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  • ATMOSPHERIC PROCESSES AND MODELLING

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    Changes in atmospheric composition influence directly many aspects of life, determining climate, air quality and atmospheric inputs to ecosystems of Coastal Regions. In turn, these changes affect the fundamental needs of human existence, such as human and ecosystem health, food production and water resources. Research on Atmospheric Sustainability is therefore fundamental for the future orientation of Europe’s Sustainable Development Strategy. To deal with the aforementioned problems, the following priority themes are defined:1) Global climate studies     - Hydrological cycles and precipitation regime     - Carbon cycle and carbon balance     - Weather and climate variability     - Heat waves and side effects     - Impact on forest fires and air quality2) Air pollution     - Physical and chemical processes     - Source emission and apportionment     - Environmental and health effects3) Forest fires     - Fire emissions     - Atmospheric flow and smoke dispersion     - Chemical transformation     - Environmental impact of biomass burning

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  • ATMOSPHERIC PROCESSES AND MODELLING

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    Changes in atmospheric composition influence directly many aspects of life, determining climate, air quality and atmospheric inputs to ecosystems of Coastal Regions. In turn, these changes affect the fundamental needs of human existence, such as human and ecosystem health, food production and water resources. Research on Atmospheric Sustainability is therefore fundamental for the future orientation of Europe’s Sustainable Development Strategy. To deal with the aforementioned problems, the following priority themes are defined:1) Global climate studies     - Hydrological cycles and precipitation regime     - Carbon cycle and carbon balance     - Weather and climate variability     - Heat waves and side effects     - Impact on forest fires and air quality2) Air pollution     - Physical and chemical processes     - Source emission and apportionment     - Environmental and health effects3) Forest fires     - Fire emissions     - Atmospheric flow and smoke dispersion     - Chemical transformation     - Environmental impact of biomass burning

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  • Future Objectives

    To attain the defined objectives, future investigation will be developed:(i) Emission and Deposition     - Estimation of forest fire emissions and its dispersion/transport modelling regarding Portugal and the Mediterranean area.     - Development of an emission model to quantify mercury from natural sources, including vegetation, soil and water for Portugal.     - Evaluation of the contribution of biomass combustion to air pollutant emissions: quantification of emission rates and chemical compound signatures for prevalent European wood species and different house combustion equipments.     - Wet deposition of particulate carbon over Northeast Atlantic Region     - Combination of sugar and genetic material analysis to establish the origin of primary biological particles.(ii) Determination and Modeling of Atmospheric Processes     - Analysis of organosulfates and nitrates to understand their production mechanisms and relative importance in the global secondary aerosol budget .     - Investigation of the atmospheric aerosol characteristics, sources and formation processes by source apportionment techniques contributing to consistent environment policies.     - Ensemble approach and data assimilation applied to improve numerical weather prediction, air quality simulation and climate reconstruction.     - Implementation of data assimilation and ensemble to improve regional weather forecast using atmospheric numerical regional model WRF.     - Investigate physical mechanisms and impact of climate change on variability of higher frequency extreme events in Euro-Atlantic and South Africa regions.     - Improvement of the chemical and physical processes knowledge in the coastal boundary layer and complex topography regions through experimental campaigns. Clarification of the role of chemical compounds in the remote marine atmosphere and how they are affected by anthropogenic intrusions and the atmosphere/ocean/climate interactions.(iii) Atmospheric Changes and Effects     - Investigation the aerosol-cloud-climate and air quality interactions in order to: reduce current uncertainty of impact of aerosol particles on climate and quantify the side-effects of European air quality directives on global and regional climate.     - Assessment of actual emission mitigation strategies under climate scenarios in order to address their efficiency and future adequacy.     - Study of urban air pollution mainly focused on particulate and air toxic pollutants will be performed through experimental field studies and a consistent modeling approach. A causal link between emission sources and population exposure for short- and long-term adverse health effects will be established.    - Development of the methodology for analysis of the potential effect of forest-fire smoke emissions on firemen health, based on the estimation of the fire-fighters personal exposure to air pollutants.    - Evaluation of indoor pollution on human health.    - Development of modeling approach to study dispersion of hazardous matter in case of industrial accidents.

