Advances in Meteorology The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2015 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. A Comparison of the Impacts of Radiosonde and AMSU Radiance Observations in GSI Based 3DEnsVar and 3DVar Data Assimilation Systems for NCEP GFS Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:25:56 +0000 The impact of observations can be dependent on many factors in a data assimilation (DA) system including data quality control, preprocessing, skill of the model, and the DA algorithm. The present study focuses on comparing the impacts of observations assimilated by two different DA algorithms. A three-dimensional ensemble-variational (3DEnsVar) hybrid data assimilation system was recently developed based on the Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) data assimilation system and was implemented operationally for the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Global Forecast System (GFS). One question to address is, how the impacts of observations on GFS forecasts differ when assimilated by the traditional GSI-three dimensional variational (3DVar) and the new 3DEnsVar. Experiments were conducted over a 6-week period during Northern Hemisphere winter season at a reduced resolution. For both the control and data denial experiments, the forecasts produced by 3DEnsVar were more accurate than GSI3DVar experiments. The results suggested that the observations were better and more effectively exploited to increment the background forecast in 3DEnsVar. On the other hand, in GSI3DVar, where the observation will be making mostly local, isotropic increments without proper flow dependent extrapolation is more sensitive to the number and types observations assimilated. Govindan Kutty and Xuguang Wang Copyright © 2015 Govindan Kutty and Xuguang Wang. All rights reserved. Estimation of Daytime NO3 Radical Levels in the UK Urban Atmosphere Using the Steady State Approximation Method Wed, 29 Jul 2015 08:06:06 +0000 The steady state approximation has been applied to the UK National Environment Technology Centre (NETCEN) data at three urban sites in the UK (Marylebone Road London, London Eltham, and Harwell) over the period of 1997 to 2012 to estimate the concentrations of daytime NO3. Despite the common assertion that NO3 levels are negligible in the day as a consequence of photolysis, there are occasions where NO3 reaches a few pptv. A seasonal pattern in NO3 concentration was observed with higher levels in the spring with consistent peaks in April and May. A combination of temperature effects (the formation of NO3 from the reaction of NO2 with O3 has a high activation energy barrier), a distinct pattern in O3 concentration (peaking in spring), and loss via reaction with NO peaking in winter is responsible for this trend. Although reaction with OH is still the dominant loss process for VOCs during the day, there are VOCs (unsaturated) that will have an appreciable loss due to reaction with NO3 in the daytime. Since the addition reaction of NO3 with alkenes can lead directly to organic nitrate formation, there are implications for O3 formation and secondary organic aerosol formation during daytime and these are discussed. M. A. H. Khan, W. C. Morris, L. A. Watson, M. Galloway, P. D. Hamer, B. M. A. Shallcross, C. J. Percival, and D. E. Shallcross Copyright © 2015 M. A. H. Khan et al. All rights reserved. Investigation of the Variability and Implications of Meteorological Dry/Wet Conditions in the Poyang Lake Catchment, China, during the Period 1960–2010 Tue, 28 Jul 2015 13:34:09 +0000 This paper presents a quantitative investigation of the variability of meteorological dry/wet conditions of the Poyang Lake catchment during 1960–2010 by using the standardized precipitation-evapotranspiration index (SPEI) based on daily observations of 14 meteorological stations across the catchment. Extending from previous studies, the background of the encounter and overlap of multitimescales of meteorological dry/wet episodes for several severe drought and flood events were discussed. In addition, the possible impacts of temperature changes on dry/wet variability were also examined by the comparison of SPEI and standardized precipitation index (SPI) variations at multitimescales during the study period. Major results show that the occurrence of dry/wet condition has become increasingly frequent in the recent two decades, especially the extreme wet episodes in 1990s and the extreme dry episodes in 2000s. Historically, the encounter and overlap of multitimescales of meteorological dry/wet episodes plays an important role in the occurrence of several severe drought and flood events. The study concluded that the impact of temperature anomaly to the dry/wet variability cannot be neglected. Xu-chun Ye, Yun-liang Li, Xiang-hu Li, Chong-yu Xu, and Qi Zhang Copyright © 2015 Xu-chun Ye et al. All rights reserved. An Empirical Method of Estimating Soil Thermal Inertia Mon, 27 Jul 2015 13:05:28 +0000 A method of estimating soil thermal inertia (STI), which uses midday soil heat flux () and diurnal surface temperature amplitude as the inputs, is presented in the paper. is achieved from an empirical relationship between net radiation (Rn) and soil heat flux (). To validate the STI method, a method proposed by Verhoef, which requires STI and a Fourier series analysis on surface temperature, is used to estimate diurnal . By comparing diurnal estimates and diurnal measurements, the STI method is evaluated indirectly. The results show that the diurnal curve of estimates can coincide with that of measurements for