Over recent years, physicists and meteorologists have been trying to find out about carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, and how these have evolved in the troposphere over various urban and rural areas around the planet. Now a scientific team from the University of Valladolid (UVA) has published the first – and to date the only – measurements for the Iberian Peninsula.
The study, published in the latest issue of the journal Theoretical and Applied Climatology and led by Mª Luisa Sánchez, a researcher from the UVA's Atmospheric Pollution Group, shows that CO2 levels increased by 8 ppm (parts per million) between 2002 and 2005. A broader study has led the researchers to predict "an annual increase of 3 ppm" in the study area."The levels of this gas in uncontaminated atmospheres depend on emissions from the ground, as well as plant respiration and photosynthesis, but also on developments in the atmosphere as a whole, which may facilitate or inhibit the dispersal of this substance", Isidro Pérez, one of the authors and a researcher from the UVA's Applied Physics Department, tells SINC.
The increase in carbon dioxide was factored in with other characteristics observed in uncontaminated areas, such as differences between day and night. "This contrast, which is especially significant in spring, can be explained by plant respiration and photosynthesis processes, and by the turbulence or stratification of the atmosphere", explains Pérez.
Other characteristics of the troposphere
Data from a RASS sodar (a device that measures vertical temperature and wind profiles and that has a larger range than conventional meteorological towers) allowed the team to classify wind speed too. These data made it possible to obtain profiles that showed "the existence of low-level jet streams at night time, which were especially low in summer, when they were located at a maximum height of between 200 and 300 metres", says the researcher.
The physicists also analysed the thermal structure of the lower atmosphere, and found "significant daytime cold advections (horizontal transportation of heat by an air current) in springtime, with temperature differences of 4.5ºC between the highest and lowest wind speeds", adds Pérez.
Pérez, Isidro A.; Sánchez, María Luisa; García, María Ángeles; de Torre, Beatriz. "Daily and annual cycle of CO2 concentration near the surface depending on boundary layer structure at a rural site in Spain" Theoretical and Applied Climatology 98(3-4): 269-277, octubre de 2009.
SINC | EurekAlert!
Climate change weakens Walker circulation
20.10.2017 | MARUM - Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften an der Universität Bremen
Shallow soils promote savannas in South America
20.10.2017 | Senckenberg Forschungsinstitut und Naturmuseen
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research