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1.
Regional new particle formation as modulators of cloud condensation nuclei and cloud droplet number in the eastern Mediterranean
Panayiotis Kalkavouras, Aikaterini Bougiatioti, Nikos Kalivitis, Iasonas Stavroulas, Maria Tombrou, Athanasios Nenes, Nikolaos Mihalopoulos, 2019, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: A significant fraction of atmospheric particles that serve as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) are thought to originate from the condensational growth of new particle formation (NPF) from the gas phase. Here, 7 years of continuous aerosol and meteorological measurements (June 2008 to May 2015) at a remote background site of the eastern Mediterranean were recorded and analyzed to assess the impact of NPF (of 162 episodes identified) on CCN and cloud droplet number concentration (CDNC) formation in the region. A new metric is introduced to quantitatively determine the initiation and duration of the influence of NPF on the CCN spectrum. NPF days were found to increase CCN concentrations (from 0.10 % to 1.00 % supersaturation) between 29 % and 77 %. Enhanced CCN concentrations from NPF are mostly observed, as expected, under low preexisting particle concentrations and occur in the afternoon, relatively later in the winter and autumn than in the summer. Potential impacts of NPF on cloud formation were quantified by introducing the observed aerosol size distributions and chemical composition into an established cloud droplet parameterization. We find that the supersaturations that develop are very low (ranging between 0.03 % and 0.27 %) for typical boundary layer dynamics (σw ∼0.3 m s−1) and NPF is found to enhance CDNC by a modest 13 %. This considerable contrast between CCN and CDNC response is in part from the different supersaturation levels considered, but also because supersaturation drops from increasing CCN because of water vapor competition effects during the process of droplet formation. The low cloud supersaturation further delays the appearance of NPF impacts on CDNC to clouds formed in the late evening and nighttime – which has important implications for the extent and types of indirect effects induced by NPF events. An analysis based on CCN concentrations using prescribed supersaturation can provide very different, even misleading, conclusions and should therefore be avoided. The proposed approach here offers a simple, yet highly effective way for a more realistic impact assessment of NPF events on cloud formation.
Ključne besede: regional NPF, CCN, cloud droplets, Eastern Mediterranean, regional background
Objavljeno v RUNG: 13.05.2024; Ogledov: 325; Prenosov: 2
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2.
Formation and growth of atmospheric nanoparticles in the eastern Mediterranean : results from long-term measurements and process simulations
Nikos Kalivitis, Veli-Matti Kerminen, Giorgos Kouvarakis, Iasonas Stavroulas, Evaggelia Tzitzikalaki, Panayiotis Kalkavouras, Nikos Daskalakis, Stelios Myriokefalitakis, Aikaterini Bougiatioti, Hanna E. Manninen, 2019, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: Atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) is a common phenomenon all over the world. In this study we present the longest time series of NPF records in the eastern Mediterranean region by analyzing 10 years of aerosol number size distribution data obtained with a mobility particle sizer. The measurements were performed at the Finokalia environmental research station on Crete, Greece, during the period June 2008–June 2018. We found that NPF took place on 27 % of the available days, undefined days were 23 % and non-event days 50 %. NPF is more frequent in April and May probably due to the terrestrial biogenic activity and is less frequent in August. Throughout the period under study, nucleation was observed also during the night. Nucleation mode particles had the highest concentration in winter and early spring, mainly because of the minimum sinks, and their average contribution to the total particle number concentration was 8 %. Nucleation mode particle concentrations were low outside periods of active NPF and growth, so there are hardly any other local sources of sub-25 nm particles. Additional atmospheric ion size distribution data simultaneously collected for more than 2 years were also analyzed. Classification of NPF events based on ion spectrometer measurements differed from the corresponding classification based on a mobility spectrometer, possibly indicating a different representation of local and regional NPF events between these two measurement data sets. We used the MALTE-Box model for simulating a case study of NPF in the eastern Mediterranean region. Monoterpenes contributing to NPF can explain a large fraction of the observed NPF events according to our model simulations. However the adjusted parameterization resulting from our sensitivity tests was significantly different from the initial one that had been determined for the boreal environment.
Ključne besede: particles, number size distributions, new particle formation, regional background, SMPS, Eastern Mediterannean
Objavljeno v RUNG: 10.05.2024; Ogledov: 309; Prenosov: 2
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3.