bare soil, with the correlation coefficient () of 0.64, bias of 10.1 W·m−2, and root mean squared errors (RMSE) of 40.9 W·m−2. For the vegetated surface, is 0.56, bias is −11.9 W·m−2, and RMSE is 49.2 W·m−2. The large uncertainty in the estimation of resulting from the wider variation of the empirical relationship between Rn and and the difference between mixed surface temperature and soil surface temperature may be the two primary factors for the larger deviation of the diurnal shape and the magnitude between estimates and measurements for the vegetated surface. Jing Tian, Hongbo Su, Honglin He, and Xiaomin Sun Copyright © 2015 Jing Tian et al. All rights reserved. Intercomparison of Solid Precipitation Derived from the Weighting Rain Gauge and Optical Instruments in the Interior Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Mon, 27 Jul 2015 12:48:21 +0000 Due to the light precipitation and strong wind in the cold season, it is hard to get credible solid precipitation on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau (QTP). To address this issue, two kinds of optical instruments, the Thies Laser Precipitation Monitor (LPM) and OTT laser-optical Particle Size Velocity (Parsivel), were used on QTP. The measured precipitation was compared with the precipitation derived from Geonor T-200B precipitation gauge (Geonor). The results showed that Geonor was hard to catch light precipitation (precipitation amount was less than 1 mm during a single event) when the wind speeds were higher than 3.5 m/s. Even when the wind speeds were smaller than 3.5 m/s, about 44% of such light precipitation events were not recorded by Geonor. The optical instruments had much better performance in recording light precipitation. Three methods were used to correct Geonor measurements of daily solid precipitation and the corrected values were set as reference for assessing the performance of LPM and Parsivel; the results showed that LPM had good performance in measuring the solid precipitation but Parsivel overestimated the precipitation amount. Methods for correcting Geonor’s hourly solid precipitation and recalculating Parsivel’s solid precipitation amount were also proposed in this paper. Lele Zhang, Lin Zhao, Changwei Xie, Guangyue Liu, Liming Gao, Yao Xiao, Jianzong Shi, and Yongping Qiao Copyright © 2015 Lele Zhang et al. All rights reserved. Relationships between Ambient Ozone Concentration Changes in Southwestern Taiwan and Invasion Tracks of Tropical Typhoons Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:55:21 +0000 This study aimed to use a newly developed weather and air quality model, WRF-Chem, to simulate and analyze formation of high-concentrated ozone (O3) in the ambient air of southwestern Taiwan before the invasion of tropical typhoons. Two typical typhoons, Nanmadol and Usagi that occurred in 2011 and 2013, respectively, were simulated in this study. The O3 concentration variation patterns in the ambient air of both offshore and inland parts of southwestern Taiwan were collected and analyzed. The results indicated that the high O3 concentration observed in southwestern Taiwan before typhoon arrived was mainly caused by the western Pacific subtropical high (WPSH) shrouding it. On the other hand, the latter increase in ambient O3 concentration about 1 to 2 days before issuing sea warning was mainly due to both contributions of weakening WPSH and intensifying leeward side effects. For both cases, atmospheric subsidence occurred to result in low ambient air quality. The invasion of typhoons made ambient O3 concentration enhanced up to 2-3-fold compared to its normal concentration in summer. Based on the simulated O3 concentration variation results in this study, it is demonstrated that the space-fading patterns of O3 before typhoon arrives also can be used as references for predicting typhoon moving tracks 1.0 to 2.0 days before landfall of typhoons. Chung-Hsuang Hung and Kuo-Cheng Lo Copyright © 2015 Chung-Hsuang Hung and Kuo-Cheng Lo. All rights reserved. The Arctic and Antarctic Sea-Ice Area Index Records versus Measured and Modeled Temperature Data Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:40:44 +0000 Here we study the Arctic and Antarctic sea-ice area records provided by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). These records reveal an opposite climatic behavior: since 1978 the Arctic sea-ice area index decreased, that is, the region has warmed, while the Antarctic sea-ice area index increased, that is, the region has cooled. During the last 7 years the Arctic sea-ice area has stabilized while the Antarctic sea-ice area has increased at a rate significantly higher than during the previous decades; that is, the sea-ice area of both regions has experienced a positive acceleration. This result is quite robust because it is confirmed by alternative temperature climate indices of the same regions. We also found that a significant 4-5-year natural oscillation characterizes the climate of these sea-ice polar areas. On the contrary, we found that the CMIP5 general circulation models have predicted significant warming in both polar sea regions and failed to reproduce the strong 4-5-year oscillation. Because the CMIP5 GCM simulations are inconsistent with the observations, we suggest that important natural mechanisms of climate change are missing in the models. Nicola Scafetta and Adriano Mazzarella Copyright © 2015 Nicola Scafetta and Adriano Mazzarella. All rights reserved. The Role of Aerosols in Convective Processes during the Midsummer Drought in the Caribbean Tue, 21 Jul 2015 06:57:17 +0000 Saharan