosols on the climate system. Based on the aerosol optical properties obtained from Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO), this study analyzed the long-term aerosol characteristics of seven cities in East Asia (Ulaanbaatar, Beijing, Lanzhou, Shanghai, Lhasa, Hong Kong, and Bangkok) from 2007 to 2021, including the spatiotemporal variations of aerosol optical depth (AOD), the vertical stratification characteristics of aerosols, and the main aerosol subtype. The results showed that, except for Lhasa, the AOD values of all cities exhibited a trend of initially increasing and then decreasing over the years. Except for Shanghai, the high values of AOD in the other cities occurred in the spring and summer seasons, while the low values occurred in the autumn and winter seasons. In all four seasons, the AOD contribution within the 1–3 km range accounted for more than 50% of the total. In the autumn and winter seasons, this proportion reached over 80%. The main types of aerosols and their contributions varied at different altitudes. Overall, dust, polluted continental/smoke, polluted dust, and elevated smoke dominated in all aerosol layers across each city. On the other hand, clean marine, clean continental, and dusty marine had very small proportions, accounting for less than 5% of all the cities’ aerosol layers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Sources Aerosol Remote Monitoring (2nd Edition))
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15 pages, 12412 KiB  
Article
Study on the Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Thermal Comfort and Its Influencing Factors in Urban Parks
by Yujie Liu, Jiayu Fan, Siqi Xie and Xuegang Chen
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020183 - 31 Jan 2024
Viewed by 855
Abstract
In order to better understand the thermal comfort of urban parks and provide empirical reference for urban green space optimization design, 5 days’ field monitoring was conducted in People’s Park in Urumqi, an oasis city in an arid region of China. Combined with [...] Read more.
In order to better understand the thermal comfort of urban parks and provide empirical reference for urban green space optimization design, 5 days’ field monitoring was conducted in People’s Park in Urumqi, an oasis city in an arid region of China. Combined with GIS spatial interpolation, correlation analysis, and regression analysis, the spatial and temporal distribution of thermal comfort (HI and WBGT) of urban parks was discussed. The results showed the following. (1) The thermal comfort in the morning was generally higher than that in the afternoon, and the thermal comfort near the water body and lush vegetation in the park was higher, while the thermal comfort on the road was lower, especially on Hotan Street and Binhenan Road, which were far away from the park. Therefore, it is recommended that nearby residents exercise outdoors in the morning as much as possible and in the park, and in the afternoon, keep to the park and its vicinity and try to sit quietly or walk slowly, avoiding the less comfortable areas, such as Hotan Road and Binhenan Road. (2) Due to dense vegetation and lack of infrastructure construction, the thermal comfort area does not have the conditions for crowd gathering. Therefore, it is recommended that the park improve the infrastructure of relevant areas. (3) Through the analysis of the significant influence of explanatory variables on the explained variables, it shows that the ventilation effect in the park is insufficient. Therefore, it is recommended to appropriately increase the number of trees, water bodies, and wind channels to promote ventilation in the park so as to improve the thermal comfort of the park. These findings provide a theoretical basis and technical reference for optimizing the thermal comfort of urban green space and establishing a healthier and more comfortable living environment for urban residents. Full article
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15 pages, 4634 KiB  
Article
Detecting Indonesian Monsoon Signals and Related Features Using Space–Time Singular Value Decomposition (SVD)
by Adi Mulsandi, Yonny Koesmaryono, Rahmat Hidayat, Akhmad Faqih and Ardhasena Sopaheluwakan
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020187 - 31 Jan 2024
Viewed by 915
Abstract
Several investigations have proven the existence of monsoons in Indonesia. However, this has received little attention due to the scientific argument that the region of 10° N–10° S is not monsoonal because it receives precipitation all year round. This study used space–time SVD [...] Read more.
Several investigations have proven the existence of monsoons in Indonesia. However, this has received little attention due to the scientific argument that the region of 10° N–10° S is not monsoonal because it receives precipitation all year round. This study used space–time SVD analysis of atmospheric and oceanic field data for 30 years (1990–2020) to detect monsoon signals and related features. The single-field SVD analysis of rainfall revealed that the first mode accounts for only 33% of the total variance, suggesting it is highly variable. Both the PC space and time series show the well-known monsoon pattern. Further, the Indonesian monsoon regimes and phases are defined based on the revealed rainfall features. The wet season lasts from November to April, accounting for more than 77% of annual precipitation. The coupled-field SVD analyses show that Indonesian monsoon rainfall strongly correlates with local SST (PC1 accounts for 70.4%), and the pattern is associated with the Asian winter monsoon. The heterogonous vector correlation map analysis revealed that the related features during the monsoon, including the strengthening and weakening of subtropical anticyclones, the intertwining of westerly wind in the Indian Ocean, and variations in the north–south dipole structure of the ocean temperature, are linked to variations in Indonesia’s monsoon rainfall. This result can serve as the dynamic basis for defining the Indonesian monsoon index in the context of the center of action. Full article
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26 pages, 7058 KiB  
Article
Particulate Matter Emission and Air Pollution Reduction by Applying Variable Systems in Tribologically Optimized Diesel Engines for Vehicles in Road Traffic
by Saša Milojević, Jasna Glišović, Slobodan Savić, Goran Bošković, Milan Bukvić and Blaža Stojanović
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020184 - 31 Jan 2024
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 946
Abstract
Regardless of the increasingly intensive application of vehicles with electric drives, internal combustion engines are still dominant as power units of mobile systems in various sectors of the economy. In order to reduce the emission of exhaust gases and satisfy legal regulations, as [...] Read more.
Regardless of the increasingly intensive application of vehicles with electric drives, internal combustion engines are still dominant as power units of mobile systems in various sectors of the economy. In order to reduce the emission of exhaust gases and satisfy legal regulations, as a temporary solution, hybrid drives with optimized internal combustion engines and their associated systems are increasingly being used. Application of the variable compression ratio and diesel fuel injection timing, as well as the tribological optimization of parts, contribute to the reduction in fuel consumption, partly due to the reduction in mechanical losses, which, according to test results, also results in the reduction in emissions. This manuscript presents the results of diesel engine testing on a test bench in laboratory conditions at different operating modes (compression ratio, fuel injection timing, engine speed, and load), which were processed using a zero-dimensional model of the combustion process. The test results should contribute to the optimization of the combustion process from the aspect of minimal particulate matter emission. As a special contribution, the results of tribological tests of materials for strengthening the sliding surface of the aluminum alloy piston and cylinder of the internal combustion engine and air compressors, which were obtained using a tribometer, are presented. In this way, tribological optimization should also contribute to the reduction in particulate matter emissions due to the reduction in fuel consumption, and thus emissions due to the reduction in friction, as well as the recorded reduction in the wear of materials that are in sliding contact. In this way, it contributes to the reduction in harmful gases in the air. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Engine Emissions and Air Quality Effects)
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14 pages, 6319 KiB  
Article
Overview of the Trajectory-Ensemble Potential Source Apportionment Web (TraPSA-Web) Toolkit for Atmospheric Pollutant Source Identification
by Chuanlong Zhou, Hao Zhou, Philip K. Hopke and Thomas M. Holsen
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020176 - 30 Jan 2024
Viewed by 744
Abstract
Trajectory ensemble receptor models (TERMs) were widely used to determine the likely source locations and apportionment of air pollutants. This paper describes the development and applications of the Trajectory-ensemble Potential Source Apportionment Web application (TraPSA-Web), a comprehensive toolkit for likely atmospheric pollutant source [...] Read more.
