ResearchPad - 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[Regional Biases in MODIS Marine Liquid Water Cloud Drop Effective Radius Deduced Through Fusion With MISR]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N54852759-8398-4c76-9829-786891d8555e

Abstract

Satellite measurements from Terra's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) represent our longest, single‐platform, global record of the effective radius (Re) of the cloud drop size distribution. Quantifying its error characteristics has been challenging because systematic errors in retrieved Re covary with the structural characteristics of the cloud and the Sun‐view geometry. Recently, it has been shown that the bias in MODIS Re can be estimated by fusing MODIS data with data from Terra's Multi‐angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR). Here, we relate the bias to the observed underlying conditions to derive regional‐scale, bias‐corrected, monthly‐mean Re 1.6, Re 2.1, and Re 3.7 values retrieved from the 1.6, 2.1, and 3.7 μm MODIS spectral channels. Our results reveal that monthly‐mean bias in Re 2.1 exhibits large regional dependency, ranging from at least ~1 to 10 μm (15 to 60%) varying with scene heterogeneity, optical depth, and solar zenith angle. Regional bias‐corrected monthly‐mean Re 2.1 ranges from 4 to 17 μm, compared to 10 to 25 μm for uncorrected Re 2.1, with estimated uncertainties of 0.1 to 1.8 μm. The bias‐corrected monthly‐mean Re 3.7 and Re 2.1 show difference of approximately +0.6 μm in the coastal marine stratocumulus regions and down to approximately −2 μm in the cumuliform cloud regions, compared to uncorrected values of about −1 to −6 μm, respectively. Bias‐corrected Re values compare favorably to other independent data sources, including field observations, global model simulations, and satellite retrievals that do not use retrieval techniques similar to MODIS. This work changes the interpretation of global Re distributions from MODIS Re products and may further impact studies, which use the original MODIS Re products to study, for example, aerosol‐cloud interactions and cloud microphysical parameterization.

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<![CDATA[Seasonal Variations of Arctic Low‐Level Clouds and Its Linkage to Sea Ice Seasonal Variations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc90d0f70-96a6-4435-827b-4592ce32542f

Abstract

Using CALIPSO‐CloudSat‐Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System‐Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer data set, this study documents the seasonal variation of sea ice, cloud, and atmospheric properties in the Arctic (70°N–82°N) for 2007–2010. A surface‐type stratification—consisting Permanent Ocean, Land, Permanent Ice, and Transient Sea Ice—is used to investigate the influence of surface type on low‐level Arctic cloud liquid water path (LWP) seasonality. The results show significant variations in the Arctic low‐level cloud LWP by surface type linked to differences in thermodynamic state. Subdividing the Transient Ice region (seasonal sea ice zone) by melt/freeze season onset dates reveals a complex influence of sea ice variations on low cloud LWP seasonality. We find that lower tropospheric stability is the primary factor affecting the seasonality of cloud LWP. Our results suggest that variations in sea ice melt/freeze onset have a significant influence on the seasonality of low‐level cloud LWP by modulating the lower tropospheric thermal structure and not by modifying the surface evaporation rate in late spring and midsummer. We find no significant dependence of the May low‐level cloud LWP peak on the melt/freeze onset dates, whereas and September/October low‐level cloud LWP maximum shifts later in the season for earlier melt/later freeze onset regions. The Arctic low cloud LWP seasonality is controlled by several surface‐atmosphere interaction processes; the importance of each varies seasonally due to the thermodynamic properties of sea ice. Our results demonstrate that when analyzing Arctic cloud‐sea ice interactions, a seasonal perspective is critical.