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  • Equipment

    APM benefits from recently acquired cutting-edge analytical equipment, e.g. ultra-high-performance liquid chromatographer coupled with ultra-high resolution quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer (UHPLC UHD Q-TOF MS/MS), triple quadrupole LC-MS/MS, various gas chromatographers with distinct detectors, among others.In collaboration with the “Coastal Zone Planning and Management” group, APM have access to a biomass combustion laboratory where lab-scale reactors and residential burning appliances can be operated; the setup enables the real time monitoring of several combustion parameters and flue gas composition.Facilities for physical simulation of the atmospheric flow and pollutants dispersion are also available, namely two open-circuit wind tunnels: Tunnel 1 (5.5 m total length with a test section of 1.30 m x 0.25 x 0.30 m) and Tunnel 2 (12.2 m long and a test section of 6.5 m x 1.5 m x 1.0 m), where studies concerning obstacle aerodynamics (buildings, low speed vehicles, etc.), pollutant dispersion in urban areas, pedestrian wind comfort, amongst others, are performed.

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  • Equipment

    APM benefits from recently acquired cutting-edge analytical equipment, e.g. ultra-high-performance liquid chromatographer coupled with ultra-high resolution quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer (UHPLC UHD Q-TOF MS/MS), triple quadrupole LC-MS/MS, various gas chromatographers with distinct detectors, among others.In collaboration with the “Coastal Zone Planning and Management” group, APM have access to a biomass combustion laboratory where lab-scale reactors and residential burning appliances can be operated; the setup enables the real time monitoring of several combustion parameters and flue gas composition.Facilities for physical simulation of the atmospheric flow and pollutants dispersion are also available, namely two open-circuit wind tunnels: Tunnel 1 (5.5 m total length with a test section of 1.30 m x 0.25 x 0.30 m) and Tunnel 2 (12.2 m long and a test section of 6.5 m x 1.5 m x 1.0 m), where studies concerning obstacle aerodynamics (buildings, low speed vehicles, etc.), pollutant dispersion in urban areas, pedestrian wind comfort, amongst others, are performed.

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  • Equipment

    APM benefits from recently acquired cutting-edge analytical equipment, e.g. ultra-high-performance liquid chromatographer coupled with ultra-high resolution quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer (UHPLC UHD Q-TOF MS/MS), triple quadrupole LC-MS/MS, various gas chromatographers with distinct detectors, among others.In collaboration with the “Coastal Zone Planning and Management” group, APM have access to a biomass combustion laboratory where lab-scale reactors and residential burning appliances can be operated; the setup enables the real time monitoring of several combustion parameters and flue gas composition.Facilities for physical simulation of the atmospheric flow and pollutants dispersion are also available, namely two open-circuit wind tunnels: Tunnel 1 (5.5 m total length with a test section of 1.30 m x 0.25 x 0.30 m) and Tunnel 2 (12.2 m long and a test section of 6.5 m x 1.5 m x 1.0 m), where studies concerning obstacle aerodynamics (buildings, low speed vehicles, etc.), pollutant dispersion in urban areas, pedestrian wind comfort, amongst others, are performed.

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  • Equipment

    APM benefits from recently acquired cutting-edge analytical equipment, e.g. ultra-high-performance liquid chromatographer coupled with ultra-high resolution quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer (UHPLC UHD Q-TOF MS/MS), triple quadrupole LC-MS/MS, various gas chromatographers with distinct detectors, among others.In collaboration with the “Coastal Zone Planning and Management” group, APM have access to a biomass combustion laboratory where lab-scale reactors and residential burning appliances can be operated; the setup enables the real time monitoring of several combustion parameters and flue gas composition.Facilities for physical simulation of the atmospheric flow and pollutants dispersion are also available, namely two open-circuit wind tunnels: Tunnel 1 (5.5 m total length with a test section of 1.30 m x 0.25 x 0.30 m) and Tunnel 2 (12.2 m long and a test section of 6.5 m x 1.5 m x 1.0 m), where studies concerning obstacle aerodynamics (buildings, low speed vehicles, etc.), pollutant dispersion in urban areas, pedestrian wind comfort, amongst others, are performed.

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  • Research Labs

    The Research Group on Atmospheric Processes and Modelling (APM) aims to create and disseminate scientific knowledge in the area of the atmosphere, in particular regarding changes in the atmosphere composition, emissions characterization, pollutants deposition, and atmospheric processes modelling. This knowledge is developed within four main fields of interest: climate change, atmospheric sustainability, air quality and human health.To optimize its activities the Group APM is organised into three Laboratories with several synergies and complementarities: (i) Lab of Atmospheric Physics (LAP); (ii) Lab of Atmospheric Chemistry (LAC), and (iii) Lab on Emissions, Modelling and Climate Change (GEMAC).

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  • Lab of Atmospheric Physics (LAP)

    LAP is focused on climate change research and includes: i) diagnosis of climate change signal in the occurrence of precipitation extreme episodes; ii) analysis of water vapor exchange processes between the troposphere and stratosphere; iii) Assessment of upper troposphere/lower stratosphere baroclinicity change and multiple tropopause event trends; and iv) contribution of atmospheric circulation changes for the variability of total ozone column. Research is also carried out in the field of renewable energies through numerical weather simulations studies to evaluate/forecast renewable energy resources.

