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  • Authors: Paine, C.E. Thimothy; Amissah, Lucy; Auge, Harald; Baraloto, Christopher; +31 Authors

    1. Plant functional traits, in particular specific leaf area (SLA), wood density and seed mass, are often good predictors of individual tree growth rates within communities. Individuals and species with high SLA, low wood density and small seeds tend to have faster growth rates. 2. If community-level relationships between traits and growth have general predictive value, then similar relationships should also be observed in analyses that integrate across taxa, biogeographic regions and environments. Such global consistency would imply that traits could serve as valuable proxies for the complex suite of factors that determine growth rate, and, therefore, could underpin a new generation of robust dynamic vegetation models. Alternatively, growth rates may depend more strongly on the local environment or growth–trait relationships may vary along environmental gradients. 3. We tested these alternative hypotheses using data on 27 352 juvenile trees, representing 278 species from 27 sites on all forested continents, and extensive functional trait data, 38% of which were obtained at the same sites at which growth was assessed. Data on potential evapotranspiration (PET), which summarizes the joint ecological effects of temperature and precipitation, were obtained from a global data base. 4. We estimated size-standardized relative height growth rates (SGR) for all species, then related them to functional traits and PET using mixed-effect models for the fastest growing species and for all species together. 5. Both the mean and 95th percentile SGR were more strongly associated with functional traits than with PET. PET was unrelated to SGR at the global scale. SGR increased with increasing SLA and decreased with increasing wood density and seed mass, but these traits explained only 3.1% of the variation in SGR. SGR–trait relationships were consistently weak across families and biogeographic zones, and over a range of tree statures. Thus, the most widely studied functional traits in plant ecology were poor predictors of tree growth over large scales. 6. Synthesis. We conclude that these functional traits alone may be unsuitable for predicting growth of trees over broad scales. Determining the functional traits that predict vital rates under specific environmental conditions may generate more insight than a monolithic global relationship can offer.

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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Leino, Katri; Lampilahti, Janne; Poutanen, Pyry; Väänänen, Riikka; +19 Authors

    This work presents airborne observations of sub-3 nm particles in the lower troposphere and investigates new particle formation (NPF) within an evolving boundary layer (BL). We studied particle concentrations together with supporting gas and meteorological data inside the planetary BL over a boreal forest site in Hyytiälä, southern Finland. The analysed data were collected during three flight measurement campaigns: May–June 2015, August 2015 and April–May 2017, including 27 morning and 26 afternoon vertical profiles. As a platform for the instrumentation, we used a Cessna 172 aircraft. The analysed flight data were collected horizontally within a 30 km distance from SMEAR II in Hyytiälä and vertically from 100 m above ground level up to 2700 m. The number concentration of 1.5–3 nm particles was observed to be, on average, the highest near the forest canopy top and to decrease with increasing altitude during the mornings of NPF event days. This indicates that the precursor vapours emitted by the forest play a key role in NPF in Hyytiälä. During daytime, newly formed particles were observed to grow in size and the particle population became more homogenous within the well-mixed BL in the afternoon. During undefined days with respect to NPF, we also detected an increase in concentration of 1.5–3 nm particles in the morning but not their growth in size, which indicates an interrupted NPF process during these undefined days. Vertical mixing was typically stronger during the NPF event days than during the undefined or non-event days. The results shed light on the connection between boundary layer dynamics and NPF.

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    Authors: Henle, Klaus; Potts, Simon; Kunin, William; Matsinos, Yiannis; +5 Authors