Trajectory ensemble receptor models (TERMs) were widely used to determine the likely source locations and apportionment of air pollutants. This paper describes the development and applications of the Trajectory-ensemble Potential Source Apportionment Web application (TraPSA-Web), a comprehensive toolkit for likely atmospheric pollutant source location apportionments using TERMs and back trajectories generated with the Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model. The TERMs integrated within the TraPSA-web include Concentration Field Analysis (CFA), Concentration Weighted Trajectory (CWT), single-site and multiple-site Potential Source Contribution Function (PSCF), and Simplified Quantitative Transport Bias Analysis (SQBA). TraPSA-Web is designed as a web application with a user-friendly modern graphical user interface (GUI), which largely enhances the accessibility to the users. TraPSA-Web will provide the air quality research community with a sophisticated toolkit for (1) easy management of the research project and datasets, (2) efficient automatization for HYSPLIT configurations, calculations, and result aggregations, (3) flexible configurations for the research scenarios and TERM parameters, and (4) interactive visualizations for the pollutant pattern analysis and TERM result mapping. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Pollutants: Characteristics, Sources and Transport)
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17 pages, 9367 KiB  
Article
Detecting Relationship between the North–South Difference in Extreme Precipitation and Solar Cycle in China
by Jinjuan Liu, Liang Zhao, Jingsong Wang and Ziniu Xiao
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020175 - 30 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1010
Abstract
The sun plays a crucial role as the primary source of energy for the Earth’s climate system and the issue of the influence of solar activity on the climate has been actively discussed recently. However, the precise impact of solar activity on extreme [...] Read more.
The sun plays a crucial role as the primary source of energy for the Earth’s climate system and the issue of the influence of solar activity on the climate has been actively discussed recently. However, the precise impact of solar activity on extreme precipitation on the decadal timescale remains insufficiently confirmed. In this study, we investigate the relationship between summer extreme precipitation events exceeding 20 mm (R20mm) in China and the 11-year sunspot number (SSN) cycle from 1951 to 2018. Results showed that the first mode of June–July R20mm, a “south-drought and north-flooding (SDNF)” distribution, exhibited a significant correlation with the SSN cycle (p = 0.02). The fundamental driver is likely the pronounced periodic response of stratospheric ozone to solar forcing. During summer of the high-solar-activity years (HSY), there is a notable increase in ozone concentration and high temperatures in the stratosphere, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere. This phenomenon leads to a layer of anomalous temperature inversion, suppressing convection at the subtropics. This induced downward anomalous airflow toward the north stimulates convective activity in the equatorial region and generates northward wave activities. These wave activities produce rising and sinking anomalies at different latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere troposphere, finally causing the “SDNF” pattern in China. Full article
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19 pages, 9579 KiB  
Article
Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of Wet Dust Removal in High-Gravity Countercurrent Rotating Packed Bed
by Shuwei Guo, Youzhi Liu, Chao Zhang, Chengqian Zhang, Shufei Wang, Yuliang Li and Shangyuan Cheng
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020157 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 726
Abstract
High-gravity wet dust removal technology has attracted much attention because of its potential to cut liquid into smaller liquid droplets and lower energy consumption. However, the complex structure and the high-speed rotation of the rotating packed bed do not allow us to analyze [...] Read more.
High-gravity wet dust removal technology has attracted much attention because of its potential to cut liquid into smaller liquid droplets and lower energy consumption. However, the complex structure and the high-speed rotation of the rotating packed bed do not allow us to analyze the flow field using conventional methods, and thus the capture mechanism of fine particles in a high-gravity environment is poorly understood. In this study, a two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model was established to investigate the distribution of the gas–liquid two-phase flow field inside of a rotating packed bed. The characteristics of the flow field, such as the liquid form, gas–liquid contact time, and gas flow path, were investigated, and the droplet size distribution and gas–liquid slip velocity were quantitatively analyzed. The inertial capture efficiency was calculated using the Stokes number, and the dust removal efficiency distribution in the rotating packed bed was compared. The reason for the high collection efficiency of fine particles by the high-gravity wet dust removal technology was explained by numerical simulations. Two new structures were designed to improve the total dust removal efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Pollution Control)
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20 pages, 8752 KiB  
Article
ECMWF Lightning Forecast in Mainland Portugal during Four Fire Seasons
by Cátia Campos, Flavio T. Couto, Filippe L. M. Santos, João Rio, Teresa Ferreira and Rui Salgado
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020156 - 25 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1010
Abstract
The study evaluated the ECMWF model ability in forecasting lightning in Portugal during four fire seasons (2019–2022). The evaluation was made based on lightning data from the national lightning detector network, which was aggregated into resolutions of 0.5° and 1° over 3 h [...] Read more.
The study evaluated the ECMWF model ability in forecasting lightning in Portugal during four fire seasons (2019–2022). The evaluation was made based on lightning data from the national lightning detector network, which was aggregated into resolutions of 0.5° and 1° over 3 h periods and analyzed from statistical indices using two contingency tables. The results showed that the model overestimates the lightning occurrence, with a BIAS greater than 1, with a success rate of 57.7% (49%) for a horizontal resolution of 1° (0.5°). The objective analysis was complemented by the spatial lightning distribution analysis, which indicated a time lag between the two data, i.e., the model started predicting lightning before its occurrence and finished the prediction earlier. Furthermore, such analysis revealed the lightning distribution being consistent with some weather patterns. The findings of this study provide insights into the applicability of the ECMWF lightning forecast data in the context of forecasting natural forest fires in Portugal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Meteorology)
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19 pages, 11336 KiB  
Article
The Reexamination of the Moisture–Vortex and Baroclinic Instabilities in the South Asian Monsoon
by Hongyu Chen, Tim Li and Jing Cui
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020147 - 24 Jan 2024
Viewed by 690
Abstract
Observational analyses reveal that a dominant mode in the South Asian Monsoon region in boreal summer is a westward-propagating synoptic-scale disturbance with a typical wavelength of 4000 km that is coupled with moistening and precipitation processes. The disturbances exhibit an eastward tilt during [...] Read more.
Observational analyses reveal that a dominant mode in the South Asian Monsoon region in boreal summer is a westward-propagating synoptic-scale disturbance with a typical wavelength of 4000 km that is coupled with moistening and precipitation processes. The disturbances exhibit an eastward tilt during their development before reaching their maximum activity center. A 2.5-layer model that extends a classic 2-level quasi-geostrophic model by including a prognostic lower-tropospheric moisture tendency equation and an interactive planetary boundary layer was constructed. The eigenvalue analysis of this model shows that the most unstable mode has a preferred zonal wavelength of 4000 km, a westward phase speed of 6 m s−1, an eastward tilt vertical structure, and a westward shift of maximum moisture/precipitation center relative to the lower-tropospheric vorticity center, all of which agree with the observations. Sensitivity experiments show that the moisture–vortex instability determines, to a large extent, the growth rate, while the baroclinic instability helps set up the preferred zonal scale. Ekman-pumping-induced vertical moisture advection prompts an in-phase component of perturbation moisture relative to the low-level cyclonic center, allowing the generation of available potential energy and perturbation growth, regardless of whether or not a low-level mean westerly is presented. In contrast to a previous study, the growth rate is reversely proportional to the convective adjustment time. The current work sheds light on understanding the moisture–vortex and the baroclinic instability in a monsoonal environment with a pronounced easterly vertical shear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Meteorology)
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21 pages, 6995 KiB  
Article
Connecting Global Modes of Variability to Climate in High Mountain Asia
by Elias C. Massoud, Young-Kwon Lim, Lauren C. Andrews and Manuela Girotto
Atmosphere 2024, 15(2), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15020142 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 868
Abstract
Oscillations in global modes of variability (MoVs) form global teleconnections that affect regional climate variability and modify the potential for severe and damaging weather conditions. Understanding the link between certain MoVs and regional climate can improve the ability to more accurately predict environmental [...] Read more.