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  • Lab of Atmospheric Chemistry (LAC)

    The Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry (LAC) has an extensive track record of international research funding, training and exchange of personnel. This clearly shows that its facilities have a broad international spirit and are used to receive and train a wide variety of post-graduated students and scientists. In addition, the group has an ample publication record in the area of atmospheric chemistry, in spite of the reduced number of staff elements, with more than 200 research papers published in international peer reviewed journals, many of them in the 80% or higher percentile in terms of impact factor in the area of environmental sciences. The research topics include measurement of organic aerosols, gas-particle equilibrium and conversion, source apportionment of aerosol particles, speciation of particulate organic species, marine aerosols and DMS, VOC emissions by forests, dry deposition of ozone and other gaseous pollutants, soiling of surfaces by carbonaceous aerosols, CO2 fluxes over vegetated surfaces, chemical modelling of photochemical pollution, indoor air pollution, biomass burning emissions, exhaust and non-exhaust emissions, etc. During the last years the group has participated in various EU funded research projects, namely Assessment of the European Terrestrial Carbon Balance (CARBOEUROPE-IP), European Integrated project on Aerosol Cloud Climate and Air Quality Interactions (EUCAARI), and the Life+ Testing and Development of Air Quality Mitigation Measures in Southern Europe (AIRUSE).

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  • Lab on Emissions, Modelling and Climate Change (GEMAC)

    GEMAC is dedicated to the analysis and modelling of atmospheric processes.  Air quality modelling activities include emission modelling, source apportionment modelling, improvement of air quality forecasting systems, and implementation of tools among different modelling scales (from global to local). Numerical modelling activities are complemented with physical modelling in a wind tunnel laboratory. Climate change impacts on air pollution and on human health are also addressed. GEMAC complements LAC’s research on human exposure to atmospheric pollutants through the development of methodologies for the quantification of human exposure levels (indoor and outdoor) and its integration with local and urban models. GEMAC is currently participating in the H2020 CLAIRCITY and in the LIFE-INDEX-Air European projects.

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  • Lab's future objectives

    The research on the dynamics of stratospheric polar vortices, particularly of Sudden Stratospheric Warmings, that it is well known to have a predictable influence on surface weather middle and high latitudes will continue in the scope of LAP activities, as well as the analysis of the dynamics of convectively coupled equatorial waves (CCEW). These waves represent an important component of atmospheric variability within the tropics, and can have a global impacts, at least indirectly, by influencing Hadley cell and the tropical tropopause upwelling. The analysis of CCEW both in reanalysis data and in CMIP6 simulations will contribute to identify the origin of current model’s difficulties to simulate CCEW, contributing, therefore, for the model’s improvement.LAP also intends to continue research on climate change of extreme events which may have serious impacts on human health and the environment. This will be accomplished for the Euro-Mediterranean region considering various atmospheric stability indices and for future emission scenarios in the framework of CMIP6 and CORDEX-like downscaling programmes and considering the full range of scenarios and models.Taking into consideration that climate change projections point to increasing fire intensity LAC will evaluate the effects of wildfires on carbon fluxes. It is also targeted to perform a spatial assessment of air pollutants and to evaluate the geochemistry of airborne PM in Fogo Island (Cape Verde) and its implications in soils, surface waters and human health.GEMAC will investigate the air quality impacts, costs and benefits of emission reduction projections for 2030, producing NEC emission reduction cost-benefit maps for Portugal. These 2030 projections will be based on robust disaggregated emission scenarios, with focus on improving the spatial characterization of NH3 and CH4 emissions from the agriculture sector. Moreover, the risk of Douro’s vineyards exposure to ozone in present and future climate will be assessed by modelling ozone concentrations and deposition over the Douro Valley and then by evaluating the potential damage in terms of productivity.  Another foreseen activity of GEMAC concerns the evaluation of the impact of maritime transport emissions on the air quality in Portugal and in the Porto urban area, for present and future climate scenarios.Finally, GEMAC aims at substantially improving future air quality and carbon policies in European cities by initiating new modes of engaging citizens, stakeholders and policymakers. The latest social science thinking will be applied to the source apportion of air pollution emissions and concentrations in order to attribute them not just by technology but by citizens’ behaviour. 

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  • EQUIPMENT

    Mobile laboratory equipped for environmental surveys and pollution monitoring  

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CESAM - Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar - Universidade de Aveiro

CESAM Funding: