Year of publication
- Cognitive behavioural therapy versus supportive therapy for persistent positive symptoms in psychotic disorders: the POSITIVE Study, a multicenter, prospective, single-blind, randomised controlled clinical trial (2010)
- Background: It has been demonstrated that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) has a moderate effect on symptom reduction and on general well being of patients suffering from psychosis. However, questions regarding the specific efficacy of CBT, the treatment safety, the cost-effectiveness, and the moderators and mediators of treatment effects are still a major issue. The major objective of this trial is to investigate whether CBT is specifically efficacious in reducing positive symptoms when compared with non-specific supportive therapy (ST) which does not implement CBT-techniques but provides comparable therapeutic attention. Methods: The POSITIVE study is a multicenter, prospective, single-blind, parallel group, randomised clinical trial, comparing CBT and ST with respect to the efficacy in reducing positive symptoms in psychotic disorders. CBT as well as ST consist of 20 sessions altogether, 165 participants receiving CBT and 165 participants receiving ST. Major methodological aspects of the study are systematic recruitment, explicit inclusion criteria, reliability checks of assessments with control for rater shift, analysis by intention to treat, data management using remote data entry, measures of quality assurance (e.g. on-site monitoring with source data verification, regular query process), advanced statistical analysis, manualized treatment, checks of adherence and competence of therapists. Research relating the psychotherapy process with outcome, neurobiological research addressing basic questions of delusion formation using fMRI and neuropsychological assessment and treatment research investigating adaptations of CBT for adolescents is combined in this network. Problems of transfer into routine clinical care will be identified and addressed by a project focusing on cost efficiency. Discussion: This clinical trial is part of efforts to intensify psychotherapy research in the field of psychosis in Germany, to contribute to the international discussion on psychotherapy in psychotic disorders, and to help implement psychotherapy in routine care. Furthermore, the study will allow drawing conclusions about the mediators of treatment effects of CBT of psychotic disorders. Trial Registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN29242879
- Reconciliation of essential process parameters for an enhanced predictability of Arctic stratospheric ozone loss and its climate interactions (2012)
- Significant reductions in stratospheric ozone occur inside the polar vortices each spring when chlorine radicals produced by heterogeneous reactions on cold particle surfaces in winter destroy ozone mainly in two catalytic cycles, the ClO dimer cycle and the ClO/BrO cycle. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are responsible for most of the chlorine currently present in the stratosphere, have been banned by the Montreal Protocol and its amendments, and the ozone layer is predicted to recover to 1980 levels within the next few decades. During the same period, however, climate change is expected to alter the temperature, circulation patterns and chemical composition in the stratosphere, and possible geo-engineering ventures to mitigate climate change may lead to additional changes. To realistically predict the response of the ozone layer to such influences requires the correct representation of all relevant processes. The European project RECONCILE has comprehensively addressed remaining questions in the context of polar ozone depletion, with the objective to quantify the rates of some of the most relevant, yet still uncertain physical and chemical processes. To this end RECONCILE used a broad approach of laboratory experiments, two field missions in the Arctic winter 2009/10 employing the high altitude research aircraft M55-Geophysica and an extensive match ozone sonde campaign, as well as microphysical and chemical transport modelling and data assimilation. Some of the main outcomes of RECONCILE are as follows: (1) vortex meteorology: the 2009/10 Arctic winter was unusually cold at stratospheric levels during the six-week period from mid-December 2009 until the end of January 2010, with reduced transport and mixing across the polar vortex edge; polar vortex stability and how it is influenced by dynamic processes in the troposphere has led to unprecedented, synoptic-scale stratospheric regions with temperatures below the frost point; in these regions stratospheric ice clouds have been observed, extending over >106km2 during more than 3 weeks. (2) Particle microphysics: heterogeneous nucleation of nitric acid trihydrate (NAT) particles in the absence of ice has been unambiguously demonstrated; conversely, the synoptic scale ice clouds also appear to nucleate heterogeneously; a variety of possible heterogeneous nuclei has been characterised by chemical analysis of the non-volatile fraction of the background aerosol; substantial formation of solid particles and denitrification via their sedimentation has been observed and model parameterizations have been improved. (3) Chemistry: strong evidence has been found for significant chlorine activation not only on polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) but also on cold binary aerosol; laboratory experiments and field data on the ClOOCl photolysis rate and other kinetic parameters have been shown to be consistent with an adequate degree of certainty; no evidence has been found that would support the existence of yet unknown chemical mechanisms making a significant contribution to polar ozone loss. (4) Global modelling: results from process studies have been implemented in a prognostic chemistry climate model (CCM); simulations with improved parameterisations of processes relevant for polar ozone depletion are evaluated against satellite data and other long term records using data assimilation and detrended fluctuation analysis. Finally, measurements and process studies within RECONCILE were also applied to the winter 2010/11, when special meteorological conditions led to the highest chemical ozone loss ever observed in the Arctic. In addition to quantifying the 2010/11 ozone loss and to understand its causes including possible connections to climate change, its impacts were addressed, such as changes in surface ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the densely populated northern mid-latitudes.