    Human actions, motivated by social and economic driving forces, generate various pressures on biodiversity, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, land use related disturbance patterns, or species invasions that have an impact on biodiversity from the genetic to the ecosystem level. Each of these factors acts at characteristic scales, and the scales of social and economic demands, of environmental pressures, of biodiversity impacts, of scientific analysis, and of governmental responses do not necessarily match. However, management of the living world will be effective only if we understand how problems and solutions change with scale. SCALES (http://www.scales-project.net), a research project lasting for five years from May 2009 to July 2014, was seeking for ways to build the issue of scale into policy and decision-making and biodiversity management. It has greatly advanced our knowledge of how anthropogenic and natural processes interact across scales and affect biodiversity and it has evaluated in a very practical way how this knowledge can be used to improve the scale-sensitivity and effectiveness of policy instruments for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. During the project we have especially emphasized approaches that utilize existing biodiversity databases as they are the most widely available information in applied biodiversity conservation. We also tried to integrate the most appropriate assessment tools and policy instruments into a coherent framework to support biodiversity conservation across spatial and temporal scales. While the guidelines, practical solutions and special tools are presented as a special web based portal at a central place, the SCALETOOL (http://scales.ckff.si/scaletool/), the scientific outcome is widely spread over the scientific literature in regional and international journals. With the SCALES book we want to bundle the main results of SCALES in a comprehensive manner and present it in a way that is usable not only for pure scientists but also for people making decisions in administration, management, policy or even business and NGOs; to people who are more interested in the “practical” side of this issue. Yrjö Haila, Tampere

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    2014
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    Authors: Patoulias, David; Fountoukis, Christos; Riipinen, Ilona; Asmi, Ari; +2 Authors

    PMCAMx-UF, a three-dimensional chemical transport model focusing on the simulation of the ultrafine particle size distribution and composition has been extended with the addition of the volatility basis set (VBS) approach for the simulation of organic aerosol (OA). The model was applied in Europe to quantify the effect of secondary semi-volatile organic vapors on particle number concentrations. The model predictions were evaluated against field observations collected during the PEGASOS 2012 campaign. The measurements included both ground and airborne measurements, from stations across Europe and a zeppelin measuring above Po Valley. The ground level concentrations of particles with a diameter larger than 100 nm (N100) were reproduced with a daily normalized mean error of 40 % and a daily normalized mean bias of −20 %. PMCAMx-UF tended to overestimate the concentration of particles with a diameter larger than 10 nm (N10) with a daily normalized mean bias of 75 %. The model was able to reproduce, within a factor of 2, 85 % of the N10 and 75 % of the N100 zeppelin measurements above ground. The condensation of organics led to an increase (50 %–120 %) in the N100 concentration mainly in central and northern Europe, while the N10 concentration decreased by 10 %–30 %. Including the VBS in PMCAMx-UF improved its ability to simulate aerosol number concentration compared to simulations neglecting organic condensation on ultrafine particles.

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    Authors: Pittia, P.; Silva, Cristina L. M.; Costa, R.; Schleining, G.; +1 Authors

    Food studies networks started in 1998 with a long term objective of creating effective tools and guidelines that promote the EHEA (European Higher Education Area) for food studies, and has also been disseminating it at an international level, through constant renewing networks at European level with Erasmus programme support and at International level with Erasmus Mundus programme support. All the activities, tools and materials developed are sustained by a non-profit organization, the ISEKI Food Association (IFA) that has now a worldwide network, reaching all the Continents. A variety of tools have been created which the most significant are: a number of databases of curricula, teaching materials and food industry stakeholders; an International journal and regularly published books in an international publisher; a periodic international conference on bridging education, research and industry; a quality assurance label for Food Science and Technology curricula (EQAS); partnerships in other research and education projects.

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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Etheridge, J. R.; Birgand, F.; Burchell II, M. R.; Lepistö, A.; +2 Authors

    The Integrated Catchment model for Nitrogen (INCA-N) is a semi-distributed, process based model that has been used to model the impacts of land use, climate, and land management changes on hydrology and nitrogen loading. An observed problem with the INCA-N model is reproducing low nitrate–nitrogen concentrations during the summer growing season in some catchments. In this study, the current equation used to simulate the rate of in-stream denitrification was replaced with an alternate equation that uses a mass transfer coefficient and the stream bottom area. The results of simulating in-stream denitrification using the two different methods were compared for a one year simulation period of the Yläneenjoki catchment in Finland. The alternate equation (Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency = 0.61) simulated concentrations during the periods of the growing season with the lowest flow that were closer to the observed concentrations than the current equation (Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency = 0.60), but the results were mixed during other portions of the year. The results of the calibration and validation of the model using the two equations show that the alternate equation will simulate lower nitrate–nitrogen concentrations during the growing season when compared to the current equation, but promote investigation into other errors in the model that may be causing inaccuracies in the modeled concentrations.