Oscillations in global modes of variability (MoVs) form global teleconnections that affect regional climate variability and modify the potential for severe and damaging weather conditions. Understanding the link between certain MoVs and regional climate can improve the ability to more accurately predict environmental conditions that impact human life and health. In this study, we explore the connection between different MoVs, including the Arctic oscillation (AO), Eurasian teleconnection, Indian Ocean dipole (IOD), North Atlantic oscillation (NAO), and El Niño southern oscillation (Nino34), with winter and summer climates in the High Mountain Asia (HMA) region, including geopotential height at 250 hPa (z250), 2 m air temperature (T2M), total precipitation (PRECTOT), and fractional snow cover area (fSCA). Relationships are explored for the same monthly period between the MoVs and the climate variables, and a lagged correlation analysis is used to investigate whether any relationship exists at different time lags. We find that T2M has a negative correlation with the Eurasian teleconnection in the Inner Tibetan Plateau and central China in both winter and summer and a positive correlation in western China in summer. PRECTOT has a positive correlation with all MoVs in most regions in winter, especially with the IOD, and a negative correlation in summer, especially with the Eurasian teleconnection. Snow cover in winter is positively correlated with most indices throughout many regions in HMA, likely due to wintertime precipitation also being positively correlated with most indices. Generally, the AO and NAO show similar correlation patterns with all climate variables, especially in the winter, possibly due to their oscillations being so similar. Furthermore, the AO and NAO are shown to be less significant in explaining the variation in HMA climate compared to other MoVs such as the Eurasian teleconnection. Overall, our results identify different time windows and specific regions within HMA that exhibit high correlations between climate and MoVs, which might offer additional predictability of the MoVs as well as of climate and weather patterns in HMA and throughout the globe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Climatology)
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24 pages, 1942 KiB  
Review
Review: Fractal Geometry in Precipitation
by Robert Monjo and Oliver Meseguer-Ruiz
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010135 - 22 Jan 2024
Viewed by 845
Abstract
Rainfall, or more generally the precipitation process (flux), is a clear example of chaotic variables resulting from a highly nonlinear dynamical system, the atmosphere, which is represented by a set of physical equations such as the Navier–Stokes equations, energy balances, and the hydrological [...] Read more.
Rainfall, or more generally the precipitation process (flux), is a clear example of chaotic variables resulting from a highly nonlinear dynamical system, the atmosphere, which is represented by a set of physical equations such as the Navier–Stokes equations, energy balances, and the hydrological cycle, among others. As a generalization of the Euclidean (ordinary) measurements, chaotic solutions of these equations are characterized by fractal indices, that is, non-integer values that represent the complexity of variables like the rainfall. However, observed precipitation is measured as an aggregate variable over time; thus, a physical analysis of observed fluxes is very limited. Consequently, this review aims to go through the different approaches used to identify and analyze the complexity of observed precipitation, taking advantage of its geometry footprint. To address the review, it ranges from classical perspectives of fractal-based techniques to new perspectives at temporal and spatial scales as well as for the classification of climatic features, including the monofractal dimension, multifractal approaches, Hurst exponent, Shannon entropy, and time-scaling in intensity–duration–frequency curves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geometry in Meteorology and Climatology)
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20 pages, 6496 KiB  
Article
Particle Size, Effects of Distance and Height from Source, Carbon Components, and Source of Dust in Nanchang, Central China
by Hong Huang, Zihan Huang, Changwei Zou, Yuan Tang, Jianlong Li, Chenglong Yu and Fangxu Zhu
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010133 - 21 Jan 2024
Viewed by 800
Abstract
Regional air quality and major sources can be reflected by dust. 87 dust samples in Nanchang (four residential areas and three roadside points) were collected, with particle size and carbon components determined to discuss the distribution characteristics and the sources. The distribution of [...] Read more.
Regional air quality and major sources can be reflected by dust. 87 dust samples in Nanchang (four residential areas and three roadside points) were collected, with particle size and carbon components determined to discuss the distribution characteristics and the sources. The distribution of dust particle size in different sampling areas was similar, composed mainly of particles larger than 10 μm (over 69.8%). Dust particle size showed a decreasing trend with increasing horizontal distance from the main road and vertical height from the ground. EC in road dust was higher than that in residential dust. EC outdoors was higher than EC indoors in the same area. OC in indoor dust was higher than that in atmospheric dust when there were obvious indoor OC emission sources. The main carbon fractions in residential dust were OC3 and EC1, and in road dust were EC2 and OC3. The distribution of carbon fractions showed that OC3 and EC2 were mainly affected by human activities and motor vehicle emissions, respectively. The ratio of OC/EC and SOC in dust decreased from autumn to winter. SOC in the dust of Nanchang was at a medium level compared to other cities/regions around world. Clustering analysis and principal component analysis indicated that combustion sources (coal and biomass combustion, etc.), motor vehicle exhaust sources (gasoline and diesel vehicles), and human sources (cooking fumes, cigarette smoking, etc.) were the main contributors to the carbon components in dust. Full article
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28 pages, 35588 KiB  
Article
Modeling the Normalized Urban Heat Island for the City of Karlsruhe by Linking Urban Morphology and Green Infrastructure
by Marcel Gangwisch, Svenja Ludwig and Andreas Matzarakis
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010125 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1258
Abstract
Citizens in urban areas are affected by the urban heat island (UHI) effect, resulting in increased thermal heat compared to rural areas. This threat is exacerbated by global climate change. Therefore, it is necessary to assess human thermal comfort and risk for decision [...] Read more.
Citizens in urban areas are affected by the urban heat island (UHI) effect, resulting in increased thermal heat compared to rural areas. This threat is exacerbated by global climate change. Therefore, it is necessary to assess human thermal comfort and risk for decision making. This is important for planners (climate resilience), the health sector (information for vulnerable people), tourism, urban designers (aesthetics), and building architects. Urban structures modify local meteorological parameters and thus human thermal comfort at the microscale. Knowledge of the pattern of a city’s UHI is typically limited. Based on previous research, generalized additive models (GAMs) were built to predict the spatial pattern of the UHI in the city of Karlsruhe. The models were trained with administrative, remotely sensed, and land use and land cover geodata, and validated with measurements in Freiburg. This identified the hot and cold spots and the need for further urban planning in the city. The model had some limitations regarding water bodies and anthropogenic heat production, but it was well suited for applications in mid-latitude cities which are not topographically characterized. The model can potentially be used for other cities (e.g., in heat health action plans) as the training data are freely available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biometeorology)
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25 pages, 32622 KiB  
Article
Integrating Ensemble Weather Predictions in a Hydrologic-Hydraulic Modelling System for Fine-Resolution Flood Forecasting: The Case of Skala Bridge at Evrotas River, Greece
by George Varlas, Anastasios Papadopoulos, George Papaioannou, Vassiliki Markogianni, Angelos Alamanos and Elias Dimitriou
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010120 - 19 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1510
Abstract
Ensemble weather forecasting involves the integration of multiple simulations to improve the accuracy of predictions by introducing a probabilistic approach. It is difficult to accurately predict heavy rainfall events that cause flash floods and, thus, ensemble forecasting could be useful to reduce uncertainty [...] Read more.
Ensemble weather forecasting involves the integration of multiple simulations to improve the accuracy of predictions by introducing a probabilistic approach. It is difficult to accurately predict heavy rainfall events that cause flash floods and, thus, ensemble forecasting could be useful to reduce uncertainty in the forecast, thus improving emergency response. In this framework, this study presents the efforts to develop and assess a flash flood forecasting system that combines meteorological, hydrological, and hydraulic modeling, adopting an ensemble approach. The integration of ensemble weather forecasting and, subsequently, ensemble hydrological-hydraulic modeling can improve the accuracy of flash flood predictions, providing useful probabilistic information. The flash flood that occurred on 26 January 2023 in the Evrotas river basin (Greece) is used as a case study. The meteorological model, using 33 different initial and boundary condition datasets, simulated heavy rainfall, the hydrological model, using weather inputs, simulated discharge, and the hydraulic model, using discharge data, estimated water level at a bridge. The results show that the ensemble modeling system results in timely forecasts, while also providing valuable flooding probability information for 1 to 5 days prior, thus facilitating bridge flood warning. The continued refinement of such ensemble multi-model systems will further enhance the effectiveness of flash flood predictions and ultimately save lives and property. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Weather Prediction Models and Ensemble Prediction Systems)
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13 pages, 3066 KiB  
Article
Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry for Rapid Dynamic Measurement of Ethylene Oxide Volatilization from Medical Masks
by Runyu Wang, Yunhe Zhang, Leizi Jiao, Xiande Zhao, Zhen Gao and Daming Dong
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010114 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 707
Abstract
Sterile medical masks are essential in preventing infectious diseases. However, the ethylene oxide contained within these masks is a class I carcinogen. The standard method for measuring ethylene oxide is gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, which is not fit with the dynamic process of human [...] Read more.