- Reconciliation of essential process parameters for an enhanced predictability of Arctic stratospheric ozone loss and its climate interactions : (RECONCILE) ; activities and results (2013)
- The international research project RECONCILE has addressed central questions regarding polar ozone depletion, with the objective to quantify some of the most relevant yet still uncertain physical and chemical processes and thereby improve prognostic modelling capabilities to realistically predict the response of the ozone layer to climate change. This overview paper outlines the scope and the general approach of RECONCILE, and it provides a summary of observations and modelling in 2010 and 2011 that have generated an in many respects unprecedented dataset to study processes in the Arctic winter stratosphere. Principally, it summarises important outcomes of RECONCILE including (i) better constraints and enhanced consistency on the set of parameters governing catalytic ozone destruction cycles, (ii) a better understanding of the role of cold binary aerosols in heterogeneous chlorine activation, (iii) an improved scheme of polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) processes that includes heterogeneous nucleation of nitric acid trihydrate (NAT) and ice on non-volatile background aerosol leading to better model parameterisations with respect to denitrification, and (iv) long transient simulations with a chemistry-climate model (CCM) updated based on the results of RECONCILE that better reproduce past ozone trends in Antarctica and are deemed to produce more reliable predictions of future ozone trends. The process studies and the global simulations conducted in RECONCILE show that in the Arctic, ozone depletion uncertainties in the chemical and microphysical processes are now clearly smaller than the sensitivity to dynamic variability.
- Critical assessment of meteorological conditions and airflow connectivity during HCCT-2010 (2014)
- This study presents a comprehensive and critical assessment of the meteorological conditions and atmospheric flow during the Lagrangian-type "Hill Cap Cloud Thuringia 2010" experiment (HCCT-2010). HCCT-2010 was performed in September and October 2010 at Mt. Schmücke in the Thuringian forest, Germany, applying three measurements sites (upwind, in-cloud, downwind) to study physical and chemical aerosol-cloud-interactions. A Lagrangian-type hill cap cloud experiment requires suitable cloud and particularly connected airflow conditions, i.e. representative air masses at the different measurement sites. Therefore, the present study aimed at the identification of time periods during the 6-weeks duration of the campaign, where such conditions were fulfilled and which can be used in further data examinations. The following topics were studied in detail: (i) the general synoptic weather situations including the mesoscale flow conditions by means of a classification of advected air masses and calculation of non-dimensional flow parameters (e.g. Froude number), (ii) local meteorological conditions, including synoptic front passages, the presence of orographic or frontal cloudiness, cloud base heights and vertical stratification, and (iii) local flow conditions by means of statistical analyses using the quasi-inert trace gas ozone and selected size bins of particle number size distributions as well as SF6 tracer experiments in the campaign area. A comprehensive analyses using statistical measures such as the COD (Coefficient Of Divergence) and cross-correlation have been carried out for the first time in the context of a Lagrangian-type hill cap cloud experiment. Suitable criteria for the aimed statistical analyses were thus developed and applied in the present study to characterise the local flow connectivity in detail. The comprehensive examination resulted in a total of 14 so-called "Full Cloud Events" (FCE), which are shown to conform to the Lagrange-type experimental philosophy of HCCT-2010. In addition, 15 so-called "Non-Cloud Events" (NCEs) could be established, which can be used as reference cases as they provide similarly suitable flow conditions but no cloud at the summit site. Orographic cloudiness was identified for approx. one third of the FCE periods, while about two thirds were associated to synoptic fronts. The statistical flow analyses indicate the existence of a strong link between the sites during the events, particularly under constant south-westerly flow conditions, high wind speeds and slightly stable stratification. The COD analyses using continuously measured concentrations of ozone and the 49 nm diameter particle bin revealed particularly for COD values below 0.1 very consistent time series, i.e. closely linked air masses between the different sites. The cross-correlation analysis revealed under connected flow conditions typical overflow times of about 15 to 30 min between the two valley sites. Additionally, the performed SF6 tracer experiments during the campaign clearly demonstrate that under appropriate meteorological conditions a Lagrangian-type approach is valid and that the connected flow validation procedure developed in this work is suitable for identifying such conditions. Finally, an overall evaluation of the identified FCEs is presented, which provides the basis for subsequent investigations of the measured chemical and physical data during HCCT-2010.