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    Authors: Räisänen, Petri; Makkonen, Risto; Kirkevåg, Alf; Debernard, Jens B.;

    Snow consists of non-spherical grains of various shapes and sizes. Still, in radiative transfer calculations, snow grains are often treated as spherical. This also applies to the computation of snow albedo in the Snow, Ice, and Aerosol Radiation (SNICAR) model and in the Los Alamos sea ice model, version 4 (CICE4), both of which are employed in the Community Earth System Model and in the Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM). In this study, we evaluate the effect of snow grain shape on climate simulated by NorESM in a slab ocean configuration of the model. An experiment with spherical snow grains (SPH) is compared with another (NONSPH) in which the snow shortwave single-scattering properties are based on a combination of three non-spherical snow grain shapes optimized using measurements of angular scattering by blowing snow. The key difference between these treatments is that the asymmetry parameter is smaller in the non-spherical case (0.77–0.78 in the visible region) than in the spherical case ( ≈ 0.89). Therefore, for the same effective snow grain size (or equivalently, the same specific projected area), the snow broadband albedo is higher when assuming non-spherical rather than spherical snow grains, typically by 0.02–0.03. Considering the spherical case as the baseline, this results in an instantaneous negative change in net shortwave radiation with a global-mean top-of-the-model value of ca. −0.22 W m−2. Although this global-mean radiative effect is rather modest, the impacts on the climate simulated by NorESM are substantial. The global annual-mean 2 m air temperature in NONSPH is 1.17 K lower than in SPH, with substantially larger differences at high latitudes. The climatic response is amplified by strong snow and sea ice feedbacks. It is further demonstrated that the effect of snow grain shape could be largely offset by adjusting the snow grain size. When assuming non-spherical snow grains with the parameterized grain size increased by ca. 70 %, the climatic differences to the SPH experiment become very small. Finally, the impact of assumed snow grain shape on the radiative effects of absorbing aerosols in snow is discussed.

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    Authors: Paglione, Marco; Gilardoni, Stefania; Rinaldi, Matteo; Decesari, Stefano; +17 Authors

    The Po Valley (Italy) is a well-known air quality hotspot characterized by particulate matter (PM) levels well above the limit set by the European Air Quality Directive and by the World Health Organization, especially during the colder season. In the framework of Emilia-Romagna regional project “Supersito”, the southern Po Valley submicron aerosol chemical composition was characterized by means of high-resolution aerosol mass spectroscopy (HR-AMS) with the specific aim of organic aerosol (OA) characterization and source apportionment. Eight intensive observation periods (IOPs) were carried out over 4 years (from 2011 to 2014) at two different sites (Bologna, BO, urban background, and San Pietro Capofiume, SPC, rural background), to characterize the spatial variability and seasonality of the OA sources, with a special focus on the cold season. On the multi-year basis of the study, the AMS observations show that OA accounts for averages of 45±8 % (ranging from 33 % to 58 %) and 46±7 % (ranging from 36 % to 50 %) of the total non-refractory submicron particle mass (PM1-NR) at the urban and rural sites, respectively. Primary organic aerosol (POA) comprises biomass burning (23±13 % of OA) and fossil fuel (12±7 %) contributions with a marked seasonality in concentration. As expected, the biomass burning contribution to POA is more significant at the rural site (urban / rural concentration ratio of 0.67), but it is also an important source of POA at the urban site during the cold season, with contributions ranging from 14 % to 38 % of the total OA mass. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) contributes to OA mass to a much larger extent than POA at both sites throughout the year (69±16 % and 83±16 % at the urban and rural sites, respectively), with important implications for public health. Within the secondary fraction of OA, the measurements highlight the importance of biomass burning aging products during the cold season, even at the urban background site. This biomass burning SOA fraction represents 14 %–44 % of the total OA mass in the cold season, indicating that in this region a major contribution of combustion sources to PM mass is mediated by environmental conditions and atmospheric reactivity. Among the environmental factors controlling the formation of SOA in the Po Valley, the availability of liquid water in the aerosol was shown to play a key role in the cold season. We estimate that the organic fraction originating from aqueous reactions of biomass burning products (“bb-aqSOA”) represents 21 % (14 %–28 %) and 25 % (14 %–35 %) of the total OA mass and 44 % (32 %–56 %) and 61 % (21 %–100 %) of the SOA mass at the urban and rural sites, respectively.