Sterile medical masks are essential in preventing infectious diseases. However, the ethylene oxide contained within these masks is a class I carcinogen. The standard method for measuring ethylene oxide is gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, which is not fit with the dynamic process of human inhalation. Thus, the amount of ethylene oxide volatilized from masks and inhaled by users is unknown. In this work, ethylene oxide was detected by using proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry, which can measure volatile quantities in milliseconds. We found that ethylene oxide was volatilized from masks during use. Within the first minute, the ethylene oxide concentration decreased by 84.65%, and then the rate of reduction gradually slowed. After 5 min, all ethylene oxide was effectively volatilized, and the average mass of ethylene oxide inhaled was 299.02 μg. We investigated three methods to reduce the concentration of ethylene oxide in masks before use: natural airing, shaking the mask, and blowing the mask with a hair dryer. The hair dryer method produced the best results: the ethylene oxide concentration decreased by 88.3% after only 10 s. The natural airing method was the least effective: the ethylene oxide concentration decreased by 60.7% even after 3 h. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality and Human Health)
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20 pages, 378 KiB  
Review
Review of Smog Chamber Experiments for Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation
by Hyun Kim, Dahyun Kang, Heon Young Jung, Jongho Jeon and Jae Young Lee
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010115 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 913
Abstract
In this study, we reviewed smog chamber systems and methodologies used in secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation studies. Many important chambers across the world have been reviewed, including 18 American, 24 European, and 8 Asian chambers. The characteristics of the chambers (location, reactor [...] Read more.
In this study, we reviewed smog chamber systems and methodologies used in secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation studies. Many important chambers across the world have been reviewed, including 18 American, 24 European, and 8 Asian chambers. The characteristics of the chambers (location, reactor size, wall materials, and light sources), measurement systems (popular equipment and working principles), and methodologies (SOA yield calculation and wall-loss correction) are summarized. This review discussed key experimental parameters such as surface-to-volume ratio (S/V), temperature, relative humidity, light intensity, and wall effect that influence the results of the experiment, and how the methodologies have evolved for more accurate simulation of atmospheric processes. In addition, this review identifies the sources of uncertainties in finding SOA yields that are originated from experimental systems and methodologies used in previous studies. The intensity of the installed artificial lights (photolysis rate of NO2 varied from 0.1/min to 0.40/min), SOA density assumption (varied from 1 g/cm3 to 1.45 g/cm3), wall-loss management, and background contaminants were identified as important sources of uncertainty. The methodologies developed in previous studies to minimize those uncertainties are also discussed. Full article
17 pages, 5023 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Present and Future Heat Stress Conditions in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
by Juergen Junk, Mauro Sulis, Ivonne Trebs and Jairo Arturo Torres-Matallana
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010112 - 17 Jan 2024
Viewed by 985
Abstract
The impact of elevated air temperature and heat stress on human health is a global concern. It not only affects our well-being directly, but also reduces our physical work capacity, leading to negative effects on society and economic productivity. Climate change has already [...] Read more.
The impact of elevated air temperature and heat stress on human health is a global concern. It not only affects our well-being directly, but also reduces our physical work capacity, leading to negative effects on society and economic productivity. Climate change has already affected the climate in Luxembourg and, based on the results of regional climate models, extreme heat events will become more frequent and intense in the future. To assess historical conditions, the micro-scaleRayManPro 3.1 model was used to simulate the thermal stress levels for different genders and age classes based on hourly input data spanning the last two decades. For the assessment of future conditions, with a special emphasis on heat waves, a multi-model ensemble of regional climate models for different emission scenarios taken from the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) was used. For both, the past and future conditions in Luxemburg, an increase in the heat stress levels was observed. Small differences for different age groups and genders became obvious. In addition to the increase in the absolute number of heat waves, an intensification of higher temperatures and longer durations were also detected. Although some indications of the adaptation to rising air temperatures can be observed for high-income countries, our results underscore the likelihood of escalating heat-related adverse effects on human health and economic productivity unless more investments are made in research and risk management strategies. Full article
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15 pages, 6157 KiB  
Article
Particulate Matter in the American Southwest: Detection and Analysis of Dust Storms Using Surface Measurements and Ground-Based LIDAR
by Joscelyne Guzman-Gonzalez, Rosa M. Fitzgerald, Nakul N. Karle, Ricardo K. Sakai and William R. Stockwell
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010110 - 16 Jan 2024
Viewed by 823
Abstract
This research study focuses on the coupling between particulate matter and the planetary boundary layer. Particulate matter affects human health and it is a complex mixture of suspended substances. Various sources of particulate matter include volcanic eruptions, soil lofted by strong winds, wildfires, [...] Read more.
This research study focuses on the coupling between particulate matter and the planetary boundary layer. Particulate matter affects human health and it is a complex mixture of suspended substances. Various sources of particulate matter include volcanic eruptions, soil lofted by strong winds, wildfires, and particles formed from chemical reactions of gas-phase emissions. Strong winds are one source of dust pollution when they loft soil particles. Particulate matter and the planetary boundary layer are closely linked. The planetary boundary layer plays a critical role in meteorology and particulate matter concentrations due to its involvement in energy, latent heat, and mass transfer with the free troposphere. Currently, there has been no research on the impact of dust events on the planetary boundary layer in our region, El Paso, Texas, which is located on one of the biggest sources of dust in the Western Hemisphere, the Chihuahuan Desert. In this study, we used PM10 concentrations to detect dust events during the 2016–2022 period in the El Paso region. During the study period, we observed 74 dust events. The dust events were categorized as synoptic or convective cases. Synoptic cases are associated with cold fronts, while convective cases are associated with local convective systems such as thunderstorms. We observed that synoptic cases occurred most frequently during springtime, while convective cases were more frequent during summer monsoon months. Synoptic cases tend to occur earlier in the afternoon with lower temperatures, while convective cases tend to occur in the late evening with higher temperatures. We also found that the planetary boundary layer height collapsed after the maximum hourly PM10 concentration and then the boundary layer returned to its original height. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Quality)
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16 pages, 17714 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Evolution in Noctilucent Clouds’ Response to the Solar Cycle: A Model-Based Study
by Ashique Vellalassery, Gerd Baumgarten, Mykhaylo Grygalashvyly and Franz-Josef Lübken
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010088 - 09 Jan 2024
Viewed by 729
Abstract
Noctilucent clouds (NLC) are sensitive indicators in the upper mesosphere, reflecting changes in the background atmosphere. Studying NLC responses to the solar cycle is important for understanding solar-induced changes and assessing long-term climate trends in the upper mesosphere. Additionally, it enhances our understanding [...] Read more.
Noctilucent clouds (NLC) are sensitive indicators in the upper mesosphere, reflecting changes in the background atmosphere. Studying NLC responses to the solar cycle is important for understanding solar-induced changes and assessing long-term climate trends in the upper mesosphere. Additionally, it enhances our understanding of how increases in greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere impact the Earth’s upper mesosphere and climate. This study presents long-term trends in the response of NLC and the background atmosphere to the 11-year solar cycle variations. We utilised model simulations from the Leibniz Institute Middle Atmosphere (LIMA) and the Mesospheric Ice Microphysics and Transport (MIMAS) over 170 years (1849 to 2019), covering 15 solar cycles. Background temperature and water vapour (H2O) exhibit an apparent response to the solar cycle, with an enhancement post-1960, followed by an acceleration of greenhouse gas concentrations. NLC properties, such as maximum brightness (βmax), calculated as the maximum backscatter coefficient, altitude of βmax (referred to as NLC altitude) and ice water content (IWC), show responses to solar cycle variations that increase over time. This increase is primarily due to an increase in background water vapour concentration caused by an increase in methane (CH4). The NLC altitude positively responds to the solar cycle mainly due to solar cycle-induced temperature changes. The response of NLC properties to the solar cycle varies with latitude, with most NLC properties showing larger and similar responses at higher latitudes (69° N and 78° N) than mid-latitudes (58° N). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Upper Atmosphere)
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13 pages, 1950 KiB  
Article
Multi-Time-Scale Analysis of Chaos and Predictability in vTEC
by Massimo Materassi, Yenca Migoya-Orué, Sandro Maria Radicella, Tommaso Alberti and Giuseppe Consolini
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 84; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010084 - 09 Jan 2024
Viewed by 784
Abstract
Theoretical modelling of the local ionospheric medium (LIM) is made difficult by the occurrence of irregular ionospheric behaviours at many space and time scales, making prior hypotheses uncertain. Investigating the LIM from scratch with the tools of dynamical system theory may be an [...] Read more.
