ARL Weekly News – May 21, 2021

Recent Events

National Atmospheric Deposition Program Spring Meeting

From May 10-14, and May 19 Winston Luke convened and hosted significant portions of the Spring meeting of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP). Originally to be held in Madison, WI, the meeting was instead attended virtually by over 80 participants. Dr. Luke serves as the Chair of the Network Operations Subcommittee (NOS), one of two technical subcommittees in the Program. NADP is a cooperative program comprised of five monitoring networks and over 500 independent sites that provide long-term, high-quality air and precipitation measurements to evaluate atmospheric deposition over space and time. NADP’s Executive Committee instructs program direction based on recommendations from its technical and science subcommittees). Existing science subcommittees include Critical Loads of Atmospheric Deposition (CLAD); Total Deposition (TDep); the Aeroallergen Monitoring Science Committee (AMSC); and Mercury in the Environment and Links to Deposition (MELD).

As NOS Chair, Dr. Luke was charged with drafting and coordinating block and session agendas, soliciting input from NADP members for topics of discussion, and hosting and facilitating the online meetings. NOS provides scientific and technical guidance for the operation and maintenance of NADP’s monitoring networks to ensure the collection and dissemination of high-quality, policy-relevant atmospheric chemistry and deposition data.

Pennsylvania Middle School to Learn about USCRN

On Tuesday May 25th, Dr. Howard Diamond will be making a virtual presentation to a group of 7th and 8th graders in Coatesville School District in southeastern Pennsylvania. The students are in an after-school program called the 21st Century Community Learning Center which is located at the Stroud Water Research Center in Avondale, PA. As it turns out, one of the USCRN Program’s observing stations is located at the Stroud Center in Avondale. One of the charges of the learning program there is to use NOAA data and resources as well as to connect with NOAA scientists. The program reached out to Dr. Diamond in his role as the USCRN Program Manager so that the students could learn more about how NOAA is collecting data in their own “backyard” to help monitor climate change. Dr. Diamond will make a presentation on what the USCRN program does, what kinds of data the Avondale USCRN station collects, and how this data is being used in climate studies, and what the data tells us.

Intern Season begins

Todd McKinney, a rising senior at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, began his summer internship at ARL. He will work with Alice Crawford on HYSPLIT. Todd is already an experienced user of HYSPLIT, having used it for real time tracking of super pressure balloon systems. He is project lead for the Aloft Super Pressure Balloons for High Altitude Analysis, a UAH high altitude weather ballooning program sponsored by the Space Hardware Club at UAH. In spring 2021, the Space Hardware Club deployed five super pressure balloons equipped with WSPR tracking equipment whose goal is to circumnavigate the globe, sample the lower stratosphere, and broadcast the SHC website:

Papers Accepted

Fossil vs. non-fossil CO sources in the US: New airborne constraints from ACT-America and GEM

Accepted into GRL for publication, entitled: “Fossil vs. non-fossil CO sources in the US: New airborne constraints from ACT-America and GEM.” Abstract: Carbon monoxide (CO) is an ozone precursor, oxidant sink, and widely-used pollution tracer. The importance of anthropogenic versus other CO sources in the US is uncertain. Here we interpret extensive airborne measurements with an atmospheric model to constrain US fossil and non-fossil CO sources. Measurements reveal a low bias in the simulated CO background and a 30% overestimate of US fossil CO emissions in the 2016 National Emissions Inventory. After optimization we apply the model for source partitioning. During summer, regional fossil sources account for just 9-16% of the sampled boundary layer CO, and 32-38% of the North American enhancement—complicating use of CO as a fossil fuel tracer. The remainder predominantly reflects biogenic hydrocarbon oxidation plus fires. Fossil sources account for less domain-wide spatial variability at this time than non-fossil and background contributions. The regional fossil contribution rises in other seasons, and drives ambient variability downwind of urban areas.

Citation: Gonzalez, A., Millet, D., Yu, X., Wells, K., Griffis, T. Baier, B. & Campbell, P., Choi, Y., DiGangi, J., Gvakharia, A., Halliday, H., Kort, E., McKain, K. & Nowak, J., & Plant, G. (2021). Fossil vs. non-fossil CO sources in the US: New airborne constraints from ACT-America and GEM. Geophys. Res. Lett., doi: 10.1002/essoar.10506539.1.

The Status and Future of Small Uncrewed Aircraft Systems

Bruce Baker coauthors a paper that has been accepted by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society entitled: “The Status and Future of Small Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) in Operational Meteorology” This paper is based on WMO Aircraft-Based Observations Programme (ABOP) Workshop on the Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in Operational Meteorology, the article provides an overview of the current level of readiness of small WxUAS to routinely sense the lower atmosphere in support of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) around the world. The potential benefits of operational WxUAS in weather forecasting and numerical weather prediction are summarized, as are key considerations that will need to be addressed before WxUAS are adopted by NMHS. Finally, potential pathways for implementation of WxUAS into operations, which hinge on their successful demonstration during testbed experiments, are discussed.