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<![CDATA[Terrain‐Enhanced Precipitation Processes Above the Melting Layer: Results From OLYMPEX]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75658ed5eed0c484cbe24b

Abstract

Enhancement of precipitation processes aloft over complex terrain is documented using reflectivity data from an S‐band scanning radar (NPOL) that was deployed on the west coast of Washington State during the Olympic Mountains Experiment (OLYMPEX). From November 2015 through mid‐January 2016, NPOL obtained high‐resolution data within sectors over the ocean and over the windward slopes of the Olympic Mountains. Contoured Frequency by Altitude Diagrams of radar reflectivity highlight a higher frequency of occurrence of larger reflectivities for all heights between 2 and 8 km over land compared to ocean, with the largest difference in the 4‐ to 6‐km range indicating a robust signature of enhancement aloft over the windward slopes. This enhancement pattern is found to some degree under all environmental conditions considered but is especially pronounced during periods of high vapor transport, high melting level height, southwest low‐level winds, and neutral stability. These conditions are generally associated with warm sectors of midlatitude cyclones and atmospheric rivers. Past studies have postulated that a secondary enhancement in reflectivity aloft was an intrinsic part of atmospheric river type systems. However, these results show that further significant enhancement of this signature occurs as deep moist‐neutral, high water vapor content flow is lifted when it encounters a mountain range. Reflectivity data from the dual‐precipitation radar aboard the Global Precipitation Measurement satellite also documents this reflectivity increase aloft over the Olympic Mountains compared to the adjacent ocean, showing the potential for Global Precipitation Measurement to provide reliable estimates of precipitation structure over remote mountainous regions.

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<![CDATA[Quantifying the Importance of Rapid Adjustments for Global Precipitation Changes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75659ed5eed0c484cbe3b2

Abstract

Different climate drivers influence precipitation in different ways. Here we use radiative kernels to understand the influence of rapid adjustment processes on precipitation in climate models. Rapid adjustments are generally triggered by the initial heating or cooling of the atmosphere from an external climate driver. For precipitation changes, rapid adjustments due to changes in temperature, water vapor, and clouds are most important. In this study we have investigated five climate drivers (CO2, CH4, solar irradiance, black carbon, and sulfate aerosols). The fast precipitation responses to a doubling of CO2 and a 10‐fold increase in black carbon are found to be similar, despite very different instantaneous changes in the radiative cooling, individual rapid adjustments, and sensible heating. The model diversity in rapid adjustments is smaller for the experiment involving an increase in the solar irradiance compared to the other climate driver perturbations, and this is also seen in the precipitation changes.

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<![CDATA[Anthropogenic Aerosol Indirect Effects in Cirrus Clouds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75659bd5eed0c484cbe366

Abstract

We have implemented a parameterization for forming ice in large‐scale cirrus clouds that accounts for the changes in updrafts associated with a spectrum of waves acting within each time step in the model. This allows us to account for the frequency of homogeneous and heterogeneous freezing events that occur within each time step of the model and helps to determine more realistic ice number concentrations as well as changes to ice number concentrations. The model is able to fit observations of ice number at the lowest temperatures in the tropical tropopause but is still somewhat high in tropical latitudes with temperatures between 195°K and 215°K. The climate forcings associated with different representations of heterogeneous ice nuclei (IN or INPs) are primarily negative unless large additions of IN are made, such as when we assumed that all aircraft soot acts as an IN. However, they can be close to zero if it is assumed that all background dust can act as an INP irrespective of how much sulfate is deposited on these particles. Our best estimate for the forcing of anthropogenic aircraft soot in this model is −0.2 ± 0.06 W/m2, while that from anthropogenic fossil/biofuel soot is −0.093 ± 0.033 W/m2. Natural and anthropogenic open biomass burning leads to a net forcing of −0.057 ± 0.05 W/m2.

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<![CDATA[A searchable personal health records framework with fine-grained access control in cloud-fog computing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2400a1d5eed0c484098466

Fog computing can extend cloud computing to the edge of the network so as to reduce latency and network congestion. However, existing encryption schemes were rarely used in fog environment, resulting in high computational and storage overhead. Aiming at the demands of local information for terminal device and the shortcomings of cloud computing framework in supporting mobile applications, by taking the hospital scene as an example, a searchable personal health records framework with fine-grained access control in cloud-fog computing is proposed. The proposed framework combines the attribute-based encryption (ABE) technology and search encryption (SE) technology to implement keyword search function and fine-grained access control ability. When keyword index and trapdoor match are successful, the cloud server provider only returns relevant search results to the user, thus achieving a more accurate search. At the same time, the scheme is multi-authority, and the key leakage problem is solved by dividing the user secret key distribution task. Moreover, in the proposed scheme, we securely outsource part of the encryption and decryption operations to the fog node. It is effective both in local resources and in resource-constrained mobile devices. Based on the decisional q-parallel bilinear Diffie-Hellman exponent (q-DBDHE) assumption and decisional bilinear Diffie-Hellman (DBDH) assumption, our scheme is proven to be secure. Simulation experiments show that our scheme is efficient in the cloud-fog environment.

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<![CDATA[Radio emissions from double RHESSI TGFs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b049571463d7e249772181a

Abstract

A detailed analysis of Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) terrestrial gamma ray flashes (TGFs) is performed in association with World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) sources and very low frequency (VLF) sferics recorded at Duke University. RHESSI clock offset is evaluated and found to experience changes on the 5 August 2005 and 21 October 2013, based on the analysis of TGF‐WWLLN matches. The clock offsets were found for all three periods of observations with standard deviations less than 100 μs. This result opens the possibility for the precise comparative analyses of RHESSI TGFs with the other types of data (WWLLN, radio measurements, etc.) In case of multiple‐peak TGFs, WWLLN detections are observed to be simultaneous with the last TGF peak for all 16 cases of multipeak RHESSI TGFs simultaneous with WWLLN sources. VLF magnetic field sferics were recorded for two of these 16 events at Duke University. These radio measurements also attribute VLF sferics to the second peak of the double TGFs, exhibiting no detectable radio emission during the first TGF peak. Possible scenarios explaining these observations are proposed. Double (multipeak) TGFs could help to distinguish between the VLF radio emission radiated by the recoil currents in the +IC leader channel and the VLF emission from the TGF producing electrons.

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<![CDATA[Application of a Cloud Model-Set Pair Analysis in Hazard Assessment for Biomass Gasification Stations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac0ab0ee8fa60bb0899

Because a biomass gasification station includes various hazard factors, hazard assessment is needed and significant. In this article, the cloud model (CM) is employed to improve set pair analysis (SPA), and a novel hazard assessment method for a biomass gasification station is proposed based on the cloud model-set pair analysis (CM-SPA). In this method, cloud weight is proposed to be the weight of index. In contrast to the index weight of other methods, cloud weight is shown by cloud descriptors; hence, the randomness and fuzziness of cloud weight will make it effective to reflect the linguistic variables of experts. Then, the cloud connection degree (CCD) is proposed to replace the connection degree (CD); the calculation algorithm of CCD is also worked out. By utilizing the CCD, the hazard assessment results are shown by some normal clouds, and the normal clouds are reflected by cloud descriptors; meanwhile, the hazard grade is confirmed by analyzing the cloud descriptors. After that, two biomass gasification stations undergo hazard assessment via CM-SPA and AHP based SPA, respectively. The comparison of assessment results illustrates that the CM-SPA is suitable and effective for the hazard assessment of a biomass gasification station and that CM-SPA will make the assessment results more reasonable and scientific.

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<![CDATA[Mapping the montane cloud forest of Taiwan using 12 year MODIS-derived ground fog frequency data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcb3c

Up until now montane cloud forest (MCF) in Taiwan has only been mapped for selected areas of vegetation plots. This paper presents the first comprehensive map of MCF distribution for the entire island. For its creation, a Random Forest model was trained with vegetation plots from the National Vegetation Database of Taiwan that were classified as “MCF” or “non-MCF”. This model predicted the distribution of MCF from a raster data set of parameters derived from a digital elevation model (DEM), Landsat channels and texture measures derived from them as well as ground fog frequency data derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer. While the DEM parameters and Landsat data predicted much of the cloud forest’s location, local deviations in the altitudinal distribution of MCF linked to the monsoonal influence as well as the Massenerhebung effect (causing MCF in atypically low altitudes) were only captured once fog frequency data was included. Therefore, our study suggests that ground fog data are most useful for accurately mapping MCF.