dust (SD) heavily impacts convective precipitation in the Caribbean. To better understand the role of SD in precipitation development during the midsummer drought (MSD), an observational campaign, centered at the city of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico (18.21 N, 67.13 W), between 3 June and 15 July 2014, was conducted in order to select a range of atmospheric conditions to be simulated using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) cloud resolving model under “no SD” and “SD” conditions. The events included one dry day with moderate-heavy SD, one localized moderate rainfall event with moderate SD, one island-wide light precipitation event with heavy SD, and one island-wide heavy precipitation event with light-moderate SD. Model results show that (1) precipitation results are improved when compared with observation with the presence of SD, (2) precipitation, cloud fraction, dew point temperatures, and humidity are significantly reduced under SD conditions, (3) precipitation can occur when SD is removed for a dry day, (4) there is evidence of rain being delayed due to the presence of SD without rainfall intensity or accumulation increases, (5) liquid mixing ratio increases of up to 1.4 g kg−1 occur in the absence of SD, and (6) vertical wind increases of up to 0.8 m s−1 occur in the absence of SD. Nathan Hosannah, Hamed Parsiani, and Jorge E. González Copyright © 2015 Nathan Hosannah et al. All rights reserved. A Cumulative Rainfall Function for Subhourly Design Storm in Mediterranean Urban Areas Mon, 13 Jul 2015 06:46:37 +0000 Design storms are very useful in many hydrological and hydraulic practices and are obtained from statistical analysis of precipitation records. However considering design storms, which are often quite unlike the natural rainstorms, may result in designing oversized or undersized drainage facilities. For these reasons, in this study, a two-parameter double exponential function is proposed to parameterize historical storm events. The proposed function has been assessed against the storms selected from 5-year rainfall time series with a 1-minute resolution, measured by three meteorological stations located in Calabria, Italy. In particular, a nonlinear least square optimization has been used to identify parameters. In previous studies, several evaluation methods to measure the goodness of fit have been used with excellent performances. One parameter is related to the centroid of the rain distribution; the second one is related to high values of the standard deviation of the kurtosis for the selected events. Finally, considering the similarity between the proposed function and the Gumbel function, the two parameters have been computed with the method of moments; in this case, the correlation values were lower than those computed with nonlinear least squares optimization but sufficiently accurate for designing purposes. Marco Carbone, Michele Turco, Giuseppe Brunetti, and Patrizia Piro Copyright © 2015 Marco Carbone et al. All rights reserved. Spatial Interpolation of Daily Rainfall Data for Local Climate Impact Assessment over Greater Sydney Region Sun, 12 Jul 2015 07:37:43 +0000 This paper presents spatial interpolation techniques to produce finer-scale daily rainfall data from regional climate modeling. Four common interpolation techniques (ANUDEM, Spline, IDW, and Kriging) were compared and assessed against station rainfall data and modeled rainfall. The performance was assessed by the mean absolute error (MAE), mean relative error (MRE), root mean squared error (RMSE), and the spatial and temporal distributions. The results indicate that Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) method is slightly better than the other three methods and it is also easy to implement in a geographic information system (GIS). The IDW method was then used to produce forty-year (1990–2009 and 2040–2059) time series rainfall data at daily, monthly, and annual time scales at a ground resolution of 100 m for the Greater Sydney Region (GSR). The downscaled daily rainfall data have been further utilized to predict rainfall erosivity and soil erosion risk and their future changes in GSR to support assessments and planning of climate change impact and adaptation in local scale. Xihua Yang, Xiaojin Xie, De Li Liu, Fei Ji, and Lin Wang Copyright © 2015 Xihua Yang et al. All rights reserved. On the Use of Threshold for the Ground Validation of Satellite Rain Rate Wed, 08 Jul 2015 10:37:16 +0000 Ground-truthing is a major problem in the satellite estimation of rain rate. This problem is that the measurement taken by the satellite sensor is fundamentally different from the one it is compared with on the ground. Additionally, since the satellite has the limited capability to measure the light rain rate exactly, the comparison should also consider the threshold value of satellite rain rate. This paper proposes a ground-truth design with threshold for the satellite rain rate. This ground-truth design is the generalization of the conventional ground-truth design which considered the only (zero, nonzero) and (nonzero, nonzero) measurement pairs. The mean-square error is used as an index of accuracy in estimating the ground measurement by satellite measurement. An application to the artificial random field shows that the proposed ground-truth design with threshold is valid as the design bias is zero. The same result is also derived in the application to the COMS (Communication, Ocean, and Meteorological Satellite) rain rate data in Korea. Jungsoo Yoon, Chulsang Yoo, and Eunho Ha Copyright © 2015 