Morphology of the tropopause layer and lower stratosphere above a tropical cyclone : a case study on cyclone Davina (1999)
Robert A. MacKenzie
Guido Di Donfrancesco
- During the APE-THESEO mission in the Indian Ocean the Myasishchev Design Bureau stratospheric research aircraft M55 Geophysica performed a flight over and within the inner core region of tropical cyclone Davina. Measurements of total water, water vapour, temperature, aerosol backscattering, ozone and tracers were made and are discussed here in comparison with the averages of those quantities acquired during the campaign time frame. Temperature anomalies in the tropical tropopause layer (TTL), warmer than average in the lower part and colder than average in the upper TTL were observed. Ozone was strongly reduced compared to its average value, and thick cirrus decks were present up to the cold point, sometimes topped by a layer of very dry air. Evidence for meridional transport of trace gases in the stratosphere above the cyclone was observed and perturbed water distribution in the TTL was documented. The paper discuss possible processes of dehydration induced by the cirrus forming above the cyclone, and change in the chemical tracer and water distribution in the lower stratosphere 400–430 K due to meridional transport from the mid-latitudes and link with Davina. Moreover it compares the data prior and after the cyclone passage to discuss its actual impact on the atmospheric chemistry and thermodynamics.
A probabilistic view on the August 2005 floods in the upper Rhine catchment
- Appropriate precautions in the case of flood occurrence often require long lead times (several days) in hydrological forecasting. This in turn implies large uncertainties that are mainly inherited from the meteorological precipitation forecast. Here we present a case study of the extreme flood event of August 2005 in the Swiss part of the Rhine catchment (total area 34 550 km2). This event caused tremendous damage and was associated with precipitation amounts and flood peaks with return periods beyond 10 to 100 years. To deal with the underlying intrinsic predictability limitations, a probabilistic forecasting system is tested, which is based on a hydrological-meteorological ensemble prediction system. The meteorological component of the system is the operational limited-area COSMO-LEPS that downscales the ECMWF ensemble prediction system to a horizontal resolution of 10 km, while the hydrological component is based on the semi-distributed hydrological model PREVAH with a spatial resolution of 500 m. We document the setup of the coupled system and assess its performance for the flood event under consideration. We show that the probabilistic meteorological-hydrological ensemble prediction chain is quite effective and provides additional guidance for extreme event forecasting, in comparison to a purely deterministic forecasting system. For the case studied, it is also shown that most of the benefits of the probabilistic approach may be realized with a comparatively small ensemble size of 10 members.
Spatially explicit groundwater vulnerability assessment to support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive – a practical approach with stakeholders
- The main objective of the study presented in this paper was to develop an evaluation scheme which is suitable for spatially explicit groundwater vulnerability assessment according to the Water Framework Directive (WFD). Study area was the Hase river catchment, an area of about 3 000 km2 in north-west Germany which is dominated by livestock farming, in particular pig and poultry production. For the Hase river catchment, the first inventory of the WFD led to the conclusion that 98% of the catchment area is "unclear/unlikely" to reach a good groundwater status due to diffuse nitrogen emissions from agriculture. The groundwater vulnerability assessment was embedded in the PartizipA project ("Participative modelling, Actor and Ecosystem Analysis in Regions with Intensive Agriculture", www.partizipa.net), within which a so-called actors´ platform was established in the study area. The objective of the participatory process was to investigate the effects of the WFD on agriculture as well as to discuss groundwater protection measures which are suitable for an integration in the programme of measures. The study was conducted according to the vulnerability assessment concept of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, considering sensitivity, exposure and adaptive capacity. Sensitivity was computed using the DRASTIC index of natural groundwater pollution potential. Exposure (for a reference scenario) was computed using the STOFFBILANZ nutrient model. Several regional studies were analysed to evaluate the adaptive capacity. From these studies it was concluded that the adaptive capacity in the Hase river catchment is very low due to the economic importance of the agricultural sector which will be significantly affected by groundwater protection measures. As a consequence, the adaptive capacity was not considered any more in the vulnerability assessment. A groundwater vulnerability evaluation scheme is presented which enjoys the advantage that both exposure and sensitivity can be operationalized in a spatially resolved manner (500×500 m grid) by the two models mentioned above. The evaluation scheme was applied in the Hase river catchment. 21% of the catchment was classified as highly vulnerable, another 73% as medium vulnerable. Only 6% of the Hase river catchment has low vulnerability. Grid cells of the high vulnerability class are considered as priority areas for groundwater protection measures in the programme of measures of the WFD. Measures will be particularly effective in the north-eastern part of the catchment where groundwater vulnerability is mainly due to high nitrogen emissions.
