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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/

    https://viurrspace.ca/bitstream/handle/10613/17011/May18-1900.pdf?sequence=2

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    image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
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      image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Motos, Ghislain; Schmale, Julia; Corbin, Joel C.; Modini, Rob. L.; +4 Authors

    Liquid clouds form by condensation of water vapour on aerosol particles in the atmosphere. Even black carbon (BC) particles, which are known to be slightly hygroscopic, have been shown to readily form cloud droplets once they have acquired water-soluble coatings by atmospheric aging processes. Accurately simulating the life cycle of BC in the atmosphere, which strongly depends on the wet removal following droplet activation, has recently been identified as a key element for accurate prediction of the climate forcing of BC. Here, to assess BC activation in detail, we performed in situ measurements during cloud events at the Jungfraujoch high-altitude station in Switzerland in summer 2010 and 2016. Cloud droplet residual and interstitial (unactivated) particles as well as the total aerosol were selectively sampled using different inlets, followed by their physical characterization using scanning mobility particle sizers (SMPSs), multi-angle absorption photometers (MAAPs) and a single-particle soot photometer (SP2). By calculating cloud droplet activated fractions with these measurements, we determined the roles of various parameters on the droplet activation of BC. The half-rise threshold diameter for droplet activation (Dhalfcloud), i.e. the size above which aerosol particles formed cloud droplets, was inferred from the aerosol size distributions measured behind the different inlets. The effective peak supersaturation (SSpeak) of a cloud was derived from Dhalfcloud by comparing it to the supersaturation dependence of the threshold diameter for cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation measured by a CCN counter (CCNC). In this way, we showed that the mass-based scavenged fraction of BC strongly correlates with that of the entire aerosol population because SSpeak modulates the critical size for activation of either particle type. A total of 50 % of the BC-containing particles with a BC mass equivalent core diameter of 90 nm was activated in clouds with SSpeak≈0.21 %, increasing up to ∼80 % activated fraction at SSpeak≈0.50 %. On a single-particle basis, BC activation at a certain SSpeak is controlled by the BC core size and internally mixed coating, which increases overall particle size and hygroscopicity. However, the resulting effect on the population averaged and on the size-integrated BC scavenged fraction by mass is small for two reasons: first, acquisition of coatings only matters for small cores in clouds with low SSpeak; and, second, variations in BC core size distribution and mean coating thickness are limited in the lower free troposphere in summer. Finally, we tested the ability of a simplified theoretical model, which combines the κ-Köhler theory with the Zdanovskii–Stokes–Robinson (ZSR) mixing rule under the assumptions of spherical core–shell particle geometry and surface tension of pure water, to predict the droplet activation behaviour of BC-containing particles in real clouds. Predictions of BC activation constrained with SSpeak and measured BC-containing particle size and mixing state were compared with direct cloud observations. These predictions achieved closure with the measurements for the particle size ranges accessible to our instrumentation, that is, BC core diameters and total particle diameters of approximately 50 and 180 nm, respectively. This clearly indicates that such simplified theoretical models provide a sufficient description of BC activation in clouds, as previously shown for activation occurring in fog at lower supersaturation and also shown in laboratory experiments under controlled conditions. This further justifies application of such simplified theoretical approaches in regional and global simulations of BC activation in clouds, which include aerosol modules that explicitly simulate BC-containing particle size and mixing state.

    image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/ Atmospheric Chemistr...arrow_drop_down
    image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Grillakis, Manolis G.; Koutroulis, Aristeidis G.; Daliakopoulos, Ioannis N.; Tsanis, Ioannis K.;

    Bias correction of climate variables is a standard practice in climate change impact (CCI) studies. Various methodologies have been developed within the framework of quantile mapping. However, it is well known that quantile mapping may significantly modify the long-term statistics due to the time dependency of the temperature bias. Here, a method to overcome this issue without compromising the day-to-day correction statistics is presented. The methodology separates the modeled temperature signal into a normalized and a residual component relative to the modeled reference period climatology, in order to adjust the biases only for the former and preserve the signal of the later. The results show that this method allows for the preservation of the originally modeled long-term signal in the mean, the standard deviation and higher and lower percentiles of temperature. To illustrate the improvements, the methodology is tested on daily time series obtained from five Euro CORDEX regional climate models (RCMs).