On the regional aspects of new particle formation in the Eastern Mediterranean : a comparative study between a background and an urban site based on long term observations
Panayiotis Kalkavouras, Aikaterini Bougiatioti, Georgios Grivas, Iasonas Stavroulas, Nikos Kalivitis, Eleni Liakakou, Evangelos Gerasopoulos, Christodoulos Pilinis, Nikolaos Mihalopoulos, 2020, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: Atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) is an important source of submicron particles. In remote background environments where local sources are scarce such processes may impact significantly on climate-relevant parameters. On the other hand, in urban environments, newly-formed particles are adding up to submicron particles emitted from primary sources. As the exact mechanism which triggers NPF still remains elusive, so are the circumstances for simultaneous occurrence of such events in two different environments (urban vs. regional background). In this study, concurrent number size distribution measurements were conducted in the urban environment of Athens and at the regional background site of Finokalia, Crete, located 340 km away and spanning a 2-year period. It occurred that the relative frequency of NPF was similar at both sites (around 20%), with a higher frequency during spring and autumn at the urban site, while at the background site most events took place in August and December, during the studied period. There were 35 event days when NPF took place at both sites simultaneously, all associated with air masses originating from the Northern sector, indicating the presence of regional events in the extended geographical area and characterized by low condensation sink (CS). By comparing the common with the non-common class I NPF episodes, we conclude that the conditions applying when regional NPF events with growth are observed in the same day at the surface level of both areas, are: (i) lower CS, (ii) higher SO2 concentrations, (iii) lower RH, and finally (iv) lower formation and growth rates than those observed during the site-specific and more rapidly evolving NPF events.
Ključne besede: NPF, Athens, Eastern Mediterranean, particle number concentrations, size distributions, concurrent regional events
Objavljeno v RUNG: 10.05.2024; Ogledov: 302; Prenosov: 0
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4.
Integrating in situ measurements and city scale modelling to assess the COVID–19 lockdown effects on emissions and air quality in Athens, Greece
Georgios Grivas, Eleni Athanasopoulou, Anastasia Kakouri, Jennifer Bailey, Eleni Liakakou, Iasonas Stavroulas, Panayiotis Kalkavouras, Aikaterini Bougiatioti, Dimitris G. Kaskaoutis, Michel Ramonet, 2020, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: The lockdown measures implemented worldwide to slow the spread of the COVID–19 pandemic have allowed for a unique real-world experiment, regarding the impacts of drastic emission cutbacks on urban air quality. In this study we assess the effects of a 7-week (23 March–10 May 2020) lockdown in the Greater Area of Athens, coupling in situ observations with estimations from a meteorology-atmospheric chemistry model. Measurements in central Athens during the lockdown were compared with levels during the pre- and post-lockdown 3-week periods and with respective levels in the four previous years. We examined regulatory pollutants as well as CO2, black carbon (BC) and source-specific BC components. Models were run for pre-lockdown and lockdown periods, under baseline and reduced-emissions scenarios. The in-situ results indicate mean concentration reductions of 30–35% for traffic-related pollutants in Athens (NO2, CO, BC from fossil fuel combustion), compared to the pre-lockdown period. A large reduction (53%) was observed also for the urban CO2 enhancement while the reduction for PM2.5 was subtler (18%). Significant reductions were also observed when comparing the 2020 lockdown period with past years. However, levels rebounded immediately following the lift of the general lockdown. The decrease in measured NO2 concentrations was reproduced by the implementation of the city scale model, under a realistic reduced-emissions scenario for the lockdown period, anchored at a 46% decline of road transport activity. The model permitted the assessment of air quality improvements on a spatial scale, indicating that NO2 mean concentration reductions in areas of the Athens basin reached up to 50%. The findings suggest a potential for local traffic management strategies to reduce ambient exposure and to minimize exceedances of air quality standards for primary pollutants.
Ključne besede: pandemic, urban air pollution, traffic, chemical transport model, TAPM, mapping
Objavljeno v RUNG: 10.05.2024; Ogledov: 333; Prenosov: 2
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5.