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    Authors: Lampilahti, Janne; Manninen, Hanna E.; Nieminen, Tuomo; Mirme, Sander; +22 Authors

    We compared observations of aerosol particle formation and growth in different parts of the planetary boundary layer at two different environments that have frequent new particle formation (NPF) events. In summer 2012 we had a campaign in Po Valley, Italy (urban background), and in spring 2013 a similar campaign took place in Hyytiälä, Finland (rural background). Our study consists of three case studies of airborne and ground-based measurements of ion and particle size distribution from ∼1 nm. The airborne measurements were performed using a Zeppelin inside the boundary layer up to 1000 m altitude. Our observations show the onset of regional NPF and the subsequent growth of the aerosol particles happening almost uniformly inside the mixed layer (ML) in both locations. However, in Hyytiälä we noticed local enhancement in the intensity of NPF caused by mesoscale boundary layer (BL) dynamics. Additionally, our observations indicate that in Hyytiälä NPF was probably also taking place above the ML. In Po Valley we observed NPF that was limited to a specific air mass.

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    Authors: Lampilahti, Janne; Manninen, Hanna Elina; Leino, Katri; Väänänen, Riikka; +12 Authors

    Recent studies have shown the importance of new particle formation (NPF) to global cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) production, as well as to air pollution in megacities. In addition to the necessary presence of low-volatility vapors that can form new aerosol particles, both numerical and observational studies have shown that the dynamics of the planetary boundary layer (BL) plays an important role in NPF. Evidence from field observations suggests that roll vortices might be favorable for inducing NPF in a convective BL. However, direct observations and estimates of the potential importance of this phenomenon to the production of new aerosol particles are lacking. Here we show that rolls frequently induce NPF bursts along the horizontal circulations and that the small clusters and particles originating from these localized bursts grow in size similar to particles typically ascribed to atmospheric NPF that occur almost homogeneously at a regional scale. We outline a method to identify roll-induced NPF from measurements and, based on the collected data, estimate the impact of roll vortices on the overall aerosol particle production due to NPF at a boreal forest site (83 % ± 34 % and 26 % ± 8 % overall enhancement in particle formation for 3 and 10 nm particles, respectively). We conclude that the formation of roll vortices should be taken into account when estimating particle number budgets in the atmospheric BL.

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11 Research products
  • Authors: Paine, C.E. Thimothy; Amissah, Lucy; Auge, Harald; Baraloto, Christopher; +31 Authors