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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Holstege, Henne; Grozeva, Detelina; Sims, Rebecca; Luckcuck, Lauren; +85 Authors

    The genetic component of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been mainly assessed using Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS), which do not capture the risk contributed by rare variants. Here, we compared the gene-based burden of rare damaging variants in exome sequencing data from 32,558 individuals —16,036 AD cases and 16,522 controls— in a two-stage analysis. Next to known genes TREM2, SORL1 and ABCA7, we observed a significant association of rare, predicted damaging variants in ATP8B4 and ABCA1 with AD risk, and a suggestive signal in ADAM10. Next to these genes, the rare variant burden in RIN3, CLU, ZCWPW1 and ACE highlighted these genes as potential driver genes in AD-GWAS loci. Rare damaging variants in these genes, and in particular loss-of-function variants, have a large effect on AD-risk, and they are enriched in early onset AD cases. The newly identified AD-associated genes provide additional evidence for a major role for APP-processing, Aβ-aggregation, lipid metabolism and microglial function in AD.

    image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/ CORE (RIOXX-UK Aggre...arrow_drop_down
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      image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/ CORE (RIOXX-UK Aggre...arrow_drop_down
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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/

    https://viurrspace.ca/bitstream/handle/10613/19132/Jun26-1875.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y

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    https://viurrspace.ca/bitstream/handle/10613/18174/Apr29-1898.pdf?sequence=2

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    VIUSpace
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  • image/svg+xml art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos Open Access logo, converted into svg, designed by PLoS. This version with transparent background. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_Access_logo_PLoS_white.svg art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, JakobVoss, and AnonMoos http://www.plos.org/
    Authors: Adams, C.; Strong, K.; Batchelor, R. L.; Bernath, P. F.; +25 Authors

    The Optical Spectrograph and Infra-Red Imager System (OSIRIS) and the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) have been taking measurements from space since 2001 and 2003, respectively. This paper presents intercomparisons between ozone and NO2 measured by the ACE and OSIRIS satellite instruments and by ground-based instruments at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL), which is located at Eureka, Canada (80° N, 86° W) and is operated by the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC). The ground-based instruments included in this study are four zenith-sky differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) instruments, one Bruker Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) and four Brewer spectrophotometers. Ozone total columns measured by the DOAS instruments were retrieved using new Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) guidelines and agree to within 3.2%. The DOAS ozone columns agree with the Brewer spectrophotometers with mean relative differences that are smaller than 1.5%. This suggests that for these instruments the new NDACC data guidelines were successful in producing a homogenous and accurate ozone dataset at 80° N. Satellite 14–52 km ozone and 17–40 km NO2 partial columns within 500 km of PEARL were calculated for ACE-FTS Version 2.2 (v2.2) plus updates, ACE-FTS v3.0, ACE-MAESTRO (Measurements of Aerosol Extinction in the Stratosphere and Troposphere Retrieved by Occultation) v1.2 and OSIRIS SaskMART v5.0x ozone and Optimal Estimation v3.0 NO2 data products. The new ACE-FTS v3.0 and the validated ACE-FTS v2.2 partial columns are nearly identical, with mean relative differences of 0.0 ± 0.2% and −0.2 ± 0.1% for v2.2 minus v3.0 ozone and NO2, respectively. Ozone columns were constructed from 14–52 km satellite and 0–14 km ozonesonde partial columns and compared with the ground-based total column measurements. The satellite-plus-sonde measurements agree with the ground-based ozone total columns with mean relative differences of 0.1–7.3%. For NO2, partial columns from 17 km upward were scaled to noon using a photochemical model. Mean relative differences between OSIRIS, ACE-FTS and ground-based NO2 measurements do not exceed 20%. ACE-MAESTRO measures more NO2 than the other instruments, with mean relative differences of 25–52%. Seasonal variation in the differences between NO2 partial columns is observed, suggesting that there are systematic errors in the measurements and/or the photochemical model corrections. For ozone spring-time measurements, additional coincidence criteria based on stratospheric temperature and the location of the polar vortex were found to improve agreement between some of the instruments. For ACE-FTS v2.2 minus Bruker FTIR, the 2007–2009 spring-time mean relative difference improved from −5.0 ± 0.4% to −3.1 ± 0.8% with the dynamical selection criteria. This was the largest improvement, likely because both instruments measure direct sunlight and therefore have well-characterized lines-of-sight compared with scattered sunlight measurements. For NO2, the addition of a ±1° latitude coincidence criterion improved spring-time intercomparison results, likely due to the sharp latitudinal gradient of NO2 during polar sunrise. The differences between satellite and ground-based measurements do not show any obvious trends over the missions, indicating that both the ACE and OSIRIS instruments continue to perform well.