Jungsoo Yoon et al. All rights reserved. Characteristics of Atmospheric Metalliferous Particles during Large-Scale Fireworks in Korea Wed, 08 Jul 2015 09:45:08 +0000 The effect of large-scale firework events on urban background trace metal concentrations was investigated using 24 hr data collected over 3 days at three sites in Busan Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea, during the falls (Oct.) of 2011–2013. The firework events increased local background concentrations of trace metals as follows: K (1.72 times), Sr (2.64 times), As (2.86 times), Pb (2.91 times), and Al (5.44 times). The levels of some metals did not always drop to background level one day after the firework event. The contribution of fireworks to trace metal concentration levels (and emissions) for 2011 event was negligible compared to 2012 and 2013 events due to different meteorological conditions (precipitation). In addition, the impact of firework events on the ambient concentration levels of trace metals was likely to be different depending on their chemical speciation. The impact of firework events in Busan on urban air quality (trace metal) was less intense compared to other similar festivals worldwide. The largest emission of trace metals and elements from firework burning was represented by K (128–164 kg), followed by Pb, Cd, Cu, Mg, Ba, As, Al, Ga, Co, and Na. Zang-Ho Shon, Ju-Hee Jeong, and Yoo-Keun Kim Copyright © 2015 Zang-Ho Shon et al. All rights reserved. The Performance of the National Weather Service Heat Warning System against Ground Observations and Satellite Imagery Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:00:24 +0000 Deadly heat waves are increasing with climate change. Public forecasts and warnings are a primary public health strategy for dealing with such extreme weather events; however, temperatures can vary widely within the administrative units used to issue warnings, particularly across urban landscapes. The emergence of more frequent and widely distributed sources of urban temperature data provide the opportunity to investigate the specificity of the current National Weather Service (NWS) warnings and to improve their accuracy and precision. In this work, temperatures from distributed public weather stations, NWS heat advisories and warnings, and land surface temperature imagery throughout two large metropolitan areas, Atlanta and Chicago, during the 2006–2012 summers are considered. We investigate the spatial variability of hazardous temperatures and their agreement against NWS advisories. Second, we examine the potential for thermal imagery to replicate National Weather Service heat warnings. Observations from weather stations exhibit varying degrees of agreement with NWS advisories. The level of agreement varied by station and was not found to be associated with the station’s proximate land cover. Air temperatures estimated from satellite imagery correspond with NWS Advisory status regionally and may enable creating more refined public warnings regarding hazardous temperatures and protective actions Jason Vargo, Qingyang Xiao, and Yang Liu Copyright © 2015 Jason Vargo et al. All rights reserved. Vertical Profiles and Chemical Properties of Aerosol Particles upon Ny-Ålesund (Svalbard Islands) Mon, 29 Jun 2015 07:45:31 +0000 Size-segregated particle samples were collected in the Arctic (Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard) in April 2011 both at ground level and in the free atmosphere exploiting a tethered balloon equipped also with an optical particle counter (OPC) and meteorological sensors. Individual particle properties were investigated by scanning electron microscopy coupled with energy dispersive microanalysis (SEM-EDS). Results of the SEM-EDS were integrated with particle size and optical measurements of the aerosols properties at ground level and along the vertical profiles. Detailed analysis of two case studies reveals significant differences in composition despite the similar structure (layering) and the comparable texture (grain size distribution) of particles in the air column. Differences in the mineral chemistry of samples point at both local (plutonic/metamorphic complexes in Svalbard) and remote (basic/ultrabasic magmatic complexes in Greenland and/or Iceland) geological source regions for dust. Differences in the particle size and shape are put into relationship with the mechanism of particle formation, that is, primary (well sorted, small) or secondary (idiomorphic, fine to coarse grained) origin for chloride and sulfate crystals and transport/settling for soil (silicate, carbonate and metal oxide) particles. The influence of size, shape, and mixing state of particles on ice nucleation and radiative properties is also discussed. B. Moroni, S. Becagli, E. Bolzacchini, M. Busetto, D. Cappelletti, S. Crocchianti, L. Ferrero, D. Frosini, C. Lanconelli, A. Lupi, M. Maturilli, M. Mazzola, M. G. Perrone, G. Sangiorgi, R. Traversi, R. Udisti, A. Viola, and V. Vitale Copyright © 2015 B. Moroni et al. All rights reserved. Impact Evaluation of Assimilating Surface Sensitive Infrared Radiance Observations over Land and Sea Ice from Observing System Simulation Experiments Sun, 28 Jun 2015 11:10:48 +0000 In this study, Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) are conducted to analyze the impact of assimilating surface sensitive infrared radiance observations over land and sea ice. This type of assimilation has not yet been successfully implemented at operational weather centers. Infrared radiance from AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder) and IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer) is simulated from the Nature Run (NR) provided by European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and assimilated in a 3D-Var. analysis system. A control simulation was generated excluding the new data source, but including all data assimilated operationally at the Canadian Meteorological Center. Experiments were conducted allowing surface sensitive channels to be assimilated over all surfaces or excluding Polar Regions. Resulting forecasts were intercompared and validated against NR fields. Results indicate significant positive impacts in the tropics and Southern Hemisphere extratropics and more modest impacts in the Northern Hemisphere extratropics. Some limitations of the OSSE approach are identified, linked to the different forecast systems used for the NR and the assimilation and higher cloud contamination in Polar Regions. This analysis provides useful insight in preparation for the assimilation of real radiance observations. S. K. Dutta, L. Garand, and S. Heilliette Copyright © 2015 S. K. Dutta et al. All rights reserved. Climate Warming: Is There Evidence in Africa? Tue, 23 Jun 2015 06:56:07 +0000 We have examined the temperature time series across several locations in Africa. In particular, we focus on three countries, South Africa, Kenya, and Côte d’Ivoire, examining the monthly averaged temperatures from three weather stations at different locations in each country. We examine the presence of deterministic trends in the series in order to check if the hypothesis of warming trends for these countries holds; however, instead of using conventional approaches based on stationary errors, we allow for fractional integration, which seems to be a more plausible approach in this context. Our results indicate that temperatures have only significantly increased during the last 30 years for the case of Kenya. Hector Carcel and Luis A. Gil-Alana Copyright © 2015 Hector Carcel and Luis A. Gil-Alana. All rights reserved. Effects of Atmospheric Refraction on an Airborne Weather Radar Detection and Correction Method Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:38:44 +0000 This study investigates the effect of atmospheric refraction, affected by temperature, atmospheric pressure, and humidity, on airborne weather radar beam paths. Using three types of typical atmospheric background sounding data, we established a simulation model for an actual transmission path and a fitted correction path of an airborne weather radar beam during airplane take-offs and landings based on initial flight parameters and X-band airborne phased-array weather radar parameters. Errors in an ideal electromagnetic beam propagation path are much greater than those of a fitted path when atmospheric refraction is not considered. The rates of change in the atmospheric refraction index differ with weather conditions and the radar detection angles differ during airplane take-off and landing. Therefore, the airborne radar detection path must be revised in real time according to the specific sounding data and flight parameters. However, an error analysis indicates that a direct linear-fitting method produces significant errors in a negatively refractive atmosphere; a piecewise-fitting method can be adopted to revise the paths according to the actual atmospheric structure. This study provides researchers and practitioners in the aeronautics and astronautics field with updated information regarding the effect of atmospheric refraction on airborne weather radar detection and correction methods. Lei Wang, Ming Wei, Tao Yang, and Ping Liu Copyright © 2015 Lei Wang et al. All rights reserved. Precipitation Science: Observations, Retrievals, and Modeling Thu, 18 Jun 2015 06:29:16 +0000 Francisco J. Tapiador, Sahra Kacimi, Manuel de Castro, Vincenzo Levizzani, Dimitrios Katsanos, and Eduardo García-Ortega Copyright © 2015 Francisco J. Tapiador et al. All rights reserved. Numerical Evaluation of the Impact of Urbanization on Summertime Precipitation in Osaka, Japan Tue, 16 Jun 2015 07:14:16 +0000 This study utilized the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model version 3.5.1 to evaluate the impact of urbanization on summertime precipitation in Osaka, Japan. The evaluation was conducted by comparing the WRF simulations with the present land use and no-urban land use (replacing “Urban” with “Paddy”) for August from 2006 to 2010. The urbanization increased mean air temperature by 2.1°C in urban areas because of increased sensible heat flux and decreased mean humidity by 0.8 g kg−1 because of decreased latent heat flux. In addition, the urbanization increased duration of the southwesterly sea breeze. The urbanization increased precipitation in urban areas and decreased in the surrounding areas. The mean precipitation in urban areas was increased by 20 mm month−1 (27% of the total amount without the synoptic-scale precipitation). The precipitation increase was generally due to the enhancement of the formation and development of convective clouds by the increase in sensible heat flux during afternoon and evening time periods. The urbanization in Osaka changes spatial and temporal distribution patterns of precipitation and evaporation, and consequently it substantially affects the water cycle in and around the urban areas of Osaka. Hikari Shimadera, Akira Kondo, Kundan Lal Shrestha, Ken Kitaoka, and Yoshio Inoue Copyright © 2015 Hikari Shimadera et al. All rights reserved. Assessment of the Impact of Metropolitan-Scale Urban Planning Scenarios on the Moist Thermal Environment under Global Warming: A Study of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area Using Regional Climate Modeling Thu, 11 Jun 2015 14:02:19 +0000 Using a high-resolution regional climate model coupled with urban canopy model, the present study provides the first attempt in quantifying the impact of metropolitan-scale urban planning scenarios on moist thermal environment under global warming. Tokyo metropolitan area is selected as a test case. Three urban planning scenarios are considered: status quo, dispersed city, and compact city. Their impact on the moist thermal environment is assessed using wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT). Future projections for the 2070s show a 2–4°C increase in daytime mean WBGT relative to the current climate. The urban scenario impacts are shown to be small, with a −0.4 to +0.4°C range. Relative changes in temperature and humidity as the result of a given urban scenario are shown to be critical in determining the sign of the WBGT changes; however, such changes are not necessarily determined by local changes in urban land surface parameters. These findings indicate that urban land surface changes may improve or worsen the local moist thermal environment and that metropolitan-scale urban planning is inefficient in mitigating heat-related health risks for mature cities like Tokyo. Asuka Suzuki-Parker, Hiroyuki Kusaka, and Yoshiki Yamagata Copyright © 2015 Asuka Suzuki-Parker et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of the Wind Energy Potential in the Coastal Environment of Two Enclosed Seas Thu, 11 Jun 2015 12:09:32 +0000 The work presents a comprehensive picture of the wind energy potential in the coastal environment of the Black and the Caspian Seas. 10-year of data coming from the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction was considered as the main source. This dataset was subsequently compared with both in situ and remotely sensed measurements. The results show that the western side of the Black Sea has an enhanced wind power potential, especially in the vicinity of the Crimean Peninsula. As regards the Caspian Sea, the northeastern sector can be considered more energetic. A direct comparison of various wind parameters corresponding to the locations with higher potential in the two target areas considered was also carried out, in order to notice the similarities and the key features that could be taken into account in the development of an offshore wind project. Finally, it can be concluded that the coastal environments of the Black and the Caspian Seas can become in the near future promising locations for the wind energy extraction, as well as for the hybrid wind-wave energy farms that could play an important role also in the coastal protection. Florin Onea, Alina Raileanu, and Eugen Rusu Copyright © 2015 Florin Onea et al. All rights reserved. Methodology to Forecast Road Surface Temperature with Principal Components Analysis and Partial Least-Square Regression: Application to an Urban Configuration Wed, 10 Jun 2015 06:14:04 +0000 A forecast road surface temperature (RST) helps winter services to optimize costs and to reduce the deicers environmental impacts. Data from road weather information systems (RWIS) and thermal mapping are considered inputs for forecasting physical numerical models. Statistical models include many meteorological parameters along routes and provide a spatial approach. It is based on typical combinations resulting from treatment and analysis of a database from measurements of road weather stations or thermal mapping, easy, reliable, and cost effective to monitor RST, and many meteorological parameters. A forecast dedicated to road networks should combine both spatial and time forecasts needs. This study contributed to building a reliable RST forecast based on principal component analysis (PCA) and partial least-square (PLS) regression. An urban stretch with various weather conditions and seasons was monitored over several months to generate an appropriate number of samples. The study first consisted of the identification of its optimum number to establish a reliable forecast. A second aspect is aimed at comparing RST forecasts from PLS model to measurements. Comparison indicated a forecast over an urban stretch with up to 94% of values within ±1°C and over 80% within ±3°C. M. Marchetti, A. Khalifa, and M. Bues Copyright © 2015 M. Marchetti et al. All rights reserved. Easterly Wave Disturbances over Northeast Brazil: An Observational Analysis Tue, 09 Jun 2015 07:21:27 +0000 This paper aims to identify the circulation associated with Easterly Wave Disturbances (EWDs) that propagate toward the Eastern Northeast Brazil (ENEB) and their impact on the rainfall over ENEB during 2006 and 2007 rainy seasons (April–July). The EWDs identification and trajectory are analyzed using an automatic tracking technique (TracKH). The EWDs circulation patterns and their main features were obtained using the composite technique. To evaluate the TracKH efficiency, a validation was done by comparing the EWDs number tracked against observed cases obtained from an observational analysis. The mean characteristics of EWDs are 5.5-day period, propagation speed of ~9.5 m·s−1, and a 4500 km wavelength. A synoptic analysis shows that between days −2 d and 0 d, the low level winds presented cyclonic relative vorticity and convergence anomalies both in 2006 and 2007. The EWDs signals are strongest at low levels. The EWDs propagation is associated with relative humidity and precipitation positive anomalies and OLR and omega negative anomalies. The EWDs tracks are seen over all ENEB and their lysis occurs between the ENEB and marginally inside the continent. The tracking captured 71% of EWDs in all periods, indicating that an objective analysis is a promising method for EWDs detection. Helber Barros Gomes, Tércio Ambrizzi, Dirceu Luís Herdies, Kevin Hodges, and Bruce Francisco Pontes da Silva Copyright © 2015 Helber Barros Gomes et al. All rights reserved. Regionalization and Spatiotemporal Variation of Drought in China Based on Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (1961–2013) Tue, 09 Jun 2015 06:49:11 +0000 China is considered to be one of the most drought prone countries. This study is dedicated to analyzing the regionalization and spatiotemporal variations of drought based on the Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index, which covers the period 1961–2013 across 810 stations in China. Using Spatial “K”luster Analysis by Tree Edge Removal method, China was divided into eight regions: southwest (SW), northeast (NE), north (N), southeast (SE), Yangtze River (YR), northwest (NW), central China (C), and Tibet Plateau (TP). The spatiotemporal variations of drought characteristics indicated that the drought count in NE and C was generally high. Southern China and NW had suffered long drought duration and extreme severity. The MK test results show that stations with significant drying trends mainly locate in SW, N, NW, and C. The severe drought frequency was very high in 1990s and 2000s. Furthermore, more attention should be paid to abnormal less precipitation in summer and abnormal high temperature in spring in SW, NE, N, and C. Besides, abnormal less precipitation is the main factor of drought in SE and YR in whole year. This study is anticipated to support the water resources management, and to promote the realization of environmental protection and agricultural production. Xiongfei Liu, Shixin Wang, Yi Zhou, Futao Wang, Wenjun Li, and Wenliang Liu Copyright © 2015 Xiongfei Liu et al. All rights reserved. Air Quality Deterioration of Urban Areas Caused by Wildfires in a Natural Reservoir Forest of Mexico Mon, 08 Jun 2015 07:37:58 +0000 Many regions of the world suffer loss of vegetation and reduced air quality due to wildfires. Studies on aerosol emissions by wildfires often discuss the negative effects of atmospheric contaminants from a regional or mesoscale perspective. The occurrence of wildfires reveals that a high percentage takes place close to large urban areas. Very high concentration of pollutants and PM10 particulate matter reach urban zones and millions of inhabitants. These events of high pollutant concentrations are seasonally recurrent. There are many large urban areas in the world that often undergo severe air deterioration due to wildfires smoke. We document the extreme impact of wildfire that occurs in the Protected Area of Flora and Fauna La Primavera located in neighborhood of Guadalajara, a large urban zone in Mexico. The simultaneous emissions of aerosols by 60 wildfires were simulated and compared with observed data. The plume generated by the wildfires reached large areas of the central part of Mexico. The principal characteristics of smog emissions (CO, NO2, and PM10) over the urban area were acceptably reproduced. Observed and modeled CO, PM10, and NO2 data indicated that aerosol plumes generated by the wildfires increased notably the concentrations over the metropolitan zone of Guadalajara. Noel Carbajal, Luis F. Pineda-Martinez, and Flor Bautista Vicente Copyright © 2015 Noel Carbajal et al. All rights reserved. Identification of Water Scarcity and Providing Solutions for Adapting to Climate Changes in the Heihe River Basin of China Sun, 07 Jun 2015 08:03:31 +0000 In ecologically fragile areas with arid climate, such as the Heihe River Basin in northwestern China, sustainable social and economic development depends largely on the availability and sustainable uses of water resource. However, there is more and more serious water resource shortage and decrease of water productivity in Heihe River Basin under the influence of climate change and human activities. This paper attempts to identify the severe water scarcity under climate change and presents possible solutions for sustainable development in Heihe River Basin. Three problems that intervened land use changes, water resource, the relevant policies and institutions in Heihe River basin were identified, including (1) water scarcity along with serious contradiction between water supply and demand, (2) irrational water consumption structure along with low efficiency, and (3) deficient systems and institutions of water resource management along with unreasonable water allocation scheme. In this sense, we focused on reviewing the state of knowledge, institutions, and successful practices to cope with water scarcity at a regional extent. Possible solutions for dealing with water scarcity are explored and presented from three perspectives: (1) scientific researches needed by scientists, (2) management and institution formulation needed by governments, and (3) water resource optimal allocation by the manager at all administrative levels. Xiangzheng Deng and Chunhong Zhao Copyright © 2015 Xiangzheng Deng and Chunhong Zhao. All rights reserved. Influence of Land Use Patterns on Evapotranspiration and Its Components in a Temperate Grassland Ecosystem Sun, 07 Jun 2015 07:52:13 +0000 To better understand variation in response of components of ecosystem evapotranspiration (ET) to grassland use differences, we selected three typical land use patterns in a temperate steppe area: grazed