Quantification of transport across the boundary of the lower stratospheric vortex during Arctic winter 2002/2003
Marc von Hobe
- Strong perturbations of the Arctic stratosphere during the winter 2002/2003 by planetary waves led to enhanced stretching and folding of the vortex. On two occasions the vortex in the lower stratosphere split into two secondary vortices that re-merged after some days. As a result of these strong disturbances the role of transport in and out of the vortex was stronger than usual. An advection and mixing simulation with the Chemical Lagrangian Model of the Stratosphere (CLaMS) utilising a suite of inert tracers tagging the original position of the air masses has been carried out. The results show a variety of synoptic and small scale features in the vicinity of the vortex boundary, especially long filaments peeling off the vortex edge and being slowly mixed into the mid latitude environment. The vortex folding events, followed by re-merging of different parts of the vortex led to strong filamentation of the vortex interior. During January, February, and March 2003 flights of the Russian high-altitude aircraft Geophysica were performed in order to probe the vortex, filaments and in one case the merging zone between the secondary vortices. Comparisons between CLaMS results and observations obtained from the Geophysica flights show in general good agreement. Several areas affected by both transport and strong mixing could be identified, allowing explanation of many of the structures observed during the flights. Furthermore, the CLaMS simulations allow for a quantification of the air mass exchange between mid latitudes and the vortex interior. The simulation suggests that after the formation of the vortex was completed, its interior remaind relatively undisturbed. Only during the two re-merging events were substantial amounts of extra-vortex air transported into the polar vortex. When in March the vortex starts weakening additional influence from lower latitudes becomes apparent in the model results. In the lower stratosphere export of vortex air leads only to a fraction of about 5% polar air in mid latitudes by the end of March. An upper limit for the contribution of ozone depleted vortex air on mid-latitude ozone loss is derived, indicating that the maximum final impact of dilution is on the order of 50%.
Envisat MIPAS measurements of CFC-11 : retrieval, validation, and climatology
John J. Remedios
David P. Moore
Thomas von Clarmann
- From July 2002 to March 2004 the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) aboard the European Space Agency´s Environmental Satellite (Envisat) measured nearly continuously mid infrared limb radiance spectra. These measurements are utilised to retrieve the global distribution of the chlorofluorocarbon CFC-11 by applying a new fast forward model for Envisat MIPAS and an accompanying optimal estimation retrieval processor. A detailed analysis shows that the total retrieval errors of the individual CFC-11 volume mixing ratios are typically below 10% in the altitude range 10 to 25 km and that the systematic components dominate. Contribution of a priori information to the retrieval results are less than 5 to 10% and the vertical resolution of the observations is about 3 to 4 km in the same vertical range. The data are successfully validated by comparison with several other space experiments, an air-borne in-situ instrument, measurements from ground-based networks, and independent Envisat MIPAS analyses. The retrieval results from 425 000 Envisat MIPAS limb scans are compiled to provide a new climatological data set of CFC-11. The climatology shows significantly lower CFC-11 abundances in the lower stratosphere compared with the Reference Atmospheres for MIPAS (RAMstan V3.1) climatology. Depending on the atmospheric conditions the differences between the climatologies are up to 30 to 110 ppt (45 to 150%) at 19 to 27 km altitude. Additionally, time series of CFC-11 mean abundance and variability for five latitudinal bands are presented. The observed CFC-11 distributions can be explained by the residual mean circulation and large-scale eddy-transports in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. The new CFC-11 data set is well suited for further scientific studies.
Global distribution of mean age of stratospheric air from MIPAS SF6 measurements
G. P. Stiller
Thomas von Clarmann
- Global distributions of profiles of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) have been retrieved from limb emission spectra recorded by the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) on Envisat covering the period September 2002 to March 2004. Individual SF6 profiles have a precision of 0.5 pptv below 25 km altitude and a vertical resolution of 4–6 km up to 35 km altitude. These data have been validated versus in situ observations obtained during balloon flights of a cryogenic whole-air sampler. For the tropical troposphere a trend of 0.230±0.008 pptv/yr has been derived from the MIPAS data, which is in excellent agreement with the trend from ground-based flask and in situ measurements from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Earth System Research Laboratory, Global Monitoring Division. For the data set currently available, based on at least three days of data per month, monthly 5° latitude mean values have a 1 o standard error of 1%. From the global SF6 distributions, global daily and monthly distributions of the apparent mean age of air are inferred by application of the tropical tropospheric trend derived from MIPAS data. The inferred mean ages are provided for the full globe up to 90° N/S, and have a 1 o standard error of 0.25 yr. They range between 0 (near the tropical tropopause) and 7 years (except for situations of mesospheric intrusions) and agree well with earlier observations. The seasonal variation of the mean age of stratospheric air indicates episodes of severe intrusion of mesospheric air during each Northern and Southern polar winter observed, long-lasting remnants of old, subsided polar winter air over the spring and summer poles, and a rather short period of mixing with midlatitude air and/or upward transport during fall in October/November (NH) and April/May (SH), respectively, with small latitudinal gradients, immediately before the new polar vortex starts to form. The mean age distributions further confirm that SF6 is destroyed in the mesosphere to a considerable degree. Model calculations with the Karlsruhe simulation model of the middle atmosphere (KASIMA) chemical transport model agree well with observed global distributions of the mean age only if the SF6 sink reactions in the mesosphere are included in the model.