Theoretical modelling of the local ionospheric medium (LIM) is made difficult by the occurrence of irregular ionospheric behaviours at many space and time scales, making prior hypotheses uncertain. Investigating the LIM from scratch with the tools of dynamical system theory may be an option, using the vertical total electron content (vTEC) as an appropriate tracer of the system variability. An embedding procedure is applied to vTEC time series to obtain the finite dimension (mN) of the phase space of an LIM-equivalent dynamical system, as well as its correlation dimension (D2) and Kolmogorov entropy rate (K2). In this paper, the dynamical features (m,D2,K2) are studied for the vTEC on the top of three GNSS stations depending on the time scale (τ) at which the vTEC is observed. First, the vTEC undergoes empirical mode decomposition; then (m,D2,K2) are calculated as functions of τ. This captures the multi-scale structure of the Earth’s ionospheric dynamics, demonstrating a net distinction between the behaviour at τ24h and τ24h. In particular, sub-diurnal-scale modes are assimilated to much more chaotic systems than over-diurnal-scale modes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ionospheric Irregularity)
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20 pages, 4075 KiB  
Article
Thermospheric Mass Density Modelling during Geomagnetic Quiet and Weakly Disturbed Time
by Changyong He, Wang Li, Andong Hu, Dunyong Zheng, Han Cai and Zhaohui Xiong
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010072 - 07 Jan 2024
Viewed by 770
Abstract
Atmospheric drag stands out as the predominant non-gravitational force acting on satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), with altitudes below 2000 km. This drag exhibits a strong dependence on the thermospheric mass density (TMD), a parameter of vital significance in the realms of [...] Read more.
Atmospheric drag stands out as the predominant non-gravitational force acting on satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), with altitudes below 2000 km. This drag exhibits a strong dependence on the thermospheric mass density (TMD), a parameter of vital significance in the realms of orbit determination, prediction, collision avoidance, and re-entry forecasting. A multitude of empirical TMD models have been developed, incorporating contemporary data sources, including TMD measurements obtained through onboard accelerometers on LEO satellites. This paper delves into three different TMD modelling techniques, specifically, Fourier series, spherical harmonics, and artificial neural networks (ANNs), during periods of geomagnetic quiescence. The TMD data utilised for modelling and evaluation are derived from three distinct LEO satellites: GOCE (at an altitude of approximately 250 km), CHAMP (around 400 km), and GRACE (around 500 km), spanning the years 2002 to 2013. The consistent utilisation of these TMD data sets allows for a clear performance assessment of the different modelling approaches. Subsequent research will shift its focus to TMD modelling during geomagnetic disturbances, while the present work can serve as a foundation for disentangling TMD variations stemming from geomagnetic activity. Furthermore, this study undertakes precise TMD modelling during geomagnetic quiescence using data obtained from the GRACE (at an altitude of approximately 500 km), CHAMP (around 400 km), and GOCE (roughly 250 km) satellites, covering the period from 2002 to 2013. It employs three distinct methods, namely Fourier analysis, spherical harmonics (SH) analysis, and the artificial neural network (ANN) technique, which are subsequently compared to identify the most suitable methodology for TMD modelling. Additionally, various combinations of time and coordinate representations are scrutinised within the context of TMD modelling. Our results show that the precision of low-order Fourier-based models can be enhanced by up to 10 % through the utilisation of geocentric solar magnetic coordinates. Both the Fourier- and SH-based models exhibit limitations in approximating the vertical gradient of TMD. Conversely, the ANN-based model possesses the capacity to capture vertical TMD variability without manifesting sensitivity to variations in time and coordinate inputs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Upper Atmosphere)
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19 pages, 5062 KiB  
Article
Photocatalytic Reduction of VOCs with Ag/Ni-Doped Photocatalyst in Different Temperature and Humidity Environments
by Zeynep Cansu Ayturan and Sukru Dursun
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010070 - 06 Jan 2024
Viewed by 973
Abstract
The photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) process is one of the most preferred, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly methods for VOC removal. It has been determined that this method can remove a wide range of organic pollutants. The removal of benzene and toluene pollutants, two important [...] Read more.
The photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) process is one of the most preferred, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly methods for VOC removal. It has been determined that this method can remove a wide range of organic pollutants. The removal of benzene and toluene pollutants, two important VOCs commonly encountered in flue gases, has been studied in the scope of this study using the photocatalytic oxidation method under UVA irradiation. For this purpose, the photocatalytic activity of the photocatalyst increased by the metal/metal doping process. Two different metals, a noble metal (Ag) and a transition metal (Ni), were used together for the doping of TiO2 nanoparticles, and the photocatalysts attached to a glass surface were prepared. Four different doping percentages were used for photocatalysts: 0.5%, 1%, 2.5%, and 5%. Several PCO experiments were conducted under different temperatures (120, 150, and 180 °C) and humidity conditions (25 and 50%). Photocatalytic oxidation experiments were carried out with artificially produced benzene and toluene gases, and the success of the system was evaluated with respect to removal efficiency calculations. The UVA light source was used for the photocatalytic experiments. The results of the study indicated that the removal efficiencies of toluene were found to be higher than those of benzene, and the most suitable conditions were determined to be 50% humidity and a 120 °C environment with the use of a 1% doped photocatalyst. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Air Pollution Control)
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12 pages, 2579 KiB  
Article
Effects of Biochar Amendment on N2O Emissions from Soils with Different pH Levels
by Feng Lin, Hong Wang, Hiba Shaghaleh, Amar Ali Adam Hamad, Yaojun Zhang, Bairen Yang and Yousef Alhaj Hamoud
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010068 - 05 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1031
Abstract
Biochar application has the potential for mitigating N2O emissions from agricultural soils and has been suggested as a management practice to ameliorate soil fertility and increase crop productivity. Nevertheless, the influence of biochar addition on N2O emissions from soils [...] Read more.
Biochar application has the potential for mitigating N2O emissions from agricultural soils and has been suggested as a management practice to ameliorate soil fertility and increase crop productivity. Nevertheless, the influence of biochar addition on N2O emissions from soils with different pH levels is not yet clear, which results in a poor understanding of the mechanisms regarding biochar application to soil N2O mitigation. A 40-day incubation experiment was carried out in the present study to investigate the impact of biochar on N2O emissions from soils with different natural pH. Four treatments (control, nitrogen fertilizer application, biochar amendment, and N plus biochar amendment) were set up separately in soils with three different natural pH levels (acidic vegetable soil, neutral rice soil, and alkaline soil). Our results showed that adding biochar significantly decreased N2O emissions by 20.8% and 47.6% in acidic vegetable soil for both N and no N addition treatments, respectively. For neutral and alkaline soils, the reduction of N2O emissions by biochar amendment was only significant for N addition treatments in alkaline soil. Soil pH and NO3-N concentration were significantly affected by biochar amendment (soil pH increased by 1.43–1.56, 0.57–0.70, and 0.29–0.37 units for acidic vegetable soil, neutral rice soil, and alkaline soil, respectively). Thus, biochar amendment could be used as an effective management practice for mitigating N2O emissions from acidic and alkaline soils. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Emissions in Agriculture)
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12 pages, 3407 KiB  
Article
MSLKNet: A Multi-Scale Large Kernel Convolutional Network for Radar Extrapolation
by Wei Tian, Chunlin Wang, Kailing Shen, Lixia Zhang and Kenny Thiam Choy Lim Kam Sian
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010052 - 31 Dec 2023
Viewed by 766
Abstract
Radar echo extrapolation provides important information for precipitation nowcasting. Existing mainstream radar echo extrapolation methods are based on the Single-Input-Single-Output (SISO) architecture. These approaches of recursively predicting the predictive echo image with the current echo image as input often results in error accumulation, [...] Read more.