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    Authors: Fletcher, Tamara L.; Warden, Lisa; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.; Brown, Kendrick J.; +3 Authors

    The mid-Pliocene is a valuable time interval for investigating equilibrium climate at current atmospheric CO2 concentrations because atmospheric CO2 concentrations are thought to have been comparable to the current day and yet the climate and distribution of ecosystems were quite different. One intriguing, but not fully understood, feature of the early to mid-Pliocene climate is the amplified Arctic temperature response and its impact on Arctic ecosystems. Only the most recent models appear to correctly estimate the degree of warming in the Pliocene Arctic and validation of the currently proposed feedbacks is limited by scarce terrestrial records of climate and environment. Here we reconstruct the summer temperature and fire regime from a subfossil fen-peat deposit on west–central Ellesmere Island, Canada, that has been chronologically constrained using cosmogenic nuclide burial dating to 3.9+1.5/-0.5 Ma. The estimate for average mean summer temperature is 15.4±0.8 ∘C using specific bacterial membrane lipids, i.e., branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers. This is above the proposed threshold that predicts a substantial increase in wildfire in the modern high latitudes. Macro-charcoal was present in all samples from this Pliocene section with notably higher charcoal concentration in the upper part of the sequence. This change in charcoal was synchronous with a change in vegetation that included an increase in abundance of fire-promoting Pinus and Picea. Paleo-vegetation reconstructions are consistent with warm summer temperatures, relatively low summer precipitation and an incidence of fire comparable to fire-adapted boreal forests of North America and central Siberia. To our knowledge, this site provides the northernmost evidence of fire during the Pliocene. It suggests that ecosystem productivity was greater than in the present day, providing fuel for wildfires, and that the climate was conducive to the ignition of fire during this period. The results reveal that interactions between paleo-vegetation and paleoclimate were mediated by fire in the High Arctic during the Pliocene, even though CO2 concentrations were similar to modern values.

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    https://viurrspace.ca/bitstream/handle/10613/19145/Aug18-1875.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y

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179 Research products
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    https://viurrspace.ca/bitstream/handle/10613/17011/May18-1900.pdf?sequence=2

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    Authors: Motos, Ghislain; Schmale, Julia; Corbin, Joel C.; Modini, Rob. L.; +4 Authors

    Liquid clouds form by condensation of water vapour on aerosol particles in the atmosphere. Even black carbon (BC) particles, which are known to be slightly hygroscopic, have been shown to readily form cloud droplets once they have acquired water-soluble coatings by atmospheric aging processes. Accurately simulating the life cycle of BC in the atmosphere, which strongly depends on the wet removal following droplet activation, has recently been identified as a key element for accurate prediction of the climate forcing of BC. Here, to assess BC activation in detail, we performed in situ measurements during cloud events at the Jungfraujoch high-altitude station in Switzerland in summer 2010 and 2016. Cloud droplet residual and interstitial (unactivated) particles as well as the total aerosol were selectively sampled using different inlets, followed by their physical characterization using scanning mobility particle sizers (SMPSs), multi-angle absorption photometers (MAAPs) and a single-particle soot photometer (SP2). By calculating cloud droplet activated fractions with these measurements, we determined the roles of various parameters on the droplet activation of BC. The half-rise threshold diameter for droplet activation (Dhalfcloud), i.e. the size above which aerosol particles formed cloud droplets, was inferred from the aerosol size distributions measured behind the different inlets. The effective peak supersaturation (SSpeak) of a cloud was derived from Dhalfcloud by comparing it to the supersaturation dependence of the threshold diameter for cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation measured by a CCN counter (CCNC). In this way, we showed that the mass-based scavenged fraction of BC strongly correlates with that of the entire aerosol population because SSpeak modulates the critical size for activation of either particle type. A total of 50 % of the BC-containing particles with a BC mass equivalent core diameter of 90 nm was activated in clouds with SSpeak≈0.21 %, increasing up to ∼80 % activated fraction at SSpeak≈0.50 %. On a single-particle basis, BC activation at a certain SSpeak is controlled by the BC core size and internally mixed coating, which increases overall particle size and hygroscopicity. However, the resulting effect on the population averaged and on the size-integrated BC scavenged fraction by mass is small for two reasons: first, acquisition of coatings only matters for small cores in clouds with low SSpeak; and, second, variations in BC core size distribution and mean coating thickness are limited in the lower free troposphere in summer. Finally, we tested the ability of a simplified theoretical model, which combines the κ-Köhler theory with the Zdanovskii–Stokes–Robinson (ZSR) mixing rule under the assumptions of spherical core–shell particle geometry and surface tension of pure water, to predict the droplet activation behaviour of BC-containing particles in real clouds. Predictions of BC activation constrained with SSpeak and measured BC-containing particle size and mixing state were compared with direct cloud observations. These predictions achieved closure with the measurements for the particle size ranges accessible to our instrumentation, that is, BC core diameters and total particle diameters of approximately 50 and 180 nm, respectively. This clearly indicates that such simplified theoretical models provide a sufficient description of BC activation in clouds, as previously shown for activation occurring in fog at lower supersaturation and also shown in laboratory experiments under controlled conditions. This further justifies application of such simplified theoretical approaches in regional and global simulations of BC activation in clouds, which include aerosol modules that explicitly simulate BC-containing particle size and mixing state.

