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Analysis of the airflow at the centre of the upper plateau on the Iberian Peninsula and its link to CO2 and CH4 concentrations
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Int. J. Climatol. 38, 2018 2126–2137
Air trajectories are useful tools to investigate the airflow and transport of substances released into the atmosphere. Web-based models are widely used to calculate trajectories reaching places that are being studied. This articleconsiders 6 years of air trajectories as of October 2010 together with CO2 and CH4 concentrations. A bivariate smoothing function that employs the radial distance and direction of the trajectory to the measuring site was used to form trajectory groups from the minima of this function. Varied radial and angular windows were assayed to investigate the behaviour of the smoothing function. Curves associated with the number of minima were L-shaped and the windows selected corresponded to the ‘knee’ of the curves. Seven trajectory groups were considered to observe the response of the procedure against the radial distance and the direction. Seasonal evolution revealed the greatest radial extent for winter and the lowest for summer. Moreover, trajectories from the Atlantic Ocean were the most frequent. CO2 and CH4 concentrations were detrended using a linear function, and average trends were 2.34 and 0.0085 ppm year−1, respectively. Annual cycles of detrended concentrations were very soft and were linked to the site’s ecosystem. CO2 presented one maximum in spring linked to substantial vegetation growth, and one minimum in summer, when vegetation dies and dispersion is maximum. CH4 maximum was observed in winter although the minimum was found in summer and attributed to oxidation with the hydroxyl radical in the troposphere and to dispersion in this season. Analysis of concentration trends for the groups proposed revealed the opposite behaviour of both gases in summer. Finally, maximum CO2 concentrations were marked by trajectories from North Africa affected by nearby cities, whereas minimum concentrations for both gases were noticeable for trajectories from the ocean in summer.
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