Radar echo extrapolation provides important information for precipitation nowcasting. Existing mainstream radar echo extrapolation methods are based on the Single-Input-Single-Output (SISO) architecture. These approaches of recursively predicting the predictive echo image with the current echo image as input often results in error accumulation, leading to severe performance degradation. In addition, the echo motion variations are extremely complex. Different regions of strong or weak echoes should receive different degrees of attention. Previous methods have not been specifically designed for this aspect. This paper proposes a new radar echo extrapolation network based entirely on a convolutional neural network (CNN). The network uses a Multi-Input-Multi-Output (MIMO) architecture to mitigate cumulative errors. It incorporates a multi-scale, large kernel convolutional attention module that enhances the extraction of both local and global information. This design results in improved performance while significantly reducing training costs. Experiments on dual-polarization radar echo datasets from Shijiazhuang and Nanjing show that the proposed fully CNN-based model can achieve better performance while reducing computational cost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Atmospheric Techniques, Instruments, and Modeling)
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15 pages, 13158 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Effect of Climate Change on Drought Propagation in the Tarim River Basin Using Multi-Model Ensemble Projections
by Xiaoyun Ding, Yang Yu, Meilin Yang, Qian Wang, Lingyun Zhang, Zengkun Guo, Jing Zhang, Ireneusz Mailik, Wistuba Malgorzata and Ruide Yu
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010050 - 30 Dec 2023
Viewed by 865
Abstract
Recent studies on China’s arid and semi-arid regions, particularly the Tarim River Basin (TRB), have shown an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events. This research examines the link between meteorological droughts, as measured by the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index [...] Read more.
Recent studies on China’s arid and semi-arid regions, particularly the Tarim River Basin (TRB), have shown an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events. This research examines the link between meteorological droughts, as measured by the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI), and hydrological droughts, as indicated by the Standardized Runoff Index (SRI) and the Standardized Terrestrial Water Storage Index (STI), over various time scales. Historical data indicate that SPEI drought frequency (DF) was 14.3–21.9%, with prevalent events in the northern oases. SRI DF ranged from 9.0% to 35.8%, concentrated around the Taklamakan and Kumtag Deserts, while STI DF varied between 4.4% and 32.7%, averaging 15% basin-wide. Future projections show an increased DF of SPEI in deserts and a decrease in oases; SRI DF decreased in deserts but increased in oases. STI changes were more moderate. The study also found a higher risk of drought progression from SPEI to SRI in the southwestern and northeastern oases, exceeding 50% probability, while central and eastern TRB had lower risks. The western TRB and inner Taklamakan Desert faced higher risks of SPEI to STI progression, with probabilities over 45%, in contrast to the lower risks in the eastern and central oases. The concurrence of SRI/STI with moderate to extreme SPEI droughts led to a higher probability and area of SRI/STI droughts, whereas consistent SPEI types showed a reduced induced probability and extent of SRI/STI droughts. This study enhances the understanding of drought propagation from meteorological to hydrological droughts in the TRB and contributes to the prevention of hydrological drought to a certain extent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biosphere/Hydrosphere/Land–Atmosphere Interactions)
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14 pages, 4486 KiB  
Article
Non-Line-of-Sight Atmospheric Optical Communication in the Visible Wavelength Range between UAV and the Ground Surface
by Mikhail V. Tarasenkov, Egor S. Poznakharev and Andrey V. Fedosov
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010021 - 24 Dec 2023
Viewed by 954
Abstract
An opto-electronic system for non-line-of-sight (NLOS) communication using scattered laser radiation for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)–ground and ground–UAV schemes at a wavelength of λ = 450 nm and a ground–UAV scheme at a wavelength of λ = 510 nm are described. The symbol [...] Read more.
An opto-electronic system for non-line-of-sight (NLOS) communication using scattered laser radiation for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)–ground and ground–UAV schemes at a wavelength of λ = 450 nm and a ground–UAV scheme at a wavelength of λ = 510 nm are described. The symbol error rate (SER) and its standard deviation were analyzed for different schemes of the communication channel. The transceiver system included a laser source with a power supply, a modulator, a lens refractor, a bandpass filter, a photomultiplier tube (PMT), a demodulator, and a receiving computer. The experimental data obtained at nighttime showed that the NLOS atmospheric optical communication at a wavelength of λ = 450 nm was feasible for the UAV–ground scheme at a baseline distance of up to 150 m for a UAV with a transmitter at a height of 10 m and at a baseline distance of up to 125 m for a UAV at a height of 20 m. For the ground–UAV scheme, stable communication was observed at baseline distances of up to 50 m for a UAV with a receiver at a height up to 30 m. The NLOS atmospheric optical communication at a wavelength of 510 nm was obtained for the ground–UAV scheme at baseline distances of up to 100 m for a UAV with a receiver at a height up to 45 m, as well as at baseline distances of up to 385 m for UAV flying at a height up to 20 m. Full article
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14 pages, 3177 KiB  
Article
Characterization of the Energy Balance of Wheat Grown under Irrigation in the Hot, Arid Environment of Sudan
by Almutaz Abdelkarim Abdelfattah Mohammed, Mitsuru Tsubo, Yasunori Kurosaki and Yasuomi Ibaraki
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010018 - 23 Dec 2023
Viewed by 817
Abstract
An analysis of the crop microclimate is essential for assessing the climate’s appropriateness for cultivation. Here, the Bowen ratio (BR) was used to characterize the energy balance in an irrigated wheat field in a hot, arid environment in Sudan. The hourly BR was [...] Read more.
An analysis of the crop microclimate is essential for assessing the climate’s appropriateness for cultivation. Here, the Bowen ratio (BR) was used to characterize the energy balance in an irrigated wheat field in a hot, arid environment in Sudan. The hourly BR was calculated using micrometeorological data, including net radiation (Rn) and soil heat flux (G), observed in the 2021–2022 and 2022–2023 growing seasons (December–March) and used to compute hourly daytime latent heat (LE) and sensible heat (H) fluxes during the days before and after irrigation. In both seasons, the observed significant evaporative cooling effect of irrigation led to a daily maximum temperature difference of 2.5–5.7 °C between the wheat field and a nearby meteorological station in a non-vegetated desert area. The energy balance calculation results showed that LE was dominant over H and G. Because BR tended to be negative, H was negative; thus, LE was larger than Rn because of sensible heat advection from the surrounding area. Further, a decrease in G after irrigation indicated an alteration in the soil’s thermal properties. These results provide insights into the micrometeorological response of irrigated wheat to a hot, arid environment and useful information for understanding soil–plant–atmosphere interactions in hot, dry environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biometeorology)
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16 pages, 4742 KiB  
Article
Relationships between Aerosols and Marine Clouds during the “Godzilla” Dust Storm: Perspective of Satellite and Reanalysis Products
by Cheng-Hsiang Chang and Farnaz Hosseinpour
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010013 - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
In June 2020, a record-breaking Saharan dust storm, known as the “Godzilla” extreme event, caused significant dust transport from the Sahara Desert across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States. Based on satellite observations, the magnitude of aerosol optical depth (AOD) has consistently [...] Read more.