Field evaluation of low-cost PM sensors (Purple Air PA-II) under variable urban air quality conditions, in Greece
Iasonas Stavroulas, Georgios Grivas, Panagiotis Michalopoulos, Eleni Liakakou, Aikaterini Bougiatioti, Panayiotis Kalkavouras, Kyriaki Maria Fameli, Nikolaos Hatzianastassiou, Nikolaos Mihalopoulos, Evangelos Gerasopoulos, 2020, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: Recent advances in particle sensor technologies have led to an increased development and utilization of low-cost, compact, particulate matter (PM) monitors. These devices can be deployed in dense monitoring networks, enabling an improved characterization of the spatiotemporal variability in ambient levels and exposure. However, the reliability of their measurements is an important prerequisite, necessitating rigorous performance evaluation and calibration in comparison to reference-grade instrumentation. In this study, field evaluation of Purple Air PA-II devices (low-cost PM sensors) is performed in two urban environments and across three seasons in Greece, in comparison to different types of reference instruments. Measurements were conducted in Athens (the largest city in Greece with nearly four-million inhabitants) for five months spanning over the summer of 2019 and winter/spring of 2020 and in Ioannina, a medium-sized city in northwestern Greece (100,000 inhabitants) during winter/spring 2019–2020. The PM2.5 sensor output correlates strongly with reference measurements (R2 = 0.87 against a beta attenuation monitor and R2 = 0.98 against an optical reference-grade monitor). Deviations in the sensor-reference agreement are identified as mainly related to elevated coarse particle concentrations and high ambient relative humidity. Simple and multiple regression models are tested to compensate for these biases, drastically improving the sensor’s response. Large decreases in sensor error are observed after implementation of models, leading to mean absolute percentage errors of 0.18 and 0.12 for the Athens and Ioannina datasets, respectively. Overall, a quality-controlled and robustly evaluated low-cost network can be an integral component for air quality monitoring in a smart city. Case studies are presented along this line, where a network of PA-II devices is used to monitor the air quality deterioration during a peri-urban forest fire event affecting the area of Athens and during extreme wintertime smog events in Ioannina, related to wood burning for residential heating.
Ključne besede: particulate matter, PM2.5, air quality, low-cost sensors, optical particle counter
Objavljeno v RUNG: 10.05.2024; Ogledov: 281; Prenosov: 3
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6.
Online chemical characterization and sources of submicron aerosol in the major mediterranean port city of Piraeus, Greece
Iasonas Stavroulas, Georgios Grivas, Eleni Liakakou, Panayiotis Kalkavouras, Aikaterini Bougiatioti, Dimitris G. Kaskaoutis, Maria Lianou, Kyriaki Papoutsidaki, M. Tsagkaraki, Evangelos Gerasopoulos, Pavlos Zarmpas, Nikolaos Mihalopoulos, 2021, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: Port cities are affected by a wide array of emissions, including those from the shipping, road transport, and residential sectors; therefore, the characterization and apportionment of such sources in a high temporal resolution is crucial. This study presents measurements of fine aerosol chemical composition in Piraeus, one of the largest European ports, during two monthly periods (winter vs. summer) in 2018–2019, using online instrumentation (Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor—ACSM, 7-λ aethalometer). PMF source apportionment was performed on the ACSM mass spectra to quantify organic aerosol (OA) components, while equivalent black carbon (BC) was decomposed to its fossil fuel combustion and biomass burning (BB) fractions. The combined traffic, shipping and, especially, residential emissions led to considerably elevated submicron aerosol levels (22.8 μg m−3) in winter, which frequently became episodic late at night under stagnant conditions. Carbonaceous compounds comprised the major portion of this submicron aerosol in winter, with mean OA and BC contributions of 61% (13.9 μg m−3) and 16% (3.7 μg m−3), respectively. The contribution of BB to BC concentrations was considerable and spatially uniform. OA related to BB emissions (fresh and processed) and hydrocarbon-like OA (from vehicular traffic and port-related fossil fuel emissions including shipping) accounted for 37% and 30% of OA, respectively. In summer, the average PM1 concentration was significantly lower (14.8 μg m−3) and less variable, especially for the components associated with secondary aerosols (such as OA and sulfate). The effect of the port sector was evident in summer and maintained BC concentrations at high levels (2.8 μg m−3), despite the absence of BB and improved atmospheric dispersion. Oxygenated components yielded over 70% of OA in summer, with the more oxidized secondary component of regional origin being dominant (41%) despite the intensity of local sources, in the Piraeus environment. In general, with respect to local sources that can be the target of mitigation policies, this work highlights the importance of port-related activities but also reveals the extensive wintertime impact of residential wood burning. While a separation of the BB source is feasible, more research is needed on how to disentangle the short-term effects of different fossil-fuel combustion sources.