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    Authors: Grillakis, Manolis G.; Koutroulis, Aristeidis G.; Daliakopoulos, Ioannis N.; Tsanis, Ioannis K.;

    Bias correction of climate variables is a standard practice in climate change impact (CCI) studies. Various methodologies have been developed within the framework of quantile mapping. However, it is well known that quantile mapping may significantly modify the long-term statistics due to the time dependency of the temperature bias. Here, a method to overcome this issue without compromising the day-to-day correction statistics is presented. The methodology separates the modeled temperature signal into a normalized and a residual component relative to the modeled reference period climatology, in order to adjust the biases only for the former and preserve the signal of the later. The results show that this method allows for the preservation of the originally modeled long-term signal in the mean, the standard deviation and higher and lower percentiles of temperature. To illustrate the improvements, the methodology is tested on daily time series obtained from five Euro CORDEX regional climate models (RCMs).

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    Authors: Holstege, Henne; Grozeva, Detelina; Sims, Rebecca; Luckcuck, Lauren; +85 Authors

    The genetic component of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been mainly assessed using Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS), which do not capture the risk contributed by rare variants. Here, we compared the gene-based burden of rare damaging variants in exome sequencing data from 32,558 individuals —16,036 AD cases and 16,522 controls— in a two-stage analysis. Next to known genes TREM2, SORL1 and ABCA7, we observed a significant association of rare, predicted damaging variants in ATP8B4 and ABCA1 with AD risk, and a suggestive signal in ADAM10. Next to these genes, the rare variant burden in RIN3, CLU, ZCWPW1 and ACE highlighted these genes as potential driver genes in AD-GWAS loci. Rare damaging variants in these genes, and in particular loss-of-function variants, have a large effect on AD-risk, and they are enriched in early onset AD cases. The newly identified AD-associated genes provide additional evidence for a major role for APP-processing, Aβ-aggregation, lipid metabolism and microglial function in AD.

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    https://viurrspace.ca/bitstream/handle/10613/19132/Jun26-1875.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y

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    https://viurrspace.ca/bitstream/handle/10613/18174/Apr29-1898.pdf?sequence=2

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    Authors: Adams, C.; Strong, K.; Batchelor, R. L.; Bernath, P. F.; +25 Authors