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<![CDATA[Ant Diversity and Distribution along Elevation Gradients in the Australian Wet Tropics: The Importance of Seasonal Moisture Stability]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da37ab0ee8fa60b868c2

The threat of anthropogenic climate change has seen a renewed focus on understanding contemporary patterns of species distribution. This is especially the case for the biota of tropical mountains, because tropical species often have particularly narrow elevational ranges and there are high levels of short-range endemism. Here we describe geographic patterns of ant diversity and distribution in the World Heritage-listed rainforests of the Australian Wet Tropics (AWT), revealing seasonal moisture stability to be an important environmental correlate of elevational patterns of species composition. We sampled ants in leaf litter, on the litter surface and on tree trunks at 26 sites from six subregions spanning five degrees of latitude and elevation ranges from 100–1,300 m. A total of 296 species from 63 genera were recorded. Species richness showed a slight peak at mid elevations, and did not vary significantly with latitude. Species composition varied substantially between subregions, and many species have highly localised distributions. There was very marked species turnover with elevation, with a particularly striking compositional disjunction between 600 m and 800 m at each subregion. This disjunction coincides with a strong environmental threshold of seasonal stability in moisture associated with cloud ‘stripping’. Our study therefore provides further support for climatic stability as a potential mechanism underlying patterns of diversity. The average height of orographic cloud layers is predicted to rise under global warming, and associated shifts in seasonal moisture stability may exacerbate biotic change caused by rising temperature alone.

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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[Mass elevation and lee effects markedly lift the elevational distribution of ground beetles in the Himalaya-Tibet orogen]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcd8f

Mass elevation and lee effects markedly influence snow lines and tree lines in high mountain systems. However, their impact on other phenomena or groups of organisms has not yet been quantified. Here we quantitatively studied their influence in the Himalaya–Tibet orogen on the distribution of ground beetles as model organisms, specifically whether the ground beetle distribution increases from the outer to the inner parts of the orogen, against latitudinal effects. We also tested whether July temperature and solar radiation are predictors of the beetle’s elevational distribution ranges. Finally, we discussed the general importance of these effects for the distributional and evolutionary history of the biota of High Asia. We modelled spatially explicit estimates of variables characterizing temperature and solar radiation and correlated the variables with the respective lower elevational range of 118 species of ground beetles from 76 high-alpine locations. Both July temperature and solar radiation significantly positively correlated with the elevational ranges of high-alpine beetles. Against the latitudinal trend, the median elevation of the respective species distributions increased by 800 m from the Himalayan south face north to the Transhimalaya. Our results indicate that an increase in seasonal temperature due to mass elevation and lee effects substantially impact the regional distribution patterns of alpine ground beetles of the Himalaya–Tibet orogen and are likely to affect also other soil biota there and in mountain ranges worldwide. Since these effects must have changed during orogenesis, their potential impact must be considered when biogeographic scenarios based on geological models are derived. As this has not been the practice, we believe that large biases likely exist in many paleoecological and evolutionary studies dealing with the biota from the Himalaya-Tibet orogen and mountain ranges worldwide.

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<![CDATA[Remotely Sensed High-Resolution Global Cloud Dynamics for Predicting Ecosystem and Biodiversity Distributions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da00ab0ee8fa60b739da

Cloud cover can influence numerous important ecological processes, including reproduction, growth, survival, and behavior, yet our assessment of its importance at the appropriate spatial scales has remained remarkably limited. If captured over a large extent yet at sufficiently fine spatial grain, cloud cover dynamics may provide key information for delineating a variety of habitat types and predicting species distributions. Here, we develop new near-global, fine-grain (≈1 km) monthly cloud frequencies from 15 y of twice-daily Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite images that expose spatiotemporal cloud cover dynamics of previously undocumented global complexity. We demonstrate that cloud cover varies strongly in its geographic heterogeneity and that the direct, observation-based nature of cloud-derived metrics can improve predictions of habitats, ecosystem, and species distributions with reduced spatial autocorrelation compared to commonly used interpolated climate data. These findings support the fundamental role of remote sensing as an effective lens through which to understand and globally monitor the fine-grain spatial variability of key biodiversity and ecosystem properties.