    1. Plant functional traits, in particular specific leaf area (SLA), wood density and seed mass, are often good predictors of individual tree growth rates within communities. Individuals and species with high SLA, low wood density and small seeds tend to have faster growth rates. 2. If community-level relationships between traits and growth have general predictive value, then similar relationships should also be observed in analyses that integrate across taxa, biogeographic regions and environments. Such global consistency would imply that traits could serve as valuable proxies for the complex suite of factors that determine growth rate, and, therefore, could underpin a new generation of robust dynamic vegetation models. Alternatively, growth rates may depend more strongly on the local environment or growth–trait relationships may vary along environmental gradients. 3. We tested these alternative hypotheses using data on 27 352 juvenile trees, representing 278 species from 27 sites on all forested continents, and extensive functional trait data, 38% of which were obtained at the same sites at which growth was assessed. Data on potential evapotranspiration (PET), which summarizes the joint ecological effects of temperature and precipitation, were obtained from a global data base. 4. We estimated size-standardized relative height growth rates (SGR) for all species, then related them to functional traits and PET using mixed-effect models for the fastest growing species and for all species together. 5. Both the mean and 95th percentile SGR were more strongly associated with functional traits than with PET. PET was unrelated to SGR at the global scale. SGR increased with increasing SLA and decreased with increasing wood density and seed mass, but these traits explained only 3.1% of the variation in SGR. SGR–trait relationships were consistently weak across families and biogeographic zones, and over a range of tree statures. Thus, the most widely studied functional traits in plant ecology were poor predictors of tree growth over large scales. 6. Synthesis. We conclude that these functional traits alone may be unsuitable for predicting growth of trees over broad scales. Determining the functional traits that predict vital rates under specific environmental conditions may generate more insight than a monolithic global relationship can offer.

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    Authors: Leino, Katri; Lampilahti, Janne; Poutanen, Pyry; Väänänen, Riikka; +19 Authors

    This work presents airborne observations of sub-3 nm particles in the lower troposphere and investigates new particle formation (NPF) within an evolving boundary layer (BL). We studied particle concentrations together with supporting gas and meteorological data inside the planetary BL over a boreal forest site in Hyytiälä, southern Finland. The analysed data were collected during three flight measurement campaigns: May–June 2015, August 2015 and April–May 2017, including 27 morning and 26 afternoon vertical profiles. As a platform for the instrumentation, we used a Cessna 172 aircraft. The analysed flight data were collected horizontally within a 30 km distance from SMEAR II in Hyytiälä and vertically from 100 m above ground level up to 2700 m. The number concentration of 1.5–3 nm particles was observed to be, on average, the highest near the forest canopy top and to decrease with increasing altitude during the mornings of NPF event days. This indicates that the precursor vapours emitted by the forest play a key role in NPF in Hyytiälä. During daytime, newly formed particles were observed to grow in size and the particle population became more homogenous within the well-mixed BL in the afternoon. During undefined days with respect to NPF, we also detected an increase in concentration of 1.5–3 nm particles in the morning but not their growth in size, which indicates an interrupted NPF process during these undefined days. Vertical mixing was typically stronger during the NPF event days than during the undefined or non-event days. The results shed light on the connection between boundary layer dynamics and NPF.

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    Authors: Henle, Klaus; Potts, Simon; Kunin, William; Matsinos, Yiannis; +5 Authors

    Human actions, motivated by social and economic driving forces, generate various pressures on biodiversity, such as habitat loss and fragmentation, climate change, land use related disturbance patterns, or species invasions that have an impact on biodiversity from the genetic to the ecosystem level. Each of these factors acts at characteristic scales, and the scales of social and economic demands, of environmental pressures, of biodiversity impacts, of scientific analysis, and of governmental responses do not necessarily match. However, management of the living world will be effective only if we understand how problems and solutions change with scale. SCALES (http://www.scales-project.net), a research project lasting for five years from May 2009 to July 2014, was seeking for ways to build the issue of scale into policy and decision-making and biodiversity management. It has greatly advanced our knowledge of how anthropogenic and natural processes interact across scales and affect biodiversity and it has evaluated in a very practical way how this knowledge can be used to improve the scale-sensitivity and effectiveness of policy instruments for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. During the project we have especially emphasized approaches that utilize existing biodiversity databases as they are the most widely available information in applied biodiversity conservation. We also tried to integrate the most appropriate assessment tools and policy instruments into a coherent framework to support biodiversity conservation across spatial and temporal scales. While the guidelines, practical solutions and special tools are presented as a special web based portal at a central place, the SCALETOOL (http://scales.ckff.si/scaletool/), the scientific outcome is widely spread over the scientific literature in regional and international journals. With the SCALES book we want to bundle the main results of SCALES in a comprehensive manner and present it in a way that is usable not only for pure scientists but also for people making decisions in administration, management, policy or even business and NGOs; to people who are more interested in the “practical” side of this issue. Yrjö Haila, Tampere