Ključne besede: Athens, harbor, shipping emissions, PM1, chemical speciation, organic aerosol, black carbon, ACSM, aethalometer, PMF
Objavljeno v RUNG: 10.05.2024; Ogledov: 291; Prenosov: 2
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7.
Assessment of the COVID-19 lockdown effects on spectral aerosol scattering and absorption properties in Athens, Greece
Dimitris G. Kaskaoutis, Georgios Grivas, Eleni Liakakou, Nikos Kalivitis, Giorgos Kouvarakis, Iasonas Stavroulas, Panayiotis Kalkavouras, Pavlos Zarmpas, Umesh Chandra Dumka, Evangelos Gerasopoulos, Nikolaos Mihalopoulos, 2021, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: COVID-19 is evolving into one of the worst pandemics in recent history, claiming a death toll of over 1.5 million as of December 2020. In an attempt to limit the expansion of the pandemic in its initial phase, nearly all countries imposed restriction measures, which resulted in an unprecedented reduction of air pollution. This study aims to assess the impact of the lockdown effects due to COVID-19 on in situ measured aerosol properties, namely spectral-scattering (bsca) and absorption (babs) coefficients, black carbon (BC) concentrations, single-scattering albedo (SSA), scattering and absorption Ångström exponents (SAE, AAE) in Athens, Greece. Moreover, a comparison is performed with the regional background site of Finokalia, Crete, for a better assessment of the urban impact on observed differences. The study examines pre-lockdown (1–22 March 2020), lockdown (23 March–3 May 2020) and post-lockdown (4–31 May 2020) periods, while the aerosol properties are also compared with a 3–4 year preceding period (2016/2017–2019). Comparison of meteorological parameters in Athens, between the lockdown period and respective days in previous years, showed only marginal variation, which is not deemed sufficient in order to justify the notable changes in aerosol concentrations and optical properties. The largest reduction during the lockdown period was observed for babs compared to the pre-lockdown (−39%) and to the same period in previous years (−36%). This was intensified during the morning traffic hours (−60%), reflecting the large decrease in vehicular emissions. Furthermore, AAE increased during the lockdown period due to reduced emissions from fossil-fuel combustion, while a smaller (−21%) decrease was observed for bsca along with slight increases (6%) in SAE and SSA values, indicating that scattering aerosol properties were less affected by the decrease in vehicular emissions, as they are more dependent on regional sources and atmospheric processing. Nighttime BC emissions related to residential wood-burning were slightly increased during the lockdown period, with respect to previous-year means. On the contrary, aerosol and pollution changes during the lockdown period at Finokalia were low and highly sensitive to natural sources and processes.
Ključne besede: COVID-19, traffic, aerosol scattering, absorption, SSA, Greece
Objavljeno v RUNG: 10.05.2024; Ogledov: 270; Prenosov: 3
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Regional new particle formation over the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East
Panayiotis Kalkavouras, Aikaterini Bougiatioti, Tareq Hussein, Nikos Kalivitis, Iasonas Stavroulas, Panagiotis Michalopoulos, Nikolaos Mihalopoulos, 2021, izvirni znanstveni članek

Opis: Atmospheric new particle formation (NPF) events taking place over large distances between locations, featuring similar characteristics, have been the focus of studies during the last decade. The exact mechanism which triggers NPF still remains indefinable, so are the circumstances under which simultaneous occurrence of such events take place in different environments, let alone in environments which are parted by over 1200 km. In this study, concurrent number size distribution measurements were conducted in the urban environments of Athens (Greece) and Amman (Jordan) as well as the regional background site of Finokalia, Crete, all located within a distance of almost 1300 km for a 6-month period (February–July 2017). During the study period Athens and Finokalia had similar occurrence of NPF (around 20%), while the occurrence in Amman was double. When focusing on the dynamic characteristics at each site, it occurs that formation and growth rates at Amman are similar to those at Finokalia, while lower values in Athens can be ascribed to a higher pre-existing particle number at this urban site. By comparing common NPF events there are 5 concomitant days between all three sites, highly related to air masses origin. Additionally, for another 19 days NPF takes place simultaneously between Finokalia and Amman, which also share common meteorological characteristics, adding to a total of 60% out of 41 NPF events observed at Finokalia, also simultaneously occurring in Amman.
Ključne besede: NPF, Eastern Mediterranean, particle number size distributions, concurrent regional events
Objavljeno v RUNG: 10.05.2024; Ogledov: 328; Prenosov: 3
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