steppe (G), steppe with grazers excluded (GE), and steppe cultivated to cropland (C). ET was divided into its components evaporation (E) and canopy transpiration (T) using herbicide and a chamber attached to a portable infrared gas analyzer (Li-6400). The results indicated that daily water consumption by ET in G was 3.30 kg m−2 d−1; compared with G, ET increased significantly in GE at 13.4% and showed a trend of 6.73% increase in C. Daily water consumption by E increased 24.3% in GE relative to G, and C showed 20.2% more than GE. At 0.46, E/ET in C was significantly higher than G at 0.35. Air temperature and the vapor pressure deficit were closely correlated with variation in diurnal ET, E, and T. The leaf area index (LAI) was also positively correlated with daily ET and E varied among grassland use patterns and explained variation in E/ET (81%). Thus, variation in LAI strongly influences the overall magnitude of ecosystem ET and the composition of its components under different grassland use patterns. Yuzhe Li, Jiangwen Fan, Zhongmin Hu, Quanqin Shao, Liangxia Zhang, and Hailing Yu Copyright © 2015 Yuzhe Li et al. All rights reserved. Downscaling MODIS Surface Reflectance to Improve Water Body Extraction Sun, 07 Jun 2015 07:24:09 +0000 Inland surface water is essential to terrestrial ecosystems and human civilization. Accurate mapping of surface water dynamic is vital for both scientific research and policy-driven applications. MODIS provides twice observation per day, making it perfect for monitoring temporal water dynamic. Although MODIS provides two bands at 250 m resolution, accurately deriving water area always depends on observations from the spectral bands with 500 m resolution, which limits its discrimination ability over small lakes and rivers. The paper presents an automated method for downscaling the 500 m MODIS surface reflectance (SR) to 250 m to improve the spatial discrimination of water body extraction. The method has been tested at Co Ngoin and Co Bangkog in Qinghai-Tibet plateau. The downscaled SR and the derived water bodies were compared to SR and water body mapped from Landsat-7 ETM+ images were acquired on the same date. Consistency metrics were calculated to measure their agreement and disagreement. The comparisons indicated that the downscaled MODIS SR showed significant improvement over the original 500 m observations when compared with Landsat-7 ETM+ SR, and both commission and omission errors were reduced in the derived 250 m water bodies. Xianghong Che, Min Feng, Hao Jiang, Jia Song, and Bei Jia Copyright © 2015 Xianghong Che et al. All rights reserved. Analysis of Climate and Land Use Changes Impacts on Land Degradation in the North China Plain Sun, 07 Jun 2015 07:21:55 +0000 Land degradation is a complex process which involves both the natural ecosystem and the socioeconomic system, among which climate and land use changes are the two predominant driving factors. To comprehensively and quantitatively analyze the land degradation process, this paper employed the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as a proxy to assess land degradation and further applied the binary panel logit regression model to analyze the impacts of the driving factors on land degradation in the North China Plain. The results revealed that an increase in rainfall and temperature would significantly and positively contribute to the land improvement, and conversion from cultivated land to grassland and forest land showed positive relationship with land improvement, while conversion to built-up area will lead to land degradation. Besides, human agricultural intensification represented by fertilizer utilization will help to improve the land quality. The economic development may exert positive impacts on land quality to alleviate land degradation, although the rural economic development and agricultural production will exert negative impacts on the land and lead to land degradation. Infrastructure construction would modify the land surface and further resulted in land degradation. The findings of the research will provide scientific information for sustainable land management. Zhihui Li, Xiangzheng Deng, Fang Yin, and Cuiyuan Yang Copyright © 2015 Zhihui Li et al. All rights reserved. The Effect of Land-Use Intensity on Surface Temperature in the Dongting Lake Area, China Sun, 07 Jun 2015 07:21:35 +0000 Land use and its environmental effects can be quantitatively expressed with land-use intensity. In this study, a land-use intensity metric was improved using a geographic mapping method. The relationships between observed rapid changes in land use and temperature in the Dongting Lake area from 2001 to 2010 were examined. The results revealed the following features: (1) The temperature increased when the land-use intensity increased via a hierarchical transition owing to grass and forest land reductions of 26.25% and 11.74%, respectively; built-up land increased by 48.45%. (2) The temperature increase was driven more by the external environment than by land-use intensity changes. Human activities produced larger effects in the western region than in the eastern or central region of the study area, according to the observed variations in the centres of gravity for temperature and land-use intensity. (3) The temperature response to land-use intensity changes was more sensitive in low-altitude areas than in high-altitude areas; the response presented a north-south gradient, possibly due to socioeconomic and urbanisation differences. Wenmin Hu, Weijun Zhou, and Hongshi He Copyright © 2015 Wenmin Hu et al. All rights reserved.