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    Authors: Patoulias, David; Fountoukis, Christos; Riipinen, Ilona; Asmi, Ari; +2 Authors

    PMCAMx-UF, a three-dimensional chemical transport model focusing on the simulation of the ultrafine particle size distribution and composition has been extended with the addition of the volatility basis set (VBS) approach for the simulation of organic aerosol (OA). The model was applied in Europe to quantify the effect of secondary semi-volatile organic vapors on particle number concentrations. The model predictions were evaluated against field observations collected during the PEGASOS 2012 campaign. The measurements included both ground and airborne measurements, from stations across Europe and a zeppelin measuring above Po Valley. The ground level concentrations of particles with a diameter larger than 100 nm (N100) were reproduced with a daily normalized mean error of 40 % and a daily normalized mean bias of −20 %. PMCAMx-UF tended to overestimate the concentration of particles with a diameter larger than 10 nm (N10) with a daily normalized mean bias of 75 %. The model was able to reproduce, within a factor of 2, 85 % of the N10 and 75 % of the N100 zeppelin measurements above ground. The condensation of organics led to an increase (50 %–120 %) in the N100 concentration mainly in central and northern Europe, while the N10 concentration decreased by 10 %–30 %. Including the VBS in PMCAMx-UF improved its ability to simulate aerosol number concentration compared to simulations neglecting organic condensation on ultrafine particles.

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    Authors: Pittia, P.; Silva, Cristina L. M.; Costa, R.; Schleining, G.; +1 Authors

    Food studies networks started in 1998 with a long term objective of creating effective tools and guidelines that promote the EHEA (European Higher Education Area) for food studies, and has also been disseminating it at an international level, through constant renewing networks at European level with Erasmus programme support and at International level with Erasmus Mundus programme support. All the activities, tools and materials developed are sustained by a non-profit organization, the ISEKI Food Association (IFA) that has now a worldwide network, reaching all the Continents. A variety of tools have been created which the most significant are: a number of databases of curricula, teaching materials and food industry stakeholders; an International journal and regularly published books in an international publisher; a periodic international conference on bridging education, research and industry; a quality assurance label for Food Science and Technology curricula (EQAS); partnerships in other research and education projects.

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    Authors: Etheridge, J. R.; Birgand, F.; Burchell II, M. R.; Lepistö, A.; +2 Authors

    The Integrated Catchment model for Nitrogen (INCA-N) is a semi-distributed, process based model that has been used to model the impacts of land use, climate, and land management changes on hydrology and nitrogen loading. An observed problem with the INCA-N model is reproducing low nitrate–nitrogen concentrations during the summer growing season in some catchments. In this study, the current equation used to simulate the rate of in-stream denitrification was replaced with an alternate equation that uses a mass transfer coefficient and the stream bottom area. The results of simulating in-stream denitrification using the two different methods were compared for a one year simulation period of the Yläneenjoki catchment in Finland. The alternate equation (Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency = 0.61) simulated concentrations during the periods of the growing season with the lowest flow that were closer to the observed concentrations than the current equation (Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency = 0.60), but the results were mixed during other portions of the year. The results of the calibration and validation of the model using the two equations show that the alternate equation will simulate lower nitrate–nitrogen concentrations during the growing season when compared to the current equation, but promote investigation into other errors in the model that may be causing inaccuracies in the modeled concentrations.

