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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Paglione, Marco; Gilardoni, Stefania; Rinaldi, Matteo; Decesari, Stefano; Zanca, Nicola; Sandrini, Silvia; Giulianelli, Lara; Bacco, Dimitri; Ferrari, Silvia; Poluzzi, Vanes; +11 more
    Project: EC | PEGASOS (265148), EC | BACCHUS (603445)

    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.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kuhn, Pascal; Wilbert, Stefan; Prahl, Christoph; Garsche, Dominik; Schüler, David; Haase, Thomas; Ramirez, Lourdes; Zarzalejo, Luis; Meyer, Angela; Blanc, Philippe; +1 more
    Project: EC | PreFlexMS (654984), EC | DNICAST (608623)

    Downward-facing shadow cameras might play a major role in future energy meteorology. Shadow cameras directly image shadows on the ground from an elevated position. They are used to validate other systems (e.g. all-sky imager based nowcasting systems, cloud speed sensors or satellite forecasts) and can potentially provide short term forecasts for solar power plants. Such forecasts are needed for electricity grids with high penetrations of renewable energy and can help to optimize plant operations. In this publication, two key applications of shadow cameras are briefly presented.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Friedrich, J.; Janssen, F.; Aleynik, D.; Bange, H. W.; Boltacheva, N.; Çagatay, M. N.; Dale, A. W.; Etiope, G.; Erdem, Z.; Geraga, M.; +29 more
    Project: EC | HYPOX (226213)

    In this paper we provide an overview of new knowledge on oxygen depletion (hypoxia) and related phenomena in aquatic systems resulting from the EU-FP7 project HYPOX ("In situ monitoring of oxygen depletion in hypoxic ecosystems of coastal and open seas, and landlocked water bodies", http://www.hypox.net). In view of the anticipated oxygen loss in aquatic systems due to eutrophication and climate change, HYPOX was set up to improve capacities to monitor hypoxia as well as to understand its causes and consequences. Temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of hypoxia were analyzed in field studies in various aquatic environments, including the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, Scottish and Scandinavian fjords, Ionian Sea lagoons and embayments, and Swiss lakes. Examples of episodic and rapid (hours) occurrences of hypoxia, as well as seasonal changes in bottom-water oxygenation in stratified systems, are discussed. Geologically driven hypoxia caused by gas seepage is demonstrated. Using novel technologies, temporal and spatial patterns of water-column oxygenation, from basin-scale seasonal patterns to meter-scale sub-micromolar oxygen distributions, were resolved. Existing multidecadal monitoring data were used to demonstrate the imprint of climate change and eutrophication on long-term oxygen distributions. Organic and inorganic proxies were used to extend investigations on past oxygen conditions to centennial and even longer timescales that cannot be resolved by monitoring. The effects of hypoxia on faunal communities and biogeochemical processes were also addressed in the project. An investigation of benthic fauna is presented as an example of hypoxia-devastated benthic communities that slowly recover upon a reduction in eutrophication in a system where naturally occurring hypoxia overlaps with anthropogenic hypoxia. Biogeochemical investigations reveal that oxygen intrusions have a strong effect on the microbially mediated redox cycling of elements. Observations and modeling studies of the sediments demonstrate the effect of seasonally changing oxygen conditions on benthic mineralization pathways and fluxes. Data quality and access are crucial in hypoxia research. Technical issues are therefore also addressed, including the availability of suitable sensor technology to resolve the gradual changes in bottom-water oxygen in marine systems that can be expected as a result of climate change. Using cabled observatories as examples, we show how the benefit of continuous oxygen monitoring can be maximized by adopting proper quality control. Finally, we discuss strategies for state-of-the-art data archiving and dissemination in compliance with global standards, and how ocean observations can contribute to global earth observation attempts.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Marle, Margreet J. E.; Kloster, Silvia; Magi, Brian I.; Marlon, Jennifer R.; Daniau, Anne-Laure; Field, Robert D.; Arneth, Almut; Forrest, Matthew; Hantson, Stijn; Kehrwald, Natalie M.; +7 more
    Project: NSF | Collaborative Research: T... (1437074), EC | LUC4C (603542), EC | MACC-III (633080), EC | PEGASOS (265148), EC | BACCHUS (603445), NSF | Collaborative Research: T... (1436496), EC | DE-CO2 (280061)

    Fires have influenced atmospheric composition and climate since the rise of vascular plants, and satellite data have shown the overall global extent of fires. Our knowledge of historic fire emissions has progressively improved over the past decades due mostly to the development of new proxies and the improvement of fire models. Currently, there is a suite of proxies including sedimentary charcoal records, measurements of fire-emitted trace gases and black carbon stored in ice and firn, and visibility observations. These proxies provide opportunities to extrapolate emission estimates back in time based on satellite data starting in 1997, but each proxy has strengths and weaknesses regarding, for example, the spatial and temporal extents over which they are representative. We developed a new historic biomass burning emissions dataset starting in 1750 that merges the satellite record with several existing proxies and uses the average of six models from the Fire Model Intercomparison Project (FireMIP) protocol to estimate emissions when the available proxies had limited coverage. According to our approach, global biomass burning emissions were relatively constant, with 10-year averages varying between 1.8 and 2.3 Pg C yr−1. Carbon emissions increased only slightly over the full time period and peaked during the 1990s after which they decreased gradually. There is substantial uncertainty in these estimates, and patterns varied depending on choices regarding data representation, especially on regional scales. The observed pattern in fire carbon emissions is for a large part driven by African fires, which accounted for 58 % of global fire carbon emissions. African fire emissions declined since about 1950 due to conversion of savanna to cropland, and this decrease is partially compensated for by increasing emissions in deforestation zones of South America and Asia. These global fire emission estimates are mostly suited for global analyses and will be used in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 (CMIP6) simulations.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Steinacher, M.; Joos, F.; Frölicher, T. L.; Bopp, L.; Cadule, P.; Cocco, V.; Doney, S. C.; Gehlen, M.; Lindsay, K.; Moore, J. K.; +2 more
    Project: EC | MEECE (212085), EC | EPOCA (211384)

    Changes in marine net primary productivity (PP) and export of particulate organic carbon (EP) are projected over the 21st century with four global coupled carbon cycle-climate models. These include representations of marine ecosystems and the carbon cycle of different structure and complexity. All four models show a decrease in global mean PP and EP between 2 and 20% by 2100 relative to preindustrial conditions, for the SRES A2 emission scenario. Two different regimes for productivity changes are consistently identified in all models. The first chain of mechanisms is dominant in the low- and mid-latitude ocean and in the North Atlantic: reduced input of macro-nutrients into the euphotic zone related to enhanced stratification, reduced mixed layer depth, and slowed circulation causes a decrease in macro-nutrient concentrations and in PP and EP. The second regime is projected for parts of the Southern Ocean: an alleviation of light and/or temperature limitation leads to an increase in PP and EP as productivity is fueled by a sustained nutrient input. A region of disagreement among the models is the Arctic, where three models project an increase in PP while one model projects a decrease. Projected changes in seasonal and interannual variability are modest in most regions. Regional model skill metrics are proposed to generate multi-model mean fields that show an improved skill in representing observation-based estimates compared to a simple multi-model average. Model results are compared to recent productivity projections with three different algorithms, usually applied to infer net primary production from satellite observations.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Hoppe, C. J. M.; Langer, G.; Rokitta, S. D.; Wolf-Gladrow, D. A.; Rost, B.;
    Project: EC | NEWLOG (267931), EC | PHYTOCHANGE (205150), EC | MEDSEA (265103), EC | MOLSPINQIP (211284)

    The growing field of ocean acidification research is concerned with the investigation of organism responses to increasing pCO2 values. One important approach in this context is culture work using seawater with adjusted CO2 levels. As aqueous pCO2 is difficult to measure directly in small-scale experiments, it is generally calculated from two other measured parameters of the carbonate system (often AT, CT or pH). Unfortunately, the overall uncertainties of measured and subsequently calculated values are often unknown. Especially under high pCO2, this can become a severe problem with respect to the interpretation of physiological and ecological data. In the few datasets from ocean acidification research where all three of these parameters were measured, pCO2 values calculated from AT and CT are typically about 30% lower (i.e. ~300 μatm at a target pCO2 of 1000 μatm) than those calculated from AT and pH or CT and pH. This study presents and discusses these discrepancies as well as likely consequences for the ocean acidification community. Until this problem is solved, one has to consider that calculated parameters of the carbonate system (e.g. pCO2, calcite saturation state) may not be comparable between studies, and that this may have important implications for the interpretation of CO2 perturbation experiments.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Wall, M.; Nehrke, G.;
    Project: EC | MEDSEA (265103), EC | EPOCA (211384), EC | CALMARO (215157)

    Confocal Raman microscopy (CRM) mapping was used to investigate the microstructural arrangement and organic matrix distribution within the skeleton of the coral Porites lutea. Relative changes in the crystallographic orientation of crystals within the fibrous fan-system could be mapped, without the need to prepare thin sections, as required if this information is obtained by polarized light microscopy. Simultaneously, incremental growth lines can be visualized without the necessity of etching and hence alteration of sample surface. Using these methods two types of growth lines could be identified: one corresponds to the well-known incremental growth layers, whereas the second type of growth lines resemble denticle finger-like structures (most likely traces of former spines or skeletal surfaces). We hypothesize that these lines represent the outer skeletal surface before another growth cycle of elongation, infilling and thickening of skeletal areas continues. We show that CRM mapping with high spatial resolution can significantly improve our understanding of the micro-structural arrangement and growth patterns in coral skeletons.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Gutknecht, E.; Dadou, I.; Vu, B.; Cambon, G.; Sudre, J.; Garçon, V.; Machu, E.; Rixen, T.; Kock, A.; Flohr, A.; +2 more
    Project: EC | MEECE (212085)

    The Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems (EBUS) contribute to one fifth of the global catches in the ocean. Often associated with Oxygen Minimum Zones (OMZs), EBUS represent key regions for the oceanic nitrogen (N) cycle. Important bioavailable N loss due to denitrification and anammox processes as well as greenhouse gas emissions (e.g, N2O) occur also in these EBUS. However, their dynamics are currently crudely represented in global models. In the climate change context, improving our capability to properly represent these areas is crucial due to anticipated changes in the winds, productivity, and oxygen content. We developed a biogeochemical model (BioEBUS) taking into account the main processes linked with EBUS and associated OMZs. We implemented this model in a 3-D realistic coupled physical/biogeochemical configuration in the Namibian upwelling system (northern Benguela) using the high-resolution hydrodynamic ROMS model. We present here a validation using in situ and satellite data as well as diagnostic metrics and sensitivity analyses of key parameters and N2O parameterizations. The impact of parameter values on the OMZ off Namibia, on N loss, and on N2O concentrations and emissions is detailed. The model realistically reproduces the vertical distribution and seasonal cycle of observed oxygen, nitrate, and chlorophyll a concentrations, and the rates of microbial processes (e.g, NH4+ and NO2− oxidation, NO3− reduction, and anammox) as well. Based on our sensitivity analyses, biogeochemical parameter values associated with organic matter decomposition, vertical sinking, and nitrification play a key role for the low-oxygen water content, N loss, and N2O concentrations in the OMZ. Moreover, the explicit parameterization of both steps of nitrification, ammonium oxidation to nitrate with nitrite as an explicit intermediate, is necessary to improve the representation of microbial activity linked with the OMZ. The simulated minimum oxygen concentrations are driven by the poleward meridional advection of oxygen-depleted waters offshore of a 300 m isobath and by the biogeochemical activity inshore of this isobath, highlighting a spatial shift of dominant processes maintaining the minimum oxygen concentrations off Namibia. In the OMZ off Namibia, the magnitude of N2O outgassing and of N loss is comparable. Anammox contributes to about 20% of total N loss, an estimate lower than currently assumed (up to 50%) for the global ocean.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Kirkevåg, A.; Iversen, T.; Seland, Ø.; Hoose, C.; Kristjánsson, J. E.; Struthers, H.; Ekman, A. M. L.; Ghan, S.; Griesfeller, J.; Nilsson, E. D.; +1 more
    Project: EC | ACCESS (265863), EC | PEGASOS (265148)

    The objective of this study is to document and evaluate recent changes and updates to the module for aerosols and aerosol–cloud–radiation interactions in the atmospheric module CAM4-Oslo of the core version of the Norwegian Earth System Model (NorESM), NorESM1-M. Particular attention is paid to the role of natural organics, sea salt, and mineral dust in determining the gross aerosol properties as well as the anthropogenic contribution to these properties and the associated direct and indirect radiative forcing. The aerosol module is extended from earlier versions that have been published, and includes life-cycling of sea salt, mineral dust, particulate sulphate, black carbon, and primary and secondary organics. The impacts of most of the numerous changes since previous versions are thoroughly explored by sensitivity experiments. The most important changes are: modified prognostic sea salt emissions; updated treatment of precipitation scavenging and gravitational settling; inclusion of biogenic primary organics and methane sulphonic acid (MSA) from oceans; almost doubled production of land-based biogenic secondary organic aerosols (SOA); and increased ratio of organic matter to organic carbon (OM/OC) for biomass burning aerosols from 1.4 to 2.6. Compared with in situ measurements and remotely sensed data, the new treatments of sea salt and dust aerosols give smaller biases in near-surface mass concentrations and aerosol optical depth than in the earlier model version. The model biases for mass concentrations are approximately unchanged for sulphate and BC. The enhanced levels of modeled OM yield improved overall statistics, even though OM is still underestimated in Europe and overestimated in North America. The global anthropogenic aerosol direct radiative forcing (DRF) at the top of the atmosphere has changed from a small positive value to −0.08 W m−2 in CAM4-Oslo. The sensitivity tests suggest that this change can be attributed to the new treatment of biomass burning aerosols and gravitational settling. Although it has not been a goal in this study, the new DRF estimate is closer both to the median model estimate from the AeroCom intercomparison and the best estimate in IPCC AR4. Estimated DRF at the ground surface has increased by ca. 60%, to −1.89 W m−2. We show that this can be explained by new emission data and omitted mixing of constituents between updrafts and downdrafts in convective clouds. The increased abundance of natural OM and the introduction of a cloud droplet spectral dispersion formulation are the most important contributions to a considerably decreased estimate of the indirect radiative forcing (IndRF). The IndRF is also found to be sensitive to assumptions about the coating of insoluble aerosols by sulphate and OM. The IndRF of −1.2 W m−2, which is closer to the IPCC AR4 estimates than the previous estimate of −1.9 W m−2, has thus been obtained without imposing unrealistic artificial lower bounds on cloud droplet number concentrations.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Morato, T.; Kvile, K. Ø.; Taranto, G. H.; Tempera, F.; Narayanaswamy, B. E.; Hebbeln, D.; Menezes, G. M.; Wienberg, C.; Santos, R. S.; Pitcher, T. J.;
    Project: NSERC , FCT | SFRH/BPD/79801/2011 (SFRH/BPD/79801/2011), EC | HERMIONE (226354), EC | CORALFISH (213144)

    This work aims at characterising the seamount physiography and biology in the OSPAR Convention limits (north-east Atlantic Ocean) and Mediterranean Sea. We first inferred potential abundance, location and morphological characteristics of seamounts, and secondly, summarized the existing biological, geological and oceanographic in situ research, identifying examples of well-studied seamounts. Our study showed that the seamount population in the OSPAR area (north-east Atlantic) and in the Mediterranean Sea is large with around 557 and 101 seamount-like features, respectively. Similarly, seamounts occupy large areas of about 616 000 km2 in the OSPAR region and of about 89 500 km2 in the Mediterranean Sea. The presence of seamounts in the north-east Atlantic has been known since the late 19th century, but overall knowledge regarding seamount ecology and geology is still relatively poor. Only 37 seamounts in the OSPAR area (3.5% of all seamounts in the region), 22 in the Mediterranean Sea (9.2% of all seamounts in the region) and 25 in the north-east Atlantic south of the OSPAR area have in situ information. Seamounts mapped in both areas are in general very heterogeneous, showing diverse geophysical characteristics. These differences will likely affect the biological diversity and production of resident and associated organisms.