ResearchPad - atmospheric-clouds https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Examination of the ocean as a source for atmospheric microplastics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13804 Global plastic litter pollution has been increasing alongside demand since plastic products gained commercial popularity in the 1930’s. Current plastic pollutant research has generally assumed that once plastics enter the ocean they are there to stay, retained permanently within the ocean currents, biota or sediment until eventual deposition on the sea floor or become washed up onto the beach. In contrast to this, we suggest it appears that some plastic particles could be leaving the sea and entering the atmosphere along with sea salt, bacteria, virus’ and algae. This occurs via the process of bubble burst ejection and wave action, for example from strong wind or sea state turbulence. In this manuscript we review evidence from the existing literature which is relevant to this theory and follow this with a pilot study which analyses microplastics (MP) in sea spray. Here we show first evidence of MP particles, analysed by μRaman, in marine boundary layer air samples on the French Atlantic coast during both onshore (average of 2.9MP/m3) and offshore (average of 9.6MP/m3) winds. Notably, during sampling, the convergence of sea breeze meant our samples were dominated by sea spray, increasing our capacity to sample MPs if they were released from the sea. Our results indicate a potential for MPs to be released from the marine environment into the atmosphere by sea-spray giving a globally extrapolated figure of 136000 ton/yr blowing on shore.

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<![CDATA[Deforestation Induced Climate Change: Effects of Spatial Scale]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6fab0ee8fa60b9455d

Deforestation is associated with increased atmospheric CO2 and alterations to the surface energy and mass balances that can lead to local and global climate changes. Previous modelling studies show that the global surface air temperature (SAT) response to deforestation depends on latitude, with most simulations showing that high latitude deforestation results in cooling, low latitude deforestation causes warming and that the mid latitude response is mixed. These earlier conclusions are based on simulated large scal land cover change, with complete removal of trees from whole latitude bands. Using a global climate model we examine the effects of removing fractions of 5% to 100% of forested areas in the high, mid and low latitudes. All high latitude deforestation scenarios reduce mean global SAT, the opposite occurring for low latitude deforestation, although a decrease in SAT is simulated over low latitude deforested areas. Mid latitude SAT response is mixed. In all simulations deforested areas tend to become drier and have lower SAT, although soil temperatures increase over deforested mid and low latitude grid cells. For high latitude deforestation fractions of 45% and above, larger net primary productivity, in conjunction with colder and drier conditions after deforestation cause an increase in soil carbon large enough to produce a net decrease of atmospheric CO2. Our results reveal the complex interactions between soil carbon dynamics and other climate subsystems in the energy partition responses to land cover change.

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<![CDATA[Estimating changes in lichen mat volume through time and related effects on barren ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) movement]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc187

Lichens form a critical portion of barren ground caribou (Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus) diets, especially during winter months. Here, we assess lichen mat volume across five herd ranges in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, Canada, using newly developed composite Landsat imagery. The lichen volume estimator (LVE) was adapted for use across 700 000 km2 of barren ground caribou habitat annually from 1984–2012. We subsequently assessed how LVE changed temporally throughout the time series for each pixel using Theil-Sen’s slopes, and spatially by assessing whether slope values were centered in local clusters of similar values. Additionally, we assessed how LVE estimates resulted in changes in barren ground caribou movement rates using an extensive telemetry data set from 2006–2011. The Ahiak/Beverly herd had the largest overall increase in LVE (median = 0.033), while the more western herds had the least (median slopes below zero in all cases). LVE slope pixels were arranged in significant clusters across the study area, with the Cape Bathurst, Bathurst, and Bluenose East herds having the most significant clusters of negative slopes (more than 20% of vegetated land in each case). The Ahiak/Beverly and Bluenose West had the most significant positive clusters (16.3% and 18.5% of vegetated land respectively). Barren ground caribou displayed complex reactions to changing lichen conditions depending on season; the majority of detected associations with movement data agreed with current understanding of barren ground caribou foraging behavior (the exception was an increase in movement velocity at high lichen volume estimates in Fall). The temporal assessment of LVE identified areas where shifts in ecological conditions may have resulted in changing lichen mat conditions, while assessing the slope estimates for clustering identified zones beyond the pixel scale where forage conditions may be changing. Lichen volume estimates associated with barren ground caribou movement metrics in an expected manner and, as such, show value for future habitat assessments.

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<![CDATA[Enhanced Methane Emissions during Amazonian Drought by Biomass Burning]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daccab0ee8fa60bb4ac5

The Amazon is a significant source of atmospheric methane, but little is known about the source response to increasing drought severity and frequency. We investigated satellite observations of atmospheric column-averaged methane for the 2010 drought and subsequent 2011 wet year in the Amazon using an atmospheric inversion scheme. Our analysis indicates an increase in atmospheric methane over the southern Amazon region during the drought, representing an increase in annual emissions relative to the wet year. We attribute the increase to emissions from biomass burning driven by intense drought, combined with carbon monoxide showing seasonal variations corresponding to methane variations. We show that there is probably a strong correspondence between drought and methane emissions in the Amazon.

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