In June 2020, a record-breaking Saharan dust storm, known as the “Godzilla” extreme event, caused significant dust transport from the Sahara Desert across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States. Based on satellite observations, the magnitude of aerosol optical depth (AOD) has consistently remained highest over the Atlantic Ocean for the past 18 years. This study uses satellite observations (including MODIS and CALIOP) and MERRA-2 reanalysis products to investigate the relationships between dust and marine clouds. During this extreme event, the concentration of AOD exhibits a synchronous anomaly with the cloud fraction (CF). Principal components analysis (PCA) results show that the enhanced temperature and specific humidity near the surface contribute the most to cloud development over the tropical Atlantic Ocean. Despite the reduced sensitivity of CF to aerosols, the semi-direct effect of dust can still play a crucial role during this extreme dust storm. We found that the presence of absorbing aerosols above the cloud layers warms the air, accompanied by an enhancement of surface moisture, thereby benefiting low-level cloud coverage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aerosols)
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20 pages, 2952 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Emission Characteristics of Major States in the United States using Satellite Observations of CO2, CO, and NO2
by Anqi Xu and Chengzhi Xiang
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010011 - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 906
Abstract
By using space-based measurements of the column-averaged dry air mole fraction of carbon dioxide (XCO2) from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) and CO and NO2 from the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI), this study investigates the seasonal variation in the characteristics [...] Read more.
By using space-based measurements of the column-averaged dry air mole fraction of carbon dioxide (XCO2) from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) and CO and NO2 from the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI), this study investigates the seasonal variation in the characteristics of CO2, CO, and NO2 across major states in the United States. Beyond correlating these trends with natural factors, significant emphasis is placed on human activities, including heating demands, energy usage, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Concentration enhancements in observations influenced by anthropogenic emissions from urban regions relative to background values are calculated to estimate gas emissions. Our investigation reveals a strong correlation between NO2 and CO2 emissions, as evidenced by a correlation coefficient (r) of 0.75. Furthermore, we observe a correlation of 0.48 between CO2 and CO emissions and a weaker correlation of 0.37 between CO and NO2 emissions. Notably, we identify the NO2 concentration as a reliable indicator of CO2 emission levels, in which a 1% increase in NO2 concentration corresponds to a 0.8194% (±0.0942%) rise in annual mean CO2 emissions. Enhancement ratios among NO2, CO, and XCO2 are also calculated, uncovering that high ΔNO2: ΔXCO2 ratios often signify outdated industrial structures and production technologies, while low ΔCO: ΔXCO2 ratios are linked to states that utilize clean energy sources. This approach offers a deeper understanding of the effect of human activities on atmospheric gas concentrations, paving the way for more effective environmental monitoring and policy-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Techniques for Measuring Greenhouse Gases (2nd Edition))
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24 pages, 12192 KiB  
Article
Sensitivity of Simulated Conditions to Different Parameterization Choices Over Complex Terrain in Central Chile
by Jorge Arévalo, Julio C. Marín, Mailiu Díaz, Graciela Raga, Diana Pozo, Ana María Córdova and Darrel Baumgardner
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010010 - 21 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 806
Abstract
This study evaluates the performance of fourteen high-resolution WRF runs with different combinations of parameterizations in simulating the atmospheric conditions over the complex terrain of central Chile during austral winter and spring. We focus on the validation of results for coastal, interior valleys, [...] Read more.
This study evaluates the performance of fourteen high-resolution WRF runs with different combinations of parameterizations in simulating the atmospheric conditions over the complex terrain of central Chile during austral winter and spring. We focus on the validation of results for coastal, interior valleys, and mountainous areas independently, and also present an in-depth analysis of two synoptic-scale events that occurred during the study period: a frontal system and a cut-off low. The performance of the simulations decreases from the coast to higher altitudes, even though the differences are not very clear between the coast and interior valleys for 10 m wind speeds and precipitation. The simulated vertical profiles show a warmer and drier boundary layer and a cooler and moister free atmosphere than observed. The choice of the land-surface model has the largest positive impact on near-surface variables with the five-layer thermal diffusion scheme showing the smallest errors. Precipitation is more sensitive to the choice of cumulus parameterizations, with the simplified Arakawa–Schubert scheme generally providing the best performance for absolute errors. When examining the performance of the model simulating rain/no-rain events for different thresholds, also the cumulus parameterizations better represented the false alarm ratio (FAR) and the bias score (BS). However, the Morrison microphysics scheme resulted in the best critical success index (CSI), while the probability of detection (POD) was better in the simulation without analysis nudging. Overall, these results provide guidance to other researchers and help to identify the best WRF configuration for a specific research or operational goal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Weather Prediction Models and Ensemble Prediction Systems)
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14 pages, 24946 KiB  
Article
Research on Carbon Emission Characteristics and Mitigation Pathways in the Vehicle Fuel Cycle: A Case Study of Guangdong Province
by Jianjun Liu, Yinping Luo, Qianru Zhu, Yixi Li and Yutao Luo
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010003 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 681
Abstract
This study presents a comprehensive analysis of vehicle ownership, energy consumption, and carbon emissions in Guangdong Province, China, from 2020 to 2035 under different scenarios. Key findings highlight the province’s pursuit of carbon peak goals and provide valuable insights into strategies to achieve [...] Read more.
This study presents a comprehensive analysis of vehicle ownership, energy consumption, and carbon emissions in Guangdong Province, China, from 2020 to 2035 under different scenarios. Key findings highlight the province’s pursuit of carbon peak goals and provide valuable insights into strategies to achieve them. Vehicle ownership in Guangdong is projected to exceed 48 million by 2035, which represents a doubling from 2020. Under both scenarios, internal combustion engine vehicle ownership will peak around 2030 and then gradually decline, while under the enhanced scenario, electric vehicle ownership will exceed 40% by 2035. Enhanced vehicle energy efficiency and reduced annual mileage will lead to a 17% reduction in gasoline and diesel consumption by 2035 in both scenarios. At the same time, there will be a substantial five- to six-fold increase in electricity consumption for vehicles compared to 2020. Both scenarios peak in carbon emissions before 2030, with the enhanced scenario achieving this peak a year earlier. The enhanced scenario outperforms the baseline, reducing carbon emissions by about 21.2% from the peak and 8% relative to 2020. Pure electric vehicles exhibit a significant advantage in reducing carbon emissions per vehicle compared to their internal combustion engine counterparts. Encouraging new energy vehicles, especially pure electric ones, accelerates the carbon emissions peak and lowers overall peak emissions. Accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles, reducing per-vehicle fuel consumption and annual average mileage, and optimizing transportation modes are crucial for carbon peaking from the vehicle fuel cycle. Policy recommendations focus on promoting new energy vehicles, optimizing transportation, and advancing research and technology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Traffic Related Emission (2nd Edition))
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14 pages, 10699 KiB  
Article
Ground Calibration and In-Flight Performance of the Low Energy Particle Analyzer on FY-4B
by Bin Su, Anqin Chen, Mohan Liu, Linggao Kong, Aibing Zhang, Zheng Tian, Bin Liu, Xinyue Wang, Wenjing Wang, Xiaoxin Zhang, Weiguo Zong, Xiangzhi Zheng and Jinsong Wang
Atmosphere 2023, 14(12), 1834; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14121834 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 773
Abstract
The FY-4B satellite is one of the second generation of China’s geosynchronous meteorological satellites aiming at numerical weather forecasts. The space environment monitoring package (SEMP) onboard the FY-4B is a comprehensive instrument package for plasma, high-energy particle, and energetic neutral particle measurements. The [...] Read more.