- Ozone loss derived from balloon-borne tracer measurements in the 1999/2000 Arctic winter (2005)
- Balloon-borne measurements of CFC11 (from the DIRAC in situ gas chromatograph and the DESCARTES grab sampler), ClO and O3 were made during the 1999/2000 Arctic winter as part of the SOLVE-THESEO 2000 campaign, based in Kiruna (Sweden). Here we present the CFC11 data from nine flights and compare them first with data from other instruments which flew during the campaign and then with the vertical distributions calculated by the SLIMCAT 3D CTM. We calculate ozone loss inside the Arctic vortex between late January and early March using the relation between CFC11 and O3 measured on the flights. The peak ozone loss (~1200ppbv) occurs in the 440-470K region in early March in reasonable agreement with other published empirical estimates. There is also a good agreement between ozone losses derived from three balloon tracer data sets used here. The magnitude and vertical distribution of the loss derived from the measurements is in good agreement with the loss calculated from SLIMCAT over Kiruna for the same days.
- Heavy hydrogen in the stratosphere (2003)
- We report measurements of the deuterium content of molecular hydrogen (H2) obtained from a suite of air samples that were collected during a stratospheric balloon flight between 12 and 33 km at 40º N in October 2002. Strong deuterium enrichments of up to 400 permil versus Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water (VSMOW) are observed, while the H2 mixing ratio remains virtually constant. Thus, as hydrogen is processed through the H2 reservoir in the stratosphere, deuterium is accumulated in H2 . Using box model calculations we investigated the effects of H2 sources and sinks on the stratospheric enrichments. Results show that considerable isotope enrichments in the production of H2 from CH4 must take place, i.e., deuterium is transferred preferentially to H2 during the CH4 oxidation sequence. This supports recent conclusions from tropospheric H2 isotope measurements which show that H2 produced photochemically from CH4 and non-methane hydrocarbons must be enriched in deuterium to balance the tropospheric hydrogen isotope budget. In the absence of further data on isotope fractionations in the individual reaction steps of the CH4 oxidation sequence, this effect cannot be investigated further at present. Our measurements imply that molecular hydrogen has to be taken into account when the hydrogen isotope budget in the stratosphere is investigated.
- Probing stratospheric transport and chemistry with new balloon and aircraft observations of the meridional and vertical N2O isotope distribution (2006)
- A comprehensive set of stratospheric balloon and aircraft samples was analyzed for the position-dependent isotopic composition of nitrous oxide (N2O). Results for a total of 220 samples from between 1987 and 2003 are presented, nearly tripling the number of mass-spectrometric N2O isotope measurements in the stratosphere published to date. Cryogenic balloon samples were obtained at polar (Kiruna/Sweden, 68° N), mid-latitude (southern France, 44° N) and tropical sites (Hyderabad/India, 18° N). Aircraft samples were collected with a newly-developed whole air sampler on board of the high-altitude aircraft M55 Geophysica during the EUPLEX 2003 campaign. For mixing ratios above 200 nmol mol−1, relative isotope enrichments (δ values) and mixing ratios display a compact relationship, which is nearly independent of latitude and season and which can be explained equally well by Rayleigh fractionation or mixing. However, for mixing ratios below 200 nmol mol−1 this compact relationship gives way to meridional, seasonal and interannual variations. A comparison to a previously published mid-latitude balloon profile even shows large zonal variations, justifying the use of three-dimensional (3-D) models for further data interpretation. In general, the magnitude of the apparent fractionation constants (i.e., apparent isotope effects) increases continuously with altitude and decreases from the equator to the North Pole. Only the latter observation can be understood qualitatively by the interplay between the time-scales of N2O photochemistry and transport in a Rayleigh fractionation framework. Deviations from Rayleigh fractionation behavior also occur where polar vortex air mixes with nearly N2O-free upper stratospheric/mesospheric air (e.g., during the boreal winters of 2003 and possibly 1992). Aircraft observations in the polar vortex at mixing ratios below 200 nmol mol−1 deviate from isotope variations expected for both Rayleigh fractionation and two-end-member mixing, but could be explained by continuous weak mixing between intravortex and extravortex air (Plumb et al., 2000). However, it appears that none of the simple approaches described here can capture all features of the stratospheric N2O isotope distribution, again justifying the use of 3-D models. Finally, correlations between 18O/16O and average 15N/14N isotope ratios or between the position-dependent 15N/14N isotope ratios show that photo-oxidation makes a large contribution to the total N2O sink in the lower stratosphere (possibly up to 100% for N2O mixing ratios above 300 nmol mol−1). Towards higher altitudes, the temperature dependence of these isotope correlations becomes visible in the stratospheric observations.