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    Authors: Räisänen, Petri; Makkonen, Risto; Kirkevåg, Alf; Debernard, Jens B.;

    Snow consists of non-spherical grains of various shapes and sizes. Still, in radiative transfer calculations, snow grains are often treated as spherical. This also applies to the computation of snow albedo in the Snow, Ice, and Aerosol Radiation (SNICAR) model and in the Los Alamos sea ice model, version 4 (CICE4), both of which are employed in the Community Earth System Model and in the Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM). In this study, we evaluate the effect of snow grain shape on climate simulated by NorESM in a slab ocean configuration of the model. An experiment with spherical snow grains (SPH) is compared with another (NONSPH) in which the snow shortwave single-scattering properties are based on a combination of three non-spherical snow grain shapes optimized using measurements of angular scattering by blowing snow. The key difference between these treatments is that the asymmetry parameter is smaller in the non-spherical case (0.77–0.78 in the visible region) than in the spherical case ( ≈ 0.89). Therefore, for the same effective snow grain size (or equivalently, the same specific projected area), the snow broadband albedo is higher when assuming non-spherical rather than spherical snow grains, typically by 0.02–0.03. Considering the spherical case as the baseline, this results in an instantaneous negative change in net shortwave radiation with a global-mean top-of-the-model value of ca. −0.22 W m−2. Although this global-mean radiative effect is rather modest, the impacts on the climate simulated by NorESM are substantial. The global annual-mean 2 m air temperature in NONSPH is 1.17 K lower than in SPH, with substantially larger differences at high latitudes. The climatic response is amplified by strong snow and sea ice feedbacks. It is further demonstrated that the effect of snow grain shape could be largely offset by adjusting the snow grain size. When assuming non-spherical snow grains with the parameterized grain size increased by ca. 70 %, the climatic differences to the SPH experiment become very small. Finally, the impact of assumed snow grain shape on the radiative effects of absorbing aerosols in snow is discussed.

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    Authors: Paglione, Marco; Gilardoni, Stefania; Rinaldi, Matteo; Decesari, Stefano; +17 Authors

    The Po Valley (Italy) is a well-known air quality hotspot characterized by particulate matter (PM) levels well above the limit set by the European Air Quality Directive and by the World Health Organization, especially during the colder season. In the framework of Emilia-Romagna regional project “Supersito”, the southern Po Valley submicron aerosol chemical composition was characterized by means of high-resolution aerosol mass spectroscopy (HR-AMS) with the specific aim of organic aerosol (OA) characterization and source apportionment. Eight intensive observation periods (IOPs) were carried out over 4 years (from 2011 to 2014) at two different sites (Bologna, BO, urban background, and San Pietro Capofiume, SPC, rural background), to characterize the spatial variability and seasonality of the OA sources, with a special focus on the cold season. On the multi-year basis of the study, the AMS observations show that OA accounts for averages of 45±8 % (ranging from 33 % to 58 %) and 46±7 % (ranging from 36 % to 50 %) of the total non-refractory submicron particle mass (PM1-NR) at the urban and rural sites, respectively. Primary organic aerosol (POA) comprises biomass burning (23±13 % of OA) and fossil fuel (12±7 %) contributions with a marked seasonality in concentration. As expected, the biomass burning contribution to POA is more significant at the rural site (urban / rural concentration ratio of 0.67), but it is also an important source of POA at the urban site during the cold season, with contributions ranging from 14 % to 38 % of the total OA mass. Secondary organic aerosol (SOA) contributes to OA mass to a much larger extent than POA at both sites throughout the year (69±16 % and 83±16 % at the urban and rural sites, respectively), with important implications for public health. Within the secondary fraction of OA, the measurements highlight the importance of biomass burning aging products during the cold season, even at the urban background site. This biomass burning SOA fraction represents 14 %–44 % of the total OA mass in the cold season, indicating that in this region a major contribution of combustion sources to PM mass is mediated by environmental conditions and atmospheric reactivity. Among the environmental factors controlling the formation of SOA in the Po Valley, the availability of liquid water in the aerosol was shown to play a key role in the cold season. We estimate that the organic fraction originating from aqueous reactions of biomass burning products (“bb-aqSOA”) represents 21 % (14 %–28 %) and 25 % (14 %–35 %) of the total OA mass and 44 % (32 %–56 %) and 61 % (21 %–100 %) of the SOA mass at the urban and rural sites, respectively.

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    Authors: Lampilahti, Janne; Manninen, Hanna E.; Nieminen, Tuomo; Mirme, Sander; +22 Authors