The FY-4B satellite is one of the second generation of China’s geosynchronous meteorological satellites aiming at numerical weather forecasts. The space environment monitoring package (SEMP) onboard the FY-4B is a comprehensive instrument package for plasma, high-energy particle, and energetic neutral particle measurements. The low-energy particle analyzer (LEPA) is one of the instruments of the SEMP and consists of two top hat electrostatic analyzers designed for plasma detection. The electron and ion sensors are back-to-back assembled and are integrated to a shared electronic box. It measures the three-dimensional velocity distribution of low-energy electrons and ions on the geosynchronous orbit. In this paper, we present the ground calibration and in-flight performance of the instrument. With the electrostatic deflectors and the cylindrically symmetric structure, the instrument provides high-cadence measurements of electron and ion velocity distributions with a wide field of view (FOV) of 180° by 100°, an angular resolution of 16.7° × 20°, and a broad energy range for both the electrons and ions from tens of eV to above 30 keV, with a 1 s time resolution. The geometric factors of the electron and ion analyzers are 1.1 × 10−3 cm2·sr·eV/eV and 1.4 × 10−3 cm2·sr·eV/eV, respectively, which fulfills the requirements of the low-energy plasma measurement. The LEPA monitored typical space environment disturbance such as geomagnetic storms and successfully recorded the responses of plasma energy fluxes. Satellite surface charging events were measured, with the highest potentials of −2000 V in the shadow period and −500 V in the nonshadow period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research and Space-Based Exploration on Space Plasma)
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10 pages, 1796 KiB  
Communication
Air Purification Study Based on the Adhesion Effect between Low-Curvature Liquid Surfaces and Air Convection Friction
by Haotian Weng, Yaozhong Zhang, Xiaolu Huang, Hewei Yuan and Yafei Zhang
Atmosphere 2023, 14(12), 1831; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14121831 - 16 Dec 2023
Viewed by 919
Abstract
Rapid urbanization and industrialization have heightened concerns about air quality worldwide. Conventional air purification methods, reliant on chemicals or energy-intensive processes, fall short in open spaces and in combating emerging pollutants. Addressing these limitations, this study presents a novel water-film air purification prototype [...] Read more.
Rapid urbanization and industrialization have heightened concerns about air quality worldwide. Conventional air purification methods, reliant on chemicals or energy-intensive processes, fall short in open spaces and in combating emerging pollutants. Addressing these limitations, this study presents a novel water-film air purification prototype leveraging the adhesion between low-curvature liquid surfaces and air convection friction. Uniquely designed, this prototype effectively targets toxic gases (e.g., formaldehyde, SO2, NO2) and particulate matter (such as PM2.5) while allowing continuous airflow. This research explores the adhesion and sedimentation capabilities of a low-curvature water solution surface under convection friction, reducing the surface energy to remove airborne pollutants efficiently. The prototype was able to reduce the initial concentration in a 30 m³ chamber within 180 min by 91% for formaldehyde, 78% for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), 99% for sulfur dioxide (SO2), and 96% for PM2.5. Experimentally validated indicators—decay constants, CADR, and purification efficiency—enable a comprehensive evaluation of the purification device, demonstrating its efficacy in mitigating air pollution. This innovative design, which is cost-effective due to its use of easily accessible components and water as the primary medium, indicates strong potential for large-scale deployment. This study points to an environmentally friendly and economical approach to air purification, shedding light on a promising direction for enhancing indoor air quality. Further optimization and exploration of diverse pollutants and environmental conditions will propel the practical applications of this pioneering technology. Full article
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13 pages, 5031 KiB  
Article
Estimates of Lightning Activity and Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flash Detectability at Mount Etna for the ESTHER Project
by Alessandro Ursi, Danilo Reitano, Enrico Virgilli, Andrea Bulgarelli and Alessandra Tiberia
Atmosphere 2023, 14(12), 1823; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14121823 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 750
Abstract
The Experiment to Study Thunderstorm High-Energy Radiation (ESTHER) is a small project of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), devoted to the study of high-energy emissions from thunderstorms, such as Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes and gamma-ray glows, which will start in 2024. In [...] Read more.
The Experiment to Study Thunderstorm High-Energy Radiation (ESTHER) is a small project of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), devoted to the study of high-energy emissions from thunderstorms, such as Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes and gamma-ray glows, which will start in 2024. In order to reduce the absorption typically undergone by gamma-ray radiation in the lower layers of the atmosphere and make these events detectable on the ground, the ESTHER set-up will be installed at high altitudes on Mt. Etna (Italy). We carried out a detailed analysis of lightning occurrence in this geographic region in order to test how suitable such a location is for the installation of a detection system to investigate thunderstorms and related emissions. The analysis pointed out a strong clustering of lightning in the proximity of the mountain peak and over the main volcano craters, where the frequent presence of volcanic ashes could increase, under the conditions of humid air typical of thunderstorms, electrical conductivity. An estimate of the gamma-ray absorption in the air undergone by typical TGF radiation allowed us to evaluate the suitability of two possible installation sites suggested for the project. This study represents a preliminary work for ESTHER and serves as a launching pad for future analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Upper Atmosphere)
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15 pages, 9168 KiB  
Article
Quasi-Synchronous Variations in the OLR of NOAA and Ionospheric Ne of CSES of Three Earthquakes in Xinjiang, January 2020
by Chen Yu, Jing Cui, Wanchun Zhang, Weiyu Ma, Jing Ren, Bo Su and Jianping Huang
Atmosphere 2023, 14(12), 1828; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14121828 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 840
Abstract
The successive tidal force (TF) at the epicenter of the Jiashi M6.6 earthquake in Xinjiang, China, was calculated for the period from 13 December 2019 to 10 February 2020. With periodic changes in tide-generating forces, the variations in the electron density (Ne) data [...] Read more.
The successive tidal force (TF) at the epicenter of the Jiashi M6.6 earthquake in Xinjiang, China, was calculated for the period from 13 December 2019 to 10 February 2020. With periodic changes in tide-generating forces, the variations in the electron density (Ne) data recorded by the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite (CSES) and outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) data provided by NOAA on a large scale at N25°–N55°, E65°–E135° were studied. The results show that (1) in the four cycles during which the TF changes from trough to peak, the earthquake occurred during one peak time when the OLR changed around the epicenter via calm–rise processions and in other similar TF phases, and neither an increase in the OLR nor earthquake occurred. (2) With a change in the TF, the spatiotemporal evolution of the OLR from seismogenic processes to its occurrence was as follows: microenhancement–enhancement–microattenuation–enhancement–calmness; this is consistent with the evolution of outward infrared radiation when rocks break under stress loading: microrupture–rupture–locking–accelerated rupture–rupture. (3) Ne increased significantly during the seismogenic period and was basically consistent with OLR enhancement. The results indicate that as the TF increases, the Earth’s stress accumulates at a critical point, and the OLR increases and transfers upward. The theoretical hypothesis underlying the conducted study is that the accumulated electrons on the surface cause negatively charged electrons in the atmosphere to move upward, resulting in an increase in ionospheric Ne near the epicenter, which reveals the homology of seismic stress variations in the spatial coupling process. The quasi-synchronous change process of these three factors suggests that the TF changed the process of the stress accumulation–imbalance in the interior structure of this earthquake and has the effect of triggering the earthquake, and the spatiotemporal variations in the OLR and ionospheric Ne could be indirect reflections of in situ stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ionospheric Sounding for Identification of Pre-seismic Activity)
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15 pages, 1299 KiB  
Review
The Causes and Forecasting of Icing Events on Power Transmission Lines in Southern China: A Review and Perspective
by Luyao Wang, Zechang Chen, Wenjie Zhang, Zhumao Lu, Yang Cheng, Xiaoli Qu, Chaman Gul and Yuanjian Yang
Atmosphere 2023, 14(12), 1815; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14121815 - 13 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 856
Abstract
The icing on power transmission lines, as a major hazard affecting the safety of electricity usage in China during winter, poses a significant challenge in systematically evaluating the weather conditions and their distribution characteristics during the icing period. Understanding the interaction between the [...] Read more.
The icing on power transmission lines, as a major hazard affecting the safety of electricity usage in China during winter, poses a significant challenge in systematically evaluating the weather conditions and their distribution characteristics during the icing period. Understanding the interaction between the microterrain and micrometeorology and achieving a refined analysis of the physical mechanisms during the icing process remain difficult tasks in this field. These are crucial aspects for the development of more accurate icing prediction models across southern China. Therefore, this study provides a comprehensive review and summary of the current research state and progress in the study of power transmission line icing in southern China from three perspectives: (1) large-scale circulation characteristics; (2) microphysical process, terrain–atmosphere interaction, microtopography and local micrometeorological conditions for the occurrence of icing events; and (3) numerical icing event modeling and forecasting. This study also looks ahead to the scientific issues and technological bottlenecks that need to be overcome for the prediction of ice coating on power transmission lines in southern China. The goal is to provide guidance for the causal analysis and forecasting warnings of power transmission line icing in the complex microterrain of the southern region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Meteorology)
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