Applicability of condensation particle counters to measure atmospheric clusters
Colin D. O'Dowd
- This study presents an evaluation of a pulse height condensation particle counter (PH-CPC) and an expansion condensation particle counter (E-CPC) in terms of measuring ambient and laboratory-generated molecular and ion clusters. Ambient molecular cluster concentrations were measured with both instruments as they were deployed in conjunction with an ion spectrometer and other aerosol instruments in Hyytiälä, Finland at the SMEAR II station between 1 March and 30 June 2007. The observed cluster concentrations varied and ranged from some thousands to 100 000 cm -3. Both instruments showed similar (within a factor of ~5) concentrations. An average size of the detected clusters was approximately 1.8 nm. As the atmospheric measurement of sub 2-nm particles and molecular clusters is a challenging task, we conclude that most likely we were unable to detect the smallest clusters. Nevertheless, the reported concentrations are the best estimates to date for minimum cluster concentrations in a boreal forest environment.
First atmospheric observations of three chlorofluorocarbons
Johannes Christian Laube
- We report the first atmospheric observations of the Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) trifluorochloroethene, 3-chloropentafluoropropene and 4,4-dichlorohexafluoro-1-butene by means of Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture and Mass Spectrometric detection (GC-ECD-MS) in air samples taken at the Taunus Observatory operated by the University of Frankfurt (Main) and the Jungfraujoch High Altitude Research Station in Switzerland. These substances belong to a class of CFCs containing a double bond and are suspected to originate from the production and thermal degradation of widely used fluoropolymers like polychlorotrifluoroethene (PCTFE). Their atmospheric lifetimes are expected to be rather short. A quantitative calibration could only be derived for trifluorochloroethene but not for the other species by now. Thus, we use a relative sensitivity method to get a first indication of the observed atmospheric abundances. Identification was possible because of an air plume containing high concentrations of these substances. We suggest that the abundances found on this occasion originated from a local source. However, we have also observed the novel CFCs in air masses representative of background conditions, though with much lower concentrations. These species and some of their degradation products are toxic and could also be relevant for stratospheric and tropospheric ozone depletion.
Assessment of ecologically relevant hydrological change in China due to water use and reservoirs
- As China’s economy booms, increasing water use has significantly affected hydro-geomorphic processes and thus the ecology of surface waters. A large variety of hydrological changes arising from human activities such as reservoir construction and management, water abstraction, water diversion and agricultural land expansion have been sustained throughout China. Using the global scale hydrological and water use model WaterGAP, natural and anthropogenically altered flow conditions are calculated, taking into account flow alterations due to human water consumption and 580 large reservoirs. The impacts resulting from water consumption and reservoirs have been analyzed separately. A modified “Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration” approach is used to describe the human pressures on aquatic ecosystems due to anthropogenic alterations in river flow regimes. The changes in long-term average river discharge, average monthly mean discharge and coefficients of variation of monthly river discharges under natural and impacted conditions are compared and analyzed. The indicators show very significant alterations of natural river flow regimes in a large part of northern China and only minor alterations in most of southern China. The detected large alterations in long-term average river discharge, the seasonality of flows and the inter-annual variability in the northern half of China are very likely to have caused significant ecological impacts.
p160/SRC/NCoA coactivators form complexes via specific interaction of their PAS-B domain with the CID/AD1 domain
- Transcriptional activation involves the ordered recruitment of coactivators via direct interactions between distinct binding domains and recognition motifs. The p160/SRC/NCoA coactivator family comprises three members (NCoA-1, -2 and -3), which are organized in multiprotein coactivator complexes. We had identified the PAS-B domain of NCoA-1 as an LXXLL motif binding domain. Here we show that NCoA family members are able to interact with other full-length NCoA proteins via their PAS-B domain and they specifically interact with the CBP-interaction domain (CID/AD1) of NCoA-1. Peptide competition, binding experiments and mutagenesis of LXXLL motifs point at distinct binding motif specificities of the NCoA PAS-B domains. NMR studies of different NCoA-1-PAS-B/LXXLL peptide complexes revealed similar although not identical binding sites for the CID/AD1 and STAT6 transactivation domain LXXLL motifs. In mechanistic studies, we found that overexpression of the PAS-B domain is able to disturb the binding of NCoA-1 to CBP in cells and that a CID/AD1 peptide competes with STAT6 for NCoA-1 in vitro. Moreover, the expression of an endogenous androgen receptor target gene is affected by the overexpression of the NCoA-1 or NCoA-3 PAS-B domains. Our study discloses a new, complementary mechanism for the current model of coactivator recruitment to target gene promoters.