- Balloon-borne stratospheric BrO measurements: comparison with Envisat/SCIAMACHY BrO limb profiles (2006)
- For the first time, results of all four existing stratospheric BrO profiling instruments, are presented and compared with reference to the SLIMCAT 3-dimensional chemical transport model (3-D CTM). Model calculations are used to infer a BrO profile validation set, measured by 3 different balloon sensors, for the new Envisat/SCIAMACHY (ENVIronment SATellite/SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY) satellite instrument. The balloon observations include (a) balloon-borne in situ resonance fluorescence detection of BrO, (b) balloon-borne solar occultation DOAS measurements (Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy) of BrO in the UV, and (c) BrO profiling from the solar occultation SAOZ (Systeme d'Analyse par Observation Zenithale) balloon instrument. Since stratospheric BrO is subject to considerable diurnal variation and none of the measurements are performed close enough in time and space for a direct comparison, all balloon observations are considered with reference to outputs from the 3-D CTM. The referencing is performed by forward and backward air mass trajectory calculations to match the balloon with the satellite observations. The diurnal variation of BrO is considered by 1-D photochemical model calculation along the trajectories. The 1-D photochemical model is initialised with output data of the 3-D model with additional constraints on the vertical transport, the total amount and photochemistry of stratospheric bromine as given by the various balloon observations. Total [Bry]=(20.1±2.8)pptv obtained from DOAS BrO observations at mid-latitudes in 2003, serves as an upper limit of the comparison. Most of the balloon observations agree with the photochemical model predictions within their given error estimates. First retrieval exercises of BrO limb profiling from the SCIAMACHY satellite instrument agree to <±50% with the photochemically-corrected balloon observations, and tend to show less agreement below 20 km.
- Highly resolved observations of trace gases in the lowermost stratosphere and upper troposphere from the Spurt project: an overview (2006)
- During SPURT (Spurenstofftransport in der Tropopausenregion, trace gas transport in the tropopause region) we performed measurements of a wide range of trace gases with different lifetimes and sink/source characteristics in the northern hemispheric upper troposphere (UT) and lowermost stratosphere (LMS). A large number of in-situ instruments were deployed on board a Learjet 35A, flying at altitudes up to 13.7 km, at times reaching to nearly 380 K potential temperature. Eight measurement campaigns (consisting of a total of 36 flights), distributed over all seasons and typically covering latitudes between 35° N and 75° N in the European longitude sector (10° W–20° E), were performed. Here we present an overview of the project, describing the instrumentation, the encountered meteorological situations during the campaigns and the data set available from SPURT. Measurements were obtained for N2O, CH4, CO, CO2, CFC12, H2, SF6, NO, NOy, O3 and H2O. We illustrate the strength of this new data set by showing mean distributions of the mixing ratios of selected trace gases, using a potential temperature – equivalent latitude coordinate system. The observations reveal that the LMS is most stratospheric in character during spring, with the highest mixing ratios of O3 and NOy and the lowest mixing ratios of N2O and SF6. The lowest mixing ratios of NOy and O3 are observed during autumn, together with the highest mixing ratios of N2O and SF6 indicating a strong tropospheric influence. For H2O, however, the maximum concentrations in the LMS are found during summer, suggesting unique (temperature- and convection-controlled) conditions for this molecule during transport across the tropopause. The SPURT data set is presently the most accurate and complete data set for many trace species in the LMS, and its main value is the simultaneous measurement of a suite of trace gases having different lifetimes and physical-chemical histories. It is thus very well suited for studies of atmospheric transport, for model validation, and for investigations of seasonal changes in the UT/LMS, as demonstrated in accompanying and elsewhere published studies.