    The Optical Spectrograph and Infra-Red Imager System (OSIRIS) and the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) have been taking measurements from space since 2001 and 2003, respectively. This paper presents intercomparisons between ozone and NO2 measured by the ACE and OSIRIS satellite instruments and by ground-based instruments at the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL), which is located at Eureka, Canada (80° N, 86° W) and is operated by the Canadian Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Change (CANDAC). The ground-based instruments included in this study are four zenith-sky differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) instruments, one Bruker Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FTIR) and four Brewer spectrophotometers. Ozone total columns measured by the DOAS instruments were retrieved using new Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC) guidelines and agree to within 3.2%. The DOAS ozone columns agree with the Brewer spectrophotometers with mean relative differences that are smaller than 1.5%. This suggests that for these instruments the new NDACC data guidelines were successful in producing a homogenous and accurate ozone dataset at 80° N. Satellite 14–52 km ozone and 17–40 km NO2 partial columns within 500 km of PEARL were calculated for ACE-FTS Version 2.2 (v2.2) plus updates, ACE-FTS v3.0, ACE-MAESTRO (Measurements of Aerosol Extinction in the Stratosphere and Troposphere Retrieved by Occultation) v1.2 and OSIRIS SaskMART v5.0x ozone and Optimal Estimation v3.0 NO2 data products. The new ACE-FTS v3.0 and the validated ACE-FTS v2.2 partial columns are nearly identical, with mean relative differences of 0.0 ± 0.2% and −0.2 ± 0.1% for v2.2 minus v3.0 ozone and NO2, respectively. Ozone columns were constructed from 14–52 km satellite and 0–14 km ozonesonde partial columns and compared with the ground-based total column measurements. The satellite-plus-sonde measurements agree with the ground-based ozone total columns with mean relative differences of 0.1–7.3%. For NO2, partial columns from 17 km upward were scaled to noon using a photochemical model. Mean relative differences between OSIRIS, ACE-FTS and ground-based NO2 measurements do not exceed 20%. ACE-MAESTRO measures more NO2 than the other instruments, with mean relative differences of 25–52%. Seasonal variation in the differences between NO2 partial columns is observed, suggesting that there are systematic errors in the measurements and/or the photochemical model corrections. For ozone spring-time measurements, additional coincidence criteria based on stratospheric temperature and the location of the polar vortex were found to improve agreement between some of the instruments. For ACE-FTS v2.2 minus Bruker FTIR, the 2007–2009 spring-time mean relative difference improved from −5.0 ± 0.4% to −3.1 ± 0.8% with the dynamical selection criteria. This was the largest improvement, likely because both instruments measure direct sunlight and therefore have well-characterized lines-of-sight compared with scattered sunlight measurements. For NO2, the addition of a ±1° latitude coincidence criterion improved spring-time intercomparison results, likely due to the sharp latitudinal gradient of NO2 during polar sunrise. The differences between satellite and ground-based measurements do not show any obvious trends over the missions, indicating that both the ACE and OSIRIS instruments continue to perform well.

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    Authors: Fletcher, Tamara L.; Warden, Lisa; Sinninghe Damsté, Jaap S.; Brown, Kendrick J.; +3 Authors

    The mid-Pliocene is a valuable time interval for investigating equilibrium climate at current atmospheric CO2 concentrations because atmospheric CO2 concentrations are thought to have been comparable to the current day and yet the climate and distribution of ecosystems were quite different. One intriguing, but not fully understood, feature of the early to mid-Pliocene climate is the amplified Arctic temperature response and its impact on Arctic ecosystems. Only the most recent models appear to correctly estimate the degree of warming in the Pliocene Arctic and validation of the currently proposed feedbacks is limited by scarce terrestrial records of climate and environment. Here we reconstruct the summer temperature and fire regime from a subfossil fen-peat deposit on west–central Ellesmere Island, Canada, that has been chronologically constrained using cosmogenic nuclide burial dating to 3.9+1.5/-0.5 Ma. The estimate for average mean summer temperature is 15.4±0.8 ∘C using specific bacterial membrane lipids, i.e., branched glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers. This is above the proposed threshold that predicts a substantial increase in wildfire in the modern high latitudes. Macro-charcoal was present in all samples from this Pliocene section with notably higher charcoal concentration in the upper part of the sequence. This change in charcoal was synchronous with a change in vegetation that included an increase in abundance of fire-promoting Pinus and Picea. Paleo-vegetation reconstructions are consistent with warm summer temperatures, relatively low summer precipitation and an incidence of fire comparable to fire-adapted boreal forests of North America and central Siberia. To our knowledge, this site provides the northernmost evidence of fire during the Pliocene. It suggests that ecosystem productivity was greater than in the present day, providing fuel for wildfires, and that the climate was conducive to the ignition of fire during this period. The results reveal that interactions between paleo-vegetation and paleoclimate were mediated by fire in the High Arctic during the Pliocene, even though CO2 concentrations were similar to modern values.

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    https://viurrspace.ca/bitstream/handle/10613/19145/Aug18-1875.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y

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