Week 4 – Long Range Pollution Transport

This week looks at the atmospheric transport of aerosols, volcanic emissions and emissions from wildfires.

Topic 4a - Overview of Atmospheric transport

Transport of pollution in the atmosphere is caused by time-averaged wind flow.
How far air pollutants are transported mainly depends upon particle size of the compounds and the height the pollution was emitted into the air.

Topic 4b - Part 1: Monitoring aerosols with satellite data products & in situ LiDAR

In this video Seppo Hassinen talks us through AC SAF (Atmospheric Composition Satellite Application Facility), which is part of the EUMETSAT Application Ground Segment.

Topic 4b - Part 2: Tracking the transport and effects of aerosols with satellite data and models

As you saw in 4b part 1, aerosols can be emitted from natural sources, these include desert dust, volcanic ash and sea salt, or they can be emitted from anthropogenic sources, which include biomass burning, vehicle emissions, and industrial processes.

Topic 4c - Part 1: Monitoring volcanic emissions - Overview

Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellites will be crucial to volcanic ash monitoring, with their higher resolution imagery and new infrared sounding capabilities.

Topic 4c - Part 2: Monitoring volcanic emissions - Case studies & the role of VAACs

Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres (VAACs) have specialist forecasters who produce volcanic ash advisories and guidance products using a combination of volcano data; satellite-based, ground-based and aircraft observations; weather forecast models and dispersion models.

Topic 4d - Monitoring biomass burning and validating wildfires

Fires and biomass burning can be identified from space in real time. The ‘D-Fire’ sub project in the Copernicus programme provides global emissions from biomass burning to the public and MACC (Monitoring Atmospheric Composition & Climate) services using real time and retrospectively from satellite-based observations of open fires.

Topic 4e – Monitoring human impact on fires and enforcing policy

Wildfires have been getting worse in recent years due to human activity. In California for example, 2017 was the worst season ever for wildfires. There were a recorded 9,133 fires that burned through more than 1 million acres and killed 43 people in the state, including five of the 20 most destructive wildland-urban interface fires in the state’s history.

Topic 4f - Part 1: Practical Products – Predicting impact from aerosols, dust and fires

There are products that can be used to predict how dust and aerosols will affect solar energy. For example to help farmers re-orientate their solar panels or to help predict solar radiation levels, for management of solar energy production.

Topic 4f – Part 2: Practical products - Aerosol forecasting

There are 5 main aerosol species that are used in CAMS aerosol forecasts, these are: sea-salt, desert dust, organic matter, black carbon and sulphates.

Week 4 interactive exercise

Week 4 interactive exercise