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<![CDATA[Heterogeneous Ice Nucleation by Soufriere Hills Volcanic Ash Immersed in Water Droplets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da62ab0ee8fa60b9131f

Fine particles of ash emitted during volcanic eruptions may sporadically influence cloud properties on a regional or global scale as well as influencing the dynamics of volcanic clouds and the subsequent dispersion of volcanic aerosol and gases. It has been shown that volcanic ash can trigger ice nucleation, but ash from relatively few volcanoes has been studied for its ice nucleating ability. In this study we quantify the efficiency with which ash from the Soufriere Hills volcano on Montserrat nucleates ice when immersed in supercooled water droplets. Using an ash sample from the 11th February 2010 eruption, we report ice nucleating efficiencies from 246 to 265 K. This wide range of temperatures was achieved using two separate droplet freezing instruments, one employing nanolitre droplets, the other using microlitre droplets. Soufriere Hills volcanic ash was significantly more efficient than all other ash samples that have been previously examined. At present the reasons for these differences are not understood, but may be related to mineralogy, amorphous content and surface chemistry.

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<![CDATA[Taxicab tipping and sunlight]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5dab0ee8fa60be048f

Does the level of sunlight affect the tipping percentage in taxicab rides in New York City? We examined this question using data on 13.82 million cab rides from January to October in 2009 in New York City combined with data on hourly levels of solar radiation. We found a small but statistically significant positive relationship between sunlight and tipping, with an estimated tipping increase of 0.5 to 0.7 percentage points when transitioning from a dark sky to full sunshine. The findings are robust to two-way clustering of standard errors based on hour-of-the-day and day-of-the-year and controlling for day-of-the-year, month-of-the-year, cab driver fixed effects, weather conditions, and ride characteristics. The NYC cab ride context is suitable for testing the association between sunlight and tipping due to the largely random assignment of riders to drivers, direct exposure to sunlight, and low confounding from variation in service experiences.

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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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<![CDATA[Detecting 3D Vegetation Structure with the Galileo Space Probe: Can a Distant Probe Detect Vegetation Structure on Earth?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dafcab0ee8fa60bc5011

Sagan et al. (1993) used the Galileo space probe data and first principles to find evidence of life on Earth. Here we ask whether Sagan et al. (1993) could also have detected whether life on Earth had three-dimensional structure, based on the Galileo space probe data. We reanalyse the data from this probe to see if structured vegetation could have been detected in regions with abundant photosynthetic pigments through the anisotropy of reflected shortwave radiation. We compare changing brightness of the Amazon forest (a region where Sagan et al. (1993) noted a red edge in the reflectance spectrum, indicative of photosynthesis) as the planet rotates to a common model of reflectance anisotropy and found measured increase of surface reflectance of 0.019 ± 0.003 versus a 0.007 predicted from only anisotropic effects. We hypothesize the difference was due to minor cloud contamination. However, the Galileo dataset had only a small change in phase angle (sun-satellite position) which reduced the observed anisotropy signal and we demonstrate that theoretically if the probe had a variable phase angle between 0–20°, there would have been a much larger predicted change in surface reflectance of 0.1 and under such a scenario three-dimensional vegetation structure on Earth could possibly have been detected. These results suggest that anisotropic effects may be useful to help determine whether exoplanets have three-dimensional vegetation structure in the future, but that further comparisons between empirical and theoretical results are first necessary.

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<![CDATA[Variability of surface and underwater nocturnal spectral irradiance with the presence of clouds in urban and peri-urban wetlands]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ab19352463d7e5f0fb18c57

Artificial light at night (ALAN) is an increasing phenomenon worldwide. It causes a wealth of biological and ecological effects that may eventually affect populations and ecosystems. Despite the growing concern about ALAN, little is known about the light levels species are exposed to at night, especially for wetlands and underwater habitats. We determined nocturnal irradiance in urban and peri-urban wetlands above and under water, and assessed the effect of cloud cover on the variability of ALAN across the urban gradient. Even in aquatic habitats, cloud cover could increase irradiance beyond values observed during clear full moon nights. We report a negative relationship between baseline irradiance and the increase in irradiance during overcast nights. According to this result and previous studies, we propose that the change in the variation regime of ALAN between the urban center and rural land at its periphery is a usual feature. We discuss the ecological and evolutionary implications of this spatial variation in the urban